Saturday, April 11, 2009

Yoshiko Kawashima - Eastern Jewel - Pictures

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;

Born in Peking 1907, the 14th daughter to Shanqi, the 10th son of Prince Su;

Adopted by Naniwa Kawashima, Japanese spy and mercenary;

raised and educated in Matsumoto,

Nagano, Japan;

married off to Ganjuurjab, the son of Inner Mongolian Army General Jengjuurjab, leader of the Mongolian-Manchurian Independence Movement;

She runs away from Mongolia to Shanghai after two years and becomes a spy;

As part of these activities she is also sent to spy on the Last Emperor Pu Yi;

Arrested in Peking at end of World War Two and beheaded as a spy

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.


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