The Last Princess of Manchuria (1990)


The extremely eccentric Manchurian princess who is briefly seen in The Last Emperor in the scenes set in Manchukuo, receives a more comprehensive screen treatment here. Born a scion of the rapidly fading Ching (Manchu) dynasty of China, Yoshiko Kawashima (Anita Mui) was taken away by the Japanese to be raised in their country’s court circles when she was only six. For political reasons, she was married off to a Mongolian prince by the Japanese. Shortly after that, she embarked on a startling career of war and romance, beginning with having an affair with a Japanese officer, and including many affairs with women. Her assertiveness won her an officer’s position in one of the armies of the period. After the war, this woman (who never considered herself Chinese) was shot by the Chinese as a traitor to “her” country.

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