[Hakka-Mandarin Bilingual Text] HAC Grants Posthumous Recognition to Post-WWII First Farmer-Writer Cheng Huan

Yiong Con-ziin, Minister of the Hakka Affairs Council (HAC), visited the Taipei City Mortuary Services Office Second Funeral Parlor this morning (March 19) to attend the memorial service for Hakka author Cheng Huan and award a posthumous commendation certificate.

Minister Yiong shared that Mr. Cheng studied in the Taihoku Prefecture Yilan Agriculture & Forestry School under Japanese rule. He never lost his passion for literature despite dedicating himself to farming all his life, producing a considerable body of works. He also penned pieces for multiple major periodicals. His literary style reveals the love of a farmer for rural villages. Despite primarily using Mandarin, his cumulative accomplishments are a major heritage for the Hakka people.

Born in 1925 in the Cheng residence on the mountains of Yangmei, Taoyuan, Cheng Huan, an ethnic Hakka, graduated from the Taihoku Prefecture Yilan Agriculture & Forestry School during the Japanese colonial era and became part of the first generation of Taiwanese writers post-World War II (WWII). He was especially renowned for being a farmer-writer vigorously engaged in both crafts.He often wrote when taking breaks from his arduous farm work. He published his first piece in Taiwan Culture & Arts in 1941. He picked up the pen again at the age of 44 in 1969 during the White Terror period, creating Odd Rock of Changgangling and The Inspector Watanabe Incident, among other notable works, weaving the experiences of Taiwanese farmers under Japanese rule and during WWII into novels.

Most of Cheng’s oeuvre retells the lived experiences of rural villagers, oppression by intelligence agencies after the February 28 incident, and his life as a survivor. He successively received the Crown Best Novel Award, Central Monthly Novel Award, Literary Scene Novel Award, and Free Youth Novel Award. Cheng finished the novel Legendary Times of the Tuniu Boundary at the age of 89 in 2013. He published a multitude of novels and novellas until 2015, when he won the Literary Creation Award at the 54th Culture & Arts Awards organized by the Chinese Writer’s & Artist’s Association. Furthermore, Cheng received the Hakka Affairs Professional Medal from HAC in 2016.

The “Mother of Taiwanese Literature”, Chung Chao-cheng, once said that Cheng Huan’s writing perfectly conveys the daily life of Hakka people, enabling readers to truly immerse in the day-to-day of Hakka villages. HAC especially issued this commendation certificate in appreciation for Mr. Cheng Huan’s major role in and contribution to Hakka culture.