Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Female Spies of China.

Not the current ones, although I'm sure there are some. No, the ones I'm referring to are from decades ago, when we could all root for the Chinese in good conscience.

From the Sandusky Register--yes, Sandusky, Ohio, I'm sure this originated from somewhere else, but I found it in the Register--26 Oct. 1894: 


She Got  Military Secrets From The Japanese Officers

Vancouver, B.C., Oct. 25.--Among advices by the Empress of Japan is news of the arrest at Hiroshima of a female spy, who gives her name as Otaia. She has been using her wiles with effect among Japanese officials, and had several of them at her back [sic] and call, with the result that she was piling up a magnificent load of information for wily old Ei Hung Chang, one of whose extensive household, it appears, she was a member. She is beautiful and accomplished in seductive arts, and as she spoke Japanese fluently, was admirably fitted for the work to which she was assigned. Her accent betrays her Chinese birth. The officers who have been paying for the smiles with military secrets will pay the penalty of their rashness.
The context for the preceding was of course the 1894-5 war between China and Japan over Korea.

Thirty years later, almost to the day, in the North-China Herald, 4 October 1924:
A Female Spy
On Saturday afternoon the Chapel police and military established a guard at the Settlement boundaries and examined women who tried to get out of the native section. They had earlier in the week arrest a woman tattooed on the breast, and assuming, perhaps not without good cause, that an organized band of female spies were at work, they tried to catch others, but it seems that the former victim was the only one to fall into the net. Reports to the effect that this woman had been paraded throughout Chapei for three days are absolutely false, though the woman was marched from the place of arrest to the police headquarters. This promenade probably gave rise to the other story.
The context for that article was Lu Rongting's attempt to to reacquire power in Jiangsu, and conflict between the forces of warlords in and around the Chapei/Zhabei section of Shanghai. 

No comments: