Monday, April 6, 2009

The China Lover Images I - Li Xianglan/Ri Koran The Manchurian Days

As promised some images associated with Ri Koran, the subject of Ian Buruma’s The China Lover. Today, her early career in Japanese-occupied Manchuria and work for the Manchuria Film Association.

Born in Fushun, Manchuria to Japanese parents in 1920 as Yoshiko Yamaguchi. Working for the Japanese-run Manchurian Film Studios (below) she was billed as Li Xianglan in Chinese, or Ri Kōran in Japanese hiding her true origins. As these were propaganda movies where Chinese girls saw the Japanese not as territorial invaders but liberators these deceit was considered necessary by the head of the studio Masahiko Amakasu (left).

These films were straight out propaganda but the song Yoshiko became forever associated with, China Nights, also came out of this period.

At the end of World War II, Yoshiko was arrested by the Chinese government for treason and collaboration with the Japanese. However, she was cleared of all charges since she was not a Chinese national, and thus the Chinese gover nment could not try her for treason. She then left for a second phase of her career in post-war American occupied Tokyo.

The China Lover – A NOVEL

The China Lover Images II – The Tokyo Years

The China Lover Images III – The Hollywood Sojourn


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