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Manchu Princess, Japanese SpyThe Story of Kawashima Yoshiko, the Cross-Dressing Spy Who Commanded Her Own Army$
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Phyllis Birnbaum

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231152181

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231152181.001.0001

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Powerful Connections

Powerful Connections

(p.112) 16 Powerful Connections
Manchu Princess, Japanese Spy

Phyllis Birnbaum

Columbia University Press

This chapter focuses on the testimony of Tanaka Ryūkichi, an officer in Japan's Kwantung Army in China and Kawashima Yoshiko's lover, during the Tokyo War Crimes Trial after World War II. There was much speculation about why Tanaka decided to appear at the trial. A major general in the Imperial Japanese Army, he cooperated with U.S. Occupation authorities and testified against his military colleagues. Accused of turning against his fellow officers in retaliation for being denied a wartime post or to escape indictment himself, Tanaka rejected any suggestions of base intent. Tanaka appeared before the tribunal a number of times, sometimes for the defense and sometimes for the prosecution. He admitted that he was entirely responsible for the Shanghai Incident of 1932, claiming that it had been hatched as a distraction from bigger doings in Manchuria, and talked about Yoshiko's involvement in it. Yoshiko was a cross-dressing Manchu princess who turned into a Japanese spy and commanded her own army during the Japanese occupation of China in 1931.

Keywords:   testimony, Tanaka Ryūkichi, Japan, Kwantung Army, China, Kawashima Yoshiko, Tokyo War Crimes Trial, Imperial Japanese Army, Shanghai Incident, Manchuria

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