Bodies and Structures 2.0: Deep-Mapping Modern East Asian HistoryMain MenuGet to Know the SiteGuided TourShow Me HowA click-by-click guide to using this siteModulesRead the seventeen spatial stories that make up Bodies and Structures 2.0Tag MapExplore conceptsComplete Grid VisualizationDiscover connectionsGeotagged MapFind materials by geographic locationLensesCreate your own visualizationsWhat We LearnedLearn how multivocal spatial history changed how we approach our researchAboutFind information about contributors and advisory board members, citing this site, image permissions and licensing, and site documentationTroubleshootingA guide to known issuesAcknowledgmentsThank youDavid Ambaras1337d6b66b25164b57abc529e56445d238145277Kate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5fThis project was made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
"The Heroine of the East China Sea"
12020-04-30T18:06:26-04:00Kate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5f352Poster for Higashi Shinakai no joketsu [The heroine of the East China Sea] (1959, dir. Onoda Yoshiki). Based on the short stories "Minami Shinakai" and "Higashi Shinakai" by Koizumi Yuzuru. (c) Kokusai Hōei/国際放映.plain2020-10-05T01:20:34-04:00Kokusai Hōei1959Kokusai Hōei/国際放映Used with permission.David R. Ambarasimage/jpegDRA-0041Still ImageKandra Polatis4decfc04157f6073c75cc53dcab9d25e87c02133
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12020-04-30T18:05:22-04:00The transwar romance of "Japan-China goodwill"7Ideological representations of a feminine China falling in love with a masculine Japan.plain2021-10-12T11:01:36-04:001940-1959David R. AmbarasShina no yoruThe Heroine of the East China Sea
In contrast to the inverted gender-national relations depicted in the accounts of abducted women in Fuqing, the wartime imperial state worked to promote a popular cultural image of “Japan-China goodwill” in which a masculine Japan overcame the ill-founded resistance of a feminine China—often by slapping or otherwise manhandling her—to realize a true romance between nations and prevent its sabotage by communists/agents of foreign powers. The film Shina no yoru (1940) typifies this genre.
These desires for Japanese-Chinese goodwill and romance persisted across the 1945 divide. For example, “The Heroine of the East China Sea” (1959), a swashbuckling adventure about a Japanese naval officer and a Fujianese woman pirate chief who fall in love and escape to Japan in the chaos at the war's end, represented a similar effort to consummate the turbulent relationship on Japanese terms (Ambaras 2018, 211-13).
Such fantasies faded, however, with the rupture in Sino-Japanese relations and Japan's full integration into the US-dominated Pacific and Cold War regime. The ideational distance between the two countries was reinforced by modernization theory, which celebrated Japan's “successful” non-communist development in contrast to the chaotic failures of China's communist revolution.