Yoshiko Kawashima

-A Belle in Male Attire-

098 Minako Noshiro

Yoshiko Kawashima --- she is known as a woman who was a spy wearing a service uniform between Japan and China. She was born as a princess of Shin dynasty, became an adopted daughter of a Japanese, and run the risk. However she was brandished by Japan, China, and the fact 'being a woman." Finally she was arrested as a traitor by Chinese government. (She laughed at herself to scorn, "I'm a pierrot. I'm a pierrot by nature.' )

She was born beautifully, but why she should live wearing man's clothes?

It was when China was called Shin dynasty. Shin dynasty was becoming weak because of the civil war and the invasion from Europe. Then there was a man. He belonged to upper class in Shin dynasty and wanted to restore Shin dynasty. Then there was one Japanese who named Naniwa Kawashima. He was one of those who wanted to try their fortune in China land. These two men had an interest each other, so they decided to help each other, and Kawashima adopted one of his cooperator's daughter because of his cooperator's plan G appeal their connection strongly to Japanese government.

In 1914, the little girl who came to Japan crossing the ocean was named Yoshiko, and was brought up at Kawashima's house in Tokyo. The fact, "She was chosen as ties between crumbling Shin dynasty and Japan" was going to control her destiny all her life. However, in spite of it, their dream "the restoration of Shin dynasty" did not come true because of birth of China.

In Japan, Kawashima family moved from Tokyo to Nagano, and Yoshiko's real father died in the same year. At this time, Yoshiko lost the place where she should go back.

When she was a student, her looking was beautiful and noble, but she was cheerful as a boy. Kawashima, he was Yoshiko's foster father, was in good humor when Yoshiko acted like a boy, but when Yoshiko wore girlish clothes and smiled at a boy, he was very angry and hit her. That way to angry was a little strange as a foster father. Moreover he said to Yoshiko's real brother, "Yoshiko's real father was a brave man, and I am a benevolent man. if our blood was mixed, a baby who has both of bravery and benevolence will be born." It meant that he wanted Yoshiko to bear his child. It is not certain that weather Kawashima did something to Yoshiko or not, but it is certain that something happened to Yoshiko. In 13 of Taisho period, she cut her hair and said " I'll become a man!"

She was always said to live for Shin dynasty and Japan. She might think that she could not get happiness as ordinary women. That thing seems why she decided to be a man. However she could not run away from the fact "being a woman" even if she wore man's clothes.

When she was twenty-one years old, she got married to a Mongolian for her father and brother's means, but the marriage without love did not deep. she divorced three years after.

She came back to Japan, but there was no place for her to go back in real meaning. Then she paid attention to Shanghai --- the city where all people came from all country aiming at China. She crossed the ocean again, and went to Shanghai.

In Shanghai, Yoshiko became a Japanese man's lover. His name was Ryuichi Tanaka. He used Yoshiko within her title "a princess of Shin dynasty." Yoshiko needed a supporter for her life. They made use each other. Under the indication by Tanaka, Yoshiko appeared dance hall every night. She approached Chinese officers under pretense of love, and spied out information.

Yoshiko might think "it's time to achieve my role 'a princess of Shin dynasty."' However Japanese army did not think anything but their country's benefit. They did not care about the restoration of Shin dynasty. Yoshiko was used skillfully by them. Then she became a commander under her new lover Tada. She was proud of it not knowing Japanese army's thought.

The pictures of Yoshiko posing wearing service uniform, riding a house, were introduced on many newspapers and magazines. The novel (that used Yoshiko as a model) "a belle in male attire" became a best seller, and it made Yoshiko famous much more as a splendid woman spy. Later, that was her life and death.

However that did not keep long. After using Yoshiko, Japanese army made her go back Japan because they thought she became nothing to do. In the end, she was abandoned by both of China and Japan.

After the end of the Pacific War, Yoshiko was arrested by Chinese government. They said "Yoshiko is Chinese, but she acted as a spy used as a Japanese tool." Yoshiko asked her father Kawashima by letter to prove that Kawashima had had a Yoshiko's name entered in his family register --- that is to say, Yoshiko was Japanese. However that did not succeed. Her tale of bravery that was made by the novel and others brought her up as "the Eastan Mata Hari."

Yoshiko sent her letters to her faithful secretary Hachiro Ogata. These letters were very cheerful strangely enough. "When I was said to be but to death, I ate two cups of meals. My friends in prison sympathize with me and cried, but I was smiling because I do not want to share sorrow but happiness. I am always jolly and playful. It will not be reformed all my life. Don't you think so?" "There is little person who is unhappy as much as me, but I am not pessimistic. Even if I am pessimistic about me, after five minute I become happy thinking of the world, and laugh with everyone." In this letters, It seems that Yoshiko protected her pride and kept her courage for living by performing a part of pierrot to the last.

On March 25, 23 of Showa period, Yoshiko was condemn to death.

After two months, it was said that Yoshiko Kawashima was still alive, and person who was punished was a different person.

Could she, who kept being betrayed between two countries, escaped and finally got happiness? Nobody knows truth now.