Download Fragrant Orchid: The Story of My Early Life by Yoshiko Yamaguchi, Sakuya Fujiwara, Sheldon H. Lu, Chia-ning PDF

By Yoshiko Yamaguchi, Sakuya Fujiwara, Sheldon H. Lu, Chia-ning Chang

The acclaimed actress and mythical singer, Yamaguchi Yoshiko (aka Li Xianglan, 1920-2014), emerged from Japan-occupied Manchuria to turn into a transnational big name throughout the moment Sino-Japanese warfare. Born to eastern mom and dad, raised in Manchuria, and trained in Beijing, the younger Yamaguchi realized to talk impeccable Mandarin chinese language and obtained specialist education in operatic making a song. while recruited by way of the Manchurian movie organization in 1939 to behave in "national coverage" movies within the provider of jap imperialism in China, she allowed herself to be awarded as a chinese language, successfully covering her jap id in either her specialist and personal lives.

Yamaguchi quickly grew to become an unheard of transnational phenomenon in Manchuria, Shanghai, and Japan itself because the glamorous lady lead in such famous movies as Song of the White Orchid (1939), China Nights (1940), Pledge within the Desert (1940), and Glory to Eternity (1943). Her signature songs, together with "When Will You Return?" and "The night Primrose," swept East Asia within the waning years of the conflict and remained well known good into the postwar decades.

Ironically, even though her celebrated foreign stardom used to be with out parallel in wartime East Asia, she remained a puppet inside a puppet kingdom, choreographed at each flip via jap movie studios in line with the expediencies of Japan's continental coverage. In a dramatic flip of occasions after Japan's defeat, she used to be put less than apartment arrest in Shanghai via the chinese language Nationalist forces and infrequently escaped execution as a traitor to China. Her advanced and fascinating lifestyles tale as a handy pawn, prepared software, and tormented sufferer of Japan's imperialist ideology is instructed in her bestselling autobiography, translated the following in complete for the 1st time in English. An addendum finds her postwar profession in Hollywood and Broadway within the Nineteen Fifties, her friendship with Charlie Chaplin, her first marriage to Isamu Noguchi, and her postwar existence as singer, actress, political determine, tv star, and personal citizen.

A significant creation by means of Chia-ning Chang contextualizes Yamaguchi's existence and occupation in the old and cultural zeitgeist of wartime Manchuria, Japan, and China and the postwar controversies surrounding her lifestyles in East Asia.

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Additional resources for Fragrant Orchid: The Story of My Early Life

Sample text

83 Furthermore, the juxtaposition of the main characters against Shanghai’s war-torn cityscape in a number of scenes produces images so outlandishly jarring that, for the local Shanghai audience, good-humored bemusement was perhaps the only possible reaction. With his perfectly tailored seaman’s uniform, immaculately pressed double-breasted jacket, fashionable fedora, and stylishly pomaded wavy hair, the supremely self-possessed Hase on occasions conjures up the image of a peacock surveying his newly colonized turf in an exotic territory.

The journey began from Japanese harbor towns such as Tsuruga, Maizuru, and Niigata on the Japan Sea coast to northern Korean ports before the traveler took the final leg of the trip by train to the Manchukuo capital, making it the shortest route from Japan’s Hokuriku region. 65 Fantasies surrounding an abstraction of Manchuria, if not its physical or aesthetic realities, sometimes manifested themselves in intellectual discourse of the territory as a romantic setting for an alternative worldview to be exploited, manipulated, and consumed in the interest of the expanding Japanese empire.

That was the fi lm’s message expressed through a romance. To the Chinese, that was simply an idiotic and deceitful idea taken by Japan unilaterally to subject China to humiliation. For the Japanese living within Japan with no knowledge about the reality of Japanese invasion of China, it was a sweet fantasy that indulged their naïve self-conceit. Japanese movie fans were intoxicated by this fantasy. That was why the fi lm became a hit. They saw Li Xianglan as a pitiable, pure-hearted Chinese maiden who truly fell for a Japanese male.

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