Chung Chao-cheng

Chung Chao-chengLife, family, and musical talent
Zhong Zhao-zheng comes from a long line of stiff-necked farmers from Jiuzuoliao, Longtan Township. His father, Zhong Hui-ke, was born in 1888 as a fifth generation Taiwanese and second generation Christian. He was a cow herder until the age of sixteen, when he entered school. He served as a teacher at the local public school during the Japanese occupation. At the end of the war he was promoted to principle. He was highly respected by the local people; they saw him as one of them, even inviting him to have drinks with the rural area aborigines. He also knew many folk songs and was skilled at playing wind instruments. He had nine daughters, four of whom passed away during their infancy, and one son, Zhong Zhao-zheng. Zhao-zheng was the sixth child and only son, and so he was rather pampered by all of his family members. This caused him to be a very cautious person. During the Japanese occupation, the government forced his father, Zhong Hui-ke, to resign due to his high salary. He subsequently became a businessman, but the family’s income was unstable. It was during this time that Zhong Zhao-zheng realized that he had to study hard. He secretly felt guilty for what was happening to his father, and because of these feelings he never squandered away his money. His father taught him to be distinguished, but also taught him how to relate to the common man. Zhong Zhao-zheng’s post-Japanese era works often describe his father as warm and loving and as a hero to hard laborers. Zhao-zheng believes that his deep love for his hometown was heavily influenced by this father. His mother, Wu Rong-mei, was from a big Hokkien family from Zhongli. This caused Chung to be looked down upon within the family when he was little, which distressed the young boy. As a result, Chung placed harmony and unity between the Hakka and the Hoklo at the center of his thinking and ideals. There are only a few mentions of Chung Chao-cheng's mother in his works. She was, more or less, a traditional woman who integrated easily into the Hakka family. Chung lived with his five sisters during his childhood. He was particularly close to his fifth oldest sister, who cared for him like a mother. But she was eventually given up to relatives for adoption, causing Chung to feel a sense of great longing. His fifth oldest sister has always remained in his heart. Chung, being surrounded by women whilst growing up, was often pampered. Later in life, the memory of love and affection blossomed; Chung's charm with women is not without reason. He is very gentle and considerate with women and treats them with the utmost respect in an almost chivalrous manner. But because of more reticent Japanese influences, he has stated that, while his wife can hold his hand publicly, he will not reach for her hand himself. His wife, Zhang Jiu-mei, has provided him with a happy and stable life. Zhang's hard work has given Chung a sense of thanks and warmth, and the women in his novels are based on this theme. So although he once experienced an unrequited crush on a female teacher, he was only disappointed by educated women and could still carve out a timeless, feminine image of uneducated women. In fact, we can also say that, due to the caring and loving support of his many sisters and his father, Chung was able to create Yin-mei and Ben-mei in the image of Mother Earth. Personally, Chung also exudes a mother-like disposition of gentleness. As a man, he knows how to swallow pain, but also cries audaciously like a woman. This is the very essence of his rich nature. Written by Peng Rui-jin