Qingdao was a popular hang out for authors in the 1930’s. One of those who visited Qingdao during this period was Yu Dafu (郁達夫), the author of Sinking (Chen Lun/沉淪), a tale of a young Chinese student in Japan who has trouble coming to terms with his personal and national identity, and ends up committing suicide out of shame. Yu was one of many Chinese students who went to Japan to study -both Lu Xun (Zhou Shuren) and his brother Zhou Zouren had been there on scholarship during the Qing Dynasty – and returned to China to help build a better homeland. In 1934, Yu came to Qingdao from Shanghai, writing “Qingdao is indeed cool. The weather here is just like in new autumn”. A poem he wrote about Laoshan is engraved in a rock at Beijiushui (north of Beizhai).
During his visit to Qingdao, Yu Dafu stayed in the extant building at the corner of Zhejiang Lu and Guangxi Lu, which today sits across from the Red House Hotel and Lao Zhao’s antique and curio shop near the Zhan Qiao bus stop for the 316 and 26 routes. The ground floor of the building houses some seafood restaurants and small shops while the upper floors are still residences. Just about 50 meters off the coast and Zhan Qiao pier, it’s also a short jaunt up Zhejiang Lu to the Catholic Church. Other famous Chinese authors who lived in Qingdao around the same period were Xiao Hong, Lao She, and Shen Congwen.