Yang Kui (1905 - 1958), given name Yang Kuei, was a native of Sinhua, Tainan City. Yang Kui devoted his entire life to working with his hands for grassroots literature and "running with his two feet working for the social movement." His life was marked by "his stupendous poetry, writing with a hoe." Outside of writing, working in social movements, and serving prison sentences, he enjoyed a simple, rustic life of raising flowers as his livelihood.
Going abroad to study in Tokyo in 1924, and upon quitting his study at the School of Literature and Art, University of Japan and returning to Taiwan, he soon joined the Taiwan Farmers Cooperative and the Taiwan Cultural Foundation, through which he spearhead the social movements. During the Japanese occupation era, he was imprisoned for a total of ten times for resisting the colonial government. In 1934, he claimed notoriety in the literature circle with his entry in the "Newspaper Deliverer" (with the Japanese title, the "Newspaper Deliverer" was named second place by the Tokyo "Literature Critics Awards," while first prize fell through). He later served as the Japanese language editor for the "Taiwan Literature and Arts" publication, and in 1935 collaborated with his wife Yeh Tao to launch the "New Taiwan Literature" magazine. During the imperial colonialization period, he leased land property to launch "Shou Yang Plantation." Soon after the war ended, he founded the "I Yang Weekly Paper," and was editor-in-chief for the "Peace Daily's" "New Literature" column, "Cultural Exchange" column; "Taiwan Li Hsing Newspaper's" "New Literature and Arts" column and "Taiwan Literature Publications" to name a few, that were in in-depth exchange with Chinese authors evacuating to Taiwan. Following the Feb. 28th Incident, Yang Kui and his wife Yeh Tao were arrested and jailed for four months. He was later arrested on April 6, 1949 for drafting the "Peace Declaration," and was sentenced to twelve years in prison. During his decade-long incarceration on Green Island Prison, his Mandarin works had become more mature, with most of his works published in prison, including the "New Life" billboard and the "New Life Monthly;" he had also created a number of plays that were staged by the inmates and in street performances. After being discharged from prison, he borrowed money to cultivate "Dong Hai Garden" in Taichung's DaDu Mountain, and continued to take to his profession as a flower grower. His novel, "The Unbeatable Rose," later renamed as "The Unstoppable Ray of Spring," written during his incarceration on Green Island, was excerpted into middle school Mandarin textbooks in 1976, which marked him as the first renowned Taiwanese author whose works were excerpted into textbooks.
The Yang Kui Literature Memorial Hall
To commemorate Yang Kui, the Sinhua Town Office has launched a "Yang Kui Literature Hall" at the old land administration office in the old downtown street, which has been designed by the architectural designer Liu Kuo-tsang acclaimed for his "Venice Architectural Biennial Exhibition," offering a modern and bright exhibition venue that houses luxurious cultural artifacts in a setting rich with literary flair that beckons visitors to gain a firsthand perception.
From Tainan City to Yongkang → Hsiaodung Road → Tawan Road → Yungda Road Jhongshan North Road → Jhongshan Road →Jhongsiao Street → Jhongjheng Road → and you are there Exit at the Yongkang Interchange → Jhongjheng North Road → Jhongjheng South Road Jhonghua Road → Jhongshan North Road → Jhongshan Road → Jhongsiao Street → Jhongjheng Road → and you are there