YUEN-CHWAN SHEU OBIT_v2

YUEN-CHWAN SHEU OBIT_v2 - YUEN-CHWAN SHEU February 10, 1929...

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1 Different Universe Rizhao city is located on the coast of Shan- dong province near Qingdao, home of the fa- mous brewery. Shandong has produced many famous figures, some mythical like Wu Song who reportedly killed a tiger with a single blow, others more real though still larger than life like Zhuge Liang, Liu Bei’s chancel- lor during the fall of the Han dynasty, Confu- cius who’s synonymous with Chinese culture and also his prized pupil Mencius. When Yuen-chwan Sheu was born in Rizhao, the count of souls tallied no where near its current 2.8 million inhabitants. Yuen-chwan was born the day after the Lunar New Year celebrating the year of the snake on February 9, 1929. At the time Rizhao was organized as a county. He was born into a different universe. His was a universe where his parents fully expected a restoration of the emperor. The new Republican government appeared to be just another anomaly among many in the thousands of years of dynastic rule. Luxury transportation in Rizhao in 1929 was a horse drawn carriage. From this beginning in this coastal rural county Yuen-chwan Sheu’s life would span two continents, three countries and four lan- guages. Though he never mastered English, Yuen-chwan did master Mandarin, Korean, Japanese and a smattering of Russian. He would outlive the usefulness of a horse, learn to drive a car, come to love to watch John Wayne western movies on television, and contribute to an American life. By 1940, it must have seemed as if the world was coming to an end in Rizhao. Eighteen years and still no restoration of the emperor in sight, and Japanese invaded China. Yuen-chwan’s father died from heartbreak, betrayed by a kinsman over an investment in the newly developing German influenced city of Qingdao. A few weeks thereafter, Yuen-chwan’s mother devotedly followed her husband, also dying from heartbreak while embracing her eleven year old son on her matrimonial bed. One fateful day that Yuen Chwan missed school, Japanese bombers demolished his school. His paternal aunt who had taken charge of his care decided to send him to the relative safety of Korea. The Korean penin- sula was solidly under the administration of Japanese as an imperial colony. He was to join his former warlord uncle, a younger brother of his father. His uncle had fled China many years prior to escape Chiang Kai-shek’s troops during that general’s Northern Expedi- tion. Yuen-chwan’s uncle expected a battle, but that battle never materialized as Chiang Kai-shek’s march into the northern prov- inces of China proved to be more show than
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YUEN-CHWAN SHEU OBIT_v2 - YUEN-CHWAN SHEU February 10, 1929...

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