Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Introduction.


They say "life writes the best stories". From her humble beginnings in a coal-mining area of Manchuria, to super-stardom across all of Asia, to imminent execution by firing-squad, to re-building her career in post-WW2 destroyed Japan, to the heights of Hollywood and bright lights of New York's Broadway, to yet another career as a world-travelling journalist, author, and TV personality, followed by eighteen years serving in the Diet (Upper House of Japan's Parliament), then years working on behalf of the Asian Women's Fund, through her final years bravely speaking truth to power: such a life-story is truly one of the best you will ever find! 
Yoshiko Yamaguchi set gold-standards for perseverance, courage, honesty, inner and outer beauty, linguistic ability, unforgettable singing, opposition to war, and a marvelous energy for the work of life. 

x--x--x--x--x
Please click on the pages above to show biographic details, etc. between the years shown. 

If you would like to listen to a mix of her songs while reading her story, click here


Since this is a work in progress, the above date does not indicate the last information add; check back sometimes to see the latest version. Below is a list of updates, etc, beginning with most recent:

23. Amazon eBooks will be publishing The History of Yamaguchi Yoshiko as an eBook which can be downloaded and viewed on many types of device. Click here for the ebook.

22. Author Edward Moreno on the Discover Nikkei website, has penned a 5 part series on Yoshiko, chock full of interesting information: click here for the first article in the series.  









21. New page: Mainichi Magazine. This 180 page Japanese collector's edition of June 30, 1991 (cover page on right) contains many pictures of Yoshiko that have never been seen on the internet; all in high-resolution. Enjoy! 













20. New page added named Postscript. I will be adding pertinent items from time to time. Such as this Kinema Junpo November 2014 article reviewing Yoshiko's career in film: (cover page on right):



19. A Hong Kong newspaper interview with Yoshiko made in 1991, in which she allegedly says "one of her great-grandmothers was said to have been French". You can read further details about this interview at this point in the biography. 

18. Added a list of 127 Yamaguchi songs on the Songs page complete with their YouTube links.

17. Received the sad news that the great actress Setsuko Hara (1920 - 2015) has passed away. You can see a glimpse of her in the below video at Tokyo Haneda airport greeting the arrival of Yoshiko Yamaguchi:

16. This short 1954 newsreel highlight shows Yoshiko arriving in Tokyo and also on the set of House of Bamboo in Hollywood. Unfortunately it does not have sound. How playful and uninhibited she was: a proper Japanese girl would never allow herself to be picked up in public - and by an American ! "Hey, put me down, put me down!"

15. Since the basic outline is finished, I am rereading the memoir and filling in/adding information as I go; also offering summary thoughts on each phase of her life. (see bottom of pages).

14. 1950 Live Performance page added. These are some rare and beautiful songs recorded in California; they feature Yamaguchi singing and speaking. They are in the public domain for now, but who knows for how long? If you feel these songs, speeches, etc, should be available to the public, please contact YouTube, Google and let them know. 

13. Intelligence file page added - has samples of the type of data collected on Yamaguchi by military intelligence. A fascinating look into the shadowy intelligence world circa 1950. Many old newspaper articles from this file have been added to 1952-1958 page; in addition to many other files included on other pages.   

12. we have a new source of information: yanagi470 a Japanese blogger who has many unusual photos and stories about Ri Koran (use the Google translate feature in Chrome to get instant translation)

11. onwards to the 1947 - 1958 page, and the others.




10. a new CD of Yamaguchi favorites was issued by Columbia/Japan (copy shown on right) - click on The Songs page for details:





9. finished the 1943 - 1946 page.  

8. the Japan Society of NYC presented a film series in April 2015 called: THE MOST BEAUTIFUL: THE WAR FILMS OF YOSHIKO YAMAGUCHI & SETSUKO HARA.
included are five of Yamaguchi's films: click here for info on this outstanding series of films

7. finishing up the 1937 - 1943 page.

6. adding more info on Manchuria to the 1920 - 1933 page, and 1933 - 1937.

5. news: we have a new source of information: Andrew Knoski - click here to see the Japanese website featuring comprehensive information which Knoski has posted on Yamaguchi. (use the Google translation feature in Chrome to get instant translation)

4. completed the basic details of the 1920 - 1937 and 1937 - 1938 pages, moving on to the 1938 - 1943 page. 

3. added the new page 1937 - 1938, based on a close reading of the new translation of Yamaguchi's memoir by UH Press (see  Books link for more details on this book).  

2. updated my remarks on Buruma's Fiction Novel page.

1. added close to fifty pictures to the Knoski Photos page



to be continued: