After adding some images relevant to Ian Buruma’s fictionalistion of the life of Yoshiko Yamaguchi this week – The China Lover – I note from emails that a lot of people seem to have Yoshiko Yamaguchi (Manchruian-born Japanese actress) confused with Yoshiko Kawashima (Manchu princess raised in Japan who became a spy).
In part this confusion is perhaps due to similarity in names and that they were both around at roughly the same time and also that there happens to be a fictionalisation of Kawashima’s life out at the moment to (which is also a good read) Maureen Lindley’s The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel.
So here’s some pictures of Yoshiko Kawashima – Eastern Jewel – and the basic details:
Manchu princess Aisin Gioro Xianyu – also known as Eastern Jewel;
Adopted by Naniwa Kawashima, Japanese spy and mercenary;
married off to Ganjuurjab, the son of Inner Mongolian Army General Jengjuurjab, leader of the Mongolian-Manchurian Independence Movement;
As part of these activities she is also sent to spy on the Last Emperor Pu Yi;
And the interesting bits:
Sex all over th e place – straight, gay, prostitute – she apparently didn’t care;
Wore men’s clothes, especially uniforms;
Has long been rumoured to have never been executed, but paid a dying girl to stand in for her and is still alive somewhere.
Whatever, Yoshiko Kawashima is a great character, quite well brought to life by Lindley in her novel and worth a picture or two here.