After reading 'The private papers of Eastern Jewel' which is a novel based on the diary of Kawashima Yoshiko (川島 芳子 ) I got really interested in finding out some more information about this intriguing woman . I found so much interesting information that I decided to share it with you.
She was born in Beijing in 1907 and originally named Aisin Gioro Xianyu, with the courtesy name Dongzhen 'Eastern Jewel' (東珍). She also had a other Chinese name Jīn Bìhuī 金璧輝.
She was the 14th daughter to Shanqi, the 10th son of Prince Su 肅親王of the Manchu imperial family and one of his concubines. The prince gave Eastern Jewel away to Kawashima Naniwa, a Japanese military officer at the age of eight. He raised her as his own daughter and send her to school in Tokyo for an education that included Judo and fencing. He was also the one who changed her name to Kawashima Yoshiko (川島 芳子) .Shanqi Su died in 1921. His concubine then comitted the traditonal suicide.
In her teenage years she was raped by Kawashima's father and started an affair with Kawashima himself. When she was 20 she honoured her father's arrangement and married the Mongolian prince and leader of the Mongolian-Manchurian Independence Movement named Ghanzu'er Zhabu (Ganjurjab). It only lasted for four months until she fled to Shanghai. After and inbetween many lovers she met Tanaka Ryukichi (田中 隆吉) a general of the imperial army, from which she gained her contact with Major-General Doihara Kenji. She then started to serve Doihara as a spy. Collecting information for the Japanese and using her Royal blood in her position, she was intstrumental in engineering a series of incidents which created oppurtunities for the Japanese army to attack China and to set up a series of puppet states. One of these incidents she played the major role in persuading the last Chinese emperor Pu Yi to become the ruler of Manchukuo (Manchuria) one of the Japanese puppet states.
Trough this all she continued her habit of having many lovers which were foreign, Asian, male or female. She even had an affair with Doihara.
In 1945 at the end of WWII. She gained much weight and was diagnosed with syphilis. She was betrayed, by one of her lovers and was arrested by the Chinese counter-intelligence officers. Kawashima appeared in court as Jīn Bìhuī charged with treason and was handed out the death sentence in 1947. Her execution was carried out in the morning of the 25th of March 1948. She died as an executed war criminal of a shot in the back of her head.
Even though the offical execution photos were released, there were persistent rumors that she escaped her execution and the one who was punished on that morning was a different person.
Could Eastern Jewel, the eternal beauty escape and find happiness? Until know nobody knows the truth.
I hope you enjoyed a little history this time!
~ Mei mei