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Posted in: The China Lover See in context

I just caught this review of the awful fictionalized version of Ms. Yamaguchi's life by Ian Buruma. The comments by cogit8 above are dead on target. Despite Mr. Hadfield's occasional compliments, e.g. "strong singing voice", "what a woman", the putdown tone is evident throughout. Her American movies like House of Bamboo and Japanese War Bride (not mentioned by JH) were definitely not turkeys. And her own acting was excellent, as has been recognized by numerous critics. Moreover, her voice has been described as "magnificent" by others, an assessment that does her far more justice.

Perhaps more to the point, the review fails to recognize what cogit8 clearly points out. To try to capture Yamaguchi's incredible life through the accounts of 3 men who were probably unreliable in real life is an exercise in futility at best. But the book actually spends little time on her and far more on the personal sexual fantasies and/or adventures of these individuals, none of whom are portrayed in a particularly positive light. One has to question why Buruma even bothered writing the book inasmuch as so much is known about The Divine Yamaguch,i other than the obvious motive of making money.

A noted Japanese professor was asked his opinion about The China Lover at a tribute to Yamaguchi in April 2015. His one word response --- "Trash". That says it as succinctly as is needed.

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