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Former Residence of Liu Yazi

Famous Chinese historian Liu Yazi (1887 - 1958) was born of a scholastic family in Lili Town, Jiangsu Province. He was taught by his mother who knew poems written from Tang Dynasty a lot, and influenced by his father, who supported the China's radical political reforms during late 19th century. So he joined Chinese Education Association in the year 1903 at his hometown and studied in Shanghai, a much opened-up city at that time, he took part in some patriotic organizations there. He met Dr. Sun Yat-sen on a ferry in Wusong River at Shanghai city. After the successful Democratic (Xinhai) Revolution in October 10, 1911, Liu Yazi joined the new government as presidential secretary of Dr. Sun, but he was unaccustomed with official career, so he resigned three days later.

He returned Shanghai immediately and managed to publish a newspaper. Inspired by the October Revolution of the Soviet Union in 1917 and the May Fourth Movement of China in 1919, Liu Yazi was indulged in research the works of Karl Marx and Bolshevism. In 1923, he took part in the publication of paper New Lili, which was pushing forward new culture and new thoughts. He also so promoted the Dr. Sun Yat-sen's famous Three Principles of the People (Principles of Nationalism, Democracy and People's Livelihood). During the Anti-Japanese War, he went to Shanghai and then Hong Kong. He and Song Qingling criticized Chiang Kai-shek's persecution of the New Fourth Army of CPC and weakness in fighting the invading Japanese forces. Liu was kicked out of the KMT. He turned to the CPC in 1944 after he had been met by Mao Zedong and became an official of the new government since 1949.

Liu Yazi had been the director of Shanghai General Annals House since his middle age. His seriousness and care were demonstrated through his examining of every piece of historical paper. The staff of the house was strongly impressed by his austere and honest attitude towards his profession.

Former Residence of Liu Yazi is actually Shanghai General Annals House. Located on 517 Central Fuxing Road, it is traditional layout of Western style garden. Built in 1926, it still verdant all around. Beautiful red sloped top with elegant yellow walls. By entering through the black gates at the front of the courtyard, you can see the stairs that go up to the living room on the second floor. There is an indoor staircase that goes up here too. On the western end of the hall, it stands a long row of large book cabinets, which are storing books and magazines published between late 19th century and 1930s. The third floor is the reading room of Liu Yazi.