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Qiu Jin
Born (1875-11-08)8 November 1875
Died 15 July 1907(1907-07-15) (aged 31)
Cause of death
Political party
Spouse(s) Wang Tingjun (王廷鈞)
Children Wang Yuande (王沅德)
Wang Guifen (王桂芬)
Parents Qiu Xinhou (秋信候)
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Qiu.

Qiu Jin (Chinese: 秋瑾; pinyin: Qiū Jǐn; November 8, 1875 – July 15, 1907), courtesy names Xuanqing (Chinese: 璿卿; pinyin: Xuánqīng) and Jingxiong (simplified Chinese: 竞雄; traditional Chinese: 競雄; pinyin: Jìngxióng), sobriquet Jianhu Nüxia (simplified Chinese: 鉴湖女侠; traditional Chinese: 鑑湖女俠; pinyin: Jiànhú Nǚxiá; literally: "Woman Knight of Mirror Lake"), was a Chinese revolutionary, feminist and writer. She was executed after a failed uprising against the Qing Dynasty. She is considered a national heroine in China.


Wax figure of Qiu Jin at her desk.

Born in Xiamen, Fujian, Qiu grew up in her ancestral home, Shanyin Village, Shaoxing, Zhejiang. During an unhappy marriage, Qiu came into contact with new ideas. She became a member of the Triads, who at the time advocated the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty and restoration of Han Chinese governance. In 1903 she decided to travel overseas and study in Japan, leaving her two children behind. Arriving in Japan in 1904, she first entered a Japanese language school in Surugadai, then later transferred to the Girls' Practical School in Kōjimachi, run by Shimoda Utako.[1] Qiu was fond of martial arts, and known by her acquaintances for wearing Western male dress and for her nationalist, anti-Manchu ideology. She joined the anti-Qing society Guangfuhui, led by Cai Yuanpei, which in 1905 joined together with a variety of overseas Chinese revolutionary groups to form the Tongmenghui, led by Sun Yat-sen. Qiu was charged with responsibility for Zhejiang Province within this Revolutionary Alliance. The Chinese overseas students were divided between those who wanted an immediate return to China to join the ongoing revolution, and those who wanted to stay in Japan to prepare for the future. Qiu allied unquestioningly with the former group. At a meeting of Zhejiang students to debate the issue, she thrust a dagger into the podium and declared, "If I return to the motherland, surrender to the Manchu barbarians, and deceive the Han people, stab me with this dagger!" In 1906 she thus returned to China along with some 2,000 other students.[2]

Whilst still based in Tokyo, Qiu edited a journal by herself entitled Vernacular Journal (Baihua Bao). The journal published a number of issues using vernacular Chinese as a medium of revolutionary propaganda. In one issue, Qiu wrote a manifesto entitled "A Respectful Proclamation to China's 200 Million Women Comrades", in which she lamented the problems caused by bound feet and oppressive marriages, Qiu herself having suffered from both. She explained this in her article and received an overwhelmingly sympathetic response from her readers.[3]

Qiu felt that a better future for women lay under a Western-type government instead of the Qing government that was in power at the time. She joined forces with her cousin Xu Xilin and together they worked to unite many secret revolutionary societies to work together for the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty.

She was an eloquent orator who spoke out for women's rights, such as the freedom to marry, freedom of education, and abolishment of the practice of foot binding. In 1906 she founded a radical women's journal with another female poet, Xu Zihua, called China Women's News (Zhongguo nü bao), though it published only two issues before it was closed by the authorities.[4] In 1907 she became head of the Datong school in Shaoxing, ostensibly a school for sport teachers, but really intended for the military training of revolutionaries.

On July 6, 1907 Xu Xilin was caught by the authorities before a scheduled uprising in Anqing. He confessed his involvement under interrogation and was executed. Immediately after, on July 12, the authorities arrested Qiu at the school for girls where she was a principal. She was tortured but refused to admit her involvement in the plot, but they found incriminating documents and a few days later she was publicly beheaded in her home village, Shanyin, at the age of 31. Qiu was acknowledged immediately by the revolutionaries as a heroine and martyr, and she became a symbol of women's independence in China.

The entrance to her former residence in Shaoxing, which is now a museum.

Qiu was immortalised in the Republic of China's popular consciousness and literature after her death. She is now buried beside West Lake in Hangzhou. The People's Republic of China established a museum for her in Shaoxing, named Qiu Jin's Former Residence (绍兴秋瑾故居).

Her life has been portrayed in two films: one, simply entitled Qiu Jin, was released in 1983 and directed by Xie Jin;[5][6] the second was released in 2011, entitled Jing Xiong Nüxia Qiu Jin (竞雄女侠秋瑾), or The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake, and directed by Herman Yau.[7]

Literary works[edit]

While Qiu is mainly remembered in the West as revolutionary and feminist, one aspect of her life that gets overlooked is her poetry and essays, though owing to her early death, they are not great in number. Having received an exceptional education in classical literature, reflected in her writing of more traditional poetry (shi and ci) Qiu composed verse with a wide range of metaphors and allusions; mixing classical mythology along with revolutionary rhetoric.

For example, in a poem Ayscough translates as, Capping Rhymes with Sir Shih Ching From Sun's Root Land (147) we read the following:

Chinese English [8]


Don't tell me women are not the stuff of heroes,
I alone rode over the East Sea's winds for ten thousand leagues.
My poetic thoughts ever expand, like a sail between ocean and heaven.
I dreamed of your three islands, all gems, all dazzling with moonlight.
I grieve to think of the bronze camels, guardians of China, lost in thorns.
Ashamed, I have done nothing; not one victory to my name.
I simply make my war horse sweat. Grieving over my native land
hurts my heart. So tell me; how can I spend these days here?
A guest enjoying your spring winds?

Editors Sun Chang and Saussy (642) explain the metaphors as follows:

line 4: "Your islands" translates "sandao," literally "three islands," referring to Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu, while omitting Hokkaido - an old fashion way of referring to Japan.
line 6: ... the conditions of the bronze camels, symbolic guardians placed before the imperial palace, is traditionally considered to reflect the state of health of the ruling dynasty. But in Qiu's poetry, it reflects instead the state of health of China.

On leaving Beijing for Japan, she wrote a poem summarizing her life until that point:

Chinese English [9]


Sun and moon have no light left, earth is dark;
Our women's world is sunk so deep, who can help us?
Jewelry sold to pay this trip across the seas,
Cut off from my family I leave my native land.
Unbinding my feet I clean out a thousand years of poison,
With heated heart arouse all women's spirits.
Alas, this delicate kerchief here
Is half stained with blood, and half with tears.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ono, Kazuko (1989). Chinese Women in a Century of Revolution, 1850-1950. Stanford University Press. p. 61. ISBN 9780804714976. 
  2. ^ Ono, Kazuko (1989). Chinese Women in a Century of Revolution, 1850-1950. Stanford University Press. pp. 61–62. ISBN 9780804714976. 
  3. ^ Ono, Kazuko (1989). Chinese Women in a Century of Revolution, 1850-1950. Stanford University Press. pp. 62–63. ISBN 9780804714976. 
  4. ^ Fincher, Leta Hong (2014). Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China. London, New York: Zed Books. p. 123. ISBN 978-1-78032-921-5. 
  5. ^ Browne, Nick; Pickowicz, Paul G.; Yau, Esther (eds.). New Chinese Cinemas: Forms, Identities, Politics. Cambridge University Press. p. 33. ISBN 0 521 44877 8. 
  6. ^ Kuhn, Annette; Radstone, Susannah (eds.). The Women's Companion to International Film. University of California Press. p. 434. ISBN 0520088794. 
  7. ^ "SEE RANK The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake on IMDb". http://www.imdb.com. IMDb. 
  8. ^ translated by Zachary Jean Chartkoff
  9. ^ Spence, Jonathan D. (1981). The Gate of Heavenly Peace. Penguin Books. p. 85. 
  • Ayscough, Florence. Chinese Women: yesterday & to-day. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. (1937)
  • Sun Chang, Kang-i and Haun Saussy (eds) Women writers of traditional China: an anthology of poetry and criticism. Charles Kwong, associate editor; Anthony C. Yu and Yu-kung Kao, consulting editors. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press. (1999)

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qiu_Jin — Please support Wikipedia.
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{鑑湖女俠} 秋謹 烈士 {Jianhu heroic lady} Qiu Jin Martyr


Tsai Chin - Qiu Jin 秋瑾蔡琴 1981

Thank you Tsai Chin so much for introducing me to Qiu Jin and all that she stood for. What an absolute privilege it has been to discover Qiu Jin, Wang Zhaoju...

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La critique : http://tinyurl.com/9zej36w via http://asiafilm.fr.

The Qiu Jin Project Teaser Trailer

This project explores the extraordinary life of the Chinese revolutionary heroine and women's rights activist Qiu Jin (1875 -- 1907).


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http://free2u.blogsome.com 丘進- Calvin Qiu Jin - 起飛的巨龍- Qi Fei De Ju Long Nice Classic Chinese Love Song with H Audio & Video.

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66 news items

New York Times

New York Times
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 01:33:33 -0700

In the early 20th century, as China was being carved up by foreign powers, the term was revived in reference to those who died for the modern nation state, such as the revolutionary Qiu Jin. But Kirk Denton, a professor of East Asian literature at Ohio ...
Mail & Guardian Online
Thu, 26 Jun 2014 14:56:15 -0700

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, writers such as Qiu Jin raged against footbinding and the denial of education to girls; Lin Zongsu sought female suffrage, while anarcho-feminist He-Yin Zhen tackled labour and sexuality in complex writings ...
Mon, 25 Jun 2012 17:00:00 -0700

Revolutionary Chinese heroine, feminist, and activist Qiu Jin founded a radical women's journal, attempted to overthrow the Qing Dynasty, and rallied for women's rights to marry freely and receive an education. After her own experiences with foot ...

Sun News Network

Sun News Network
Sat, 21 Dec 2013 13:21:44 -0800

Four of the thugs — Yi Qiu, Jin Zheng, An Chen and Liyao Chen — were arrested but the fifth was never found. When their trial began in 2012, only Yi Qiu and Jin Zheng showed up. After the two men were convicted, the judge commended them for sticking ...
Fri, 10 Feb 2012 05:56:01 -0800

Another first-class ticket was bought for Qiu Jin, a vice minister at the agency responsible for anti-espionage and covert operations to ensure state security. Wang, 52, oversaw a crackdown on gangs in the southwestern city of Chongqing that raised the ...
Film Business Asia
Fri, 25 Nov 2011 09:07:57 -0800

Gui Fu (Lam Suet), another Manchu official, is assigned to arrest poet and feminist Qiu Jin (Crystal Huang), an associate of Xu Xilin, at her home-cum-training school in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. Qiu Jin refuses to flee with her pupils and is only ...
The Virginian-Pilot
Thu, 18 Apr 2013 19:30:31 -0700

The Confucius Institute program will be administered by China Center director Qiu Jin and housed in Dragas Hall on the Norfolk campus. ODU will be paired with a partner school, Minzu University, in the western suburbs of Beijing. Minzu originally was ...
New York Times
Thu, 07 Jun 2012 17:39:09 -0700

A first-class ticket was also purchased for Qiu Jin, a vice minister of state security. There have been various stories about the evidence that Mr. Wang had gathered linking Ms. Gu to the death of Mr. Heywood, whose body was found Nov. 15 in a villa at ...

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