TV Asahi is producing a drama special about the life of Yoshiko Kawashima, a Manchu princess who became a spy for the Kwantung Army and was eventually executed by the Chinese government (Wikipedia link here). Her story was partly responsible for the coining of the phrase ‘danso no reijin’ (‘beauty in male attire’), referring to her inclination to dress as a man. Though Kawashima has been depicted in various media throughout the years, including TV Asahi’s ‘Ruten no Ouhi’ in 2003 (where Kawashima was played by Makiko Esumi), this will be the first television dramatization focusing on her life.
The drama, currently titled ‘Danso no Reijin ~Kawashima Yoshiko no Shogai~,’ stars young actress Meisa Kuroki. Kuroki, who prepared for the part with lessons in Chinese and horseback riding, will play Kawashima between the ages of 14 and 35. Yuki Yagi is taking over for the childhood scenes, and Miki Maya is acting out the later stages of Kawashima’s life.
Filming started in mid-April. TV Asahi plans to broadcast the drama by the end of this year.
Prior to this special, Meisa will be in the Fuji TV drama, “Kaze no Garden,” which is set to air from October to December.