Monthly Archives: March 2014

Shhhhhh — It’s golden, it’s black.

A haunting love story a la Romeo and Juliet of the Orient A love that cannot be but a love that will grow old during the most devastating war in history.


Set against the backdrop of the Second World War/Sino-Japanese war (1931-1945), the story centres around the fatal love between a married Chinese woman and a young Japanese soldier. However, the fantastic tale is not as simple as its plot suggests. In the forties of the 20th century, one summer day, on the bending shore of the magical, eternal river Yangtze, a woman met a young stranger she falls in love with. But he can’t love her back, and she can’t love him if she would have known why he has come here to find her and what kind of cruel crime the young man has committed…

Butterfly is a modern fairy tale that explores passion beyond all forbidden boundaries and love tested to its limits to defy even death. Taking a stab at sensitive historical, social issues such as the Rape of Nanking, the question arises, what is love? Where is the salvation in all the heartlessness of mankind? Are we able to love, a deed that is so often taken for granted? Perhaps love is neither simple nor always pleasant or even inhuman. In the end the protagonists have to undergo a metamorphosis in order to be reunited again on the bank of the Yangtze river where they met seven decades ago.

Keywords: Crime/Thriller; China; World War II


The Aoyama Reien from the Meiji era is held by Tokyoites to be the most beautiful spot of the capital. In daylight hours, traces of incense from the burial ground lends a benign, impenetrable look to the colossal glass buildings lining up the streets, harmoniously mingling with the pale scent of flowers and hushed aromas of fresh pastry. Visitors to the graveyard would notice an old man of measured gait and unflustered guise taking to a quiet corner. For a few minutes he would sit still, lost in a remote ocean of memories. People assume he is talking to the dead, and if they could have heard his mind, they would catch these lines cited over and over. Ce toit tranquille, où marchent des colombes, entre les pins palpite, entre les tombes;Midi le juste y compose de feux. La mer, la mer, toujours recommencee…the sea in flames, that sea forever starting and re-starting. They watch him pull out a new sheet of paper. The rest of the day he shall not hear black crows cry, his pen scratching away on the grainy surface. He likes the fan shape of paper of his choice. It helps him remember that any storm in the world will pass, damp typhoon, destructive hurricane, cosmic cyclone, any brouhaha in the pantheon of weather, except a tickling summer breeze of memory that enters his heart like a billowing smooth waltz and tears it apart

Butterfly, a novel by Julie Oyang, p. 116

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A 17-year-old reveals my best kept secret

“…(English language) that can be sharp as a blade and gentle as a dove in one sentence. Not only the language is beautiful, but also the literature is amazing and never ending. I really want to explore the English literature more. It’s a pity it’s impossible, on the other hand it is also exciting that it’s a world too big to explore completely.”

A 17-year-old reader from Holland has made me cry today with these simple words. Being a writer is about giving hope. And today I received clover-scented hope like happy, little stars I can only imagine reaching out to collect —

Hey kid, you!

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Julie Oyang sending you her mosaic thought. Wishing you Happy International Women’s Day!

  Last Empress of China learning to cycle in the Forbidden City around findesiècle
                                                                                                 …………………………….“With both hands she held up the little bundle. Peeling open the wrapping with meticulous fingers, she took a deep smell like a mother worshipping her newborn. Large tear drops threaded down the crisscross of her face.

“I knew a place in Tokyo where they sold the best o-mochi in the world. When I was a young girl, I always went there to buy the rice cakes for our New Year’s celebration. Do you think we will see our home ever again, Maru-chan?”

Now it was my turn to feel like crying. I washed the lump in my throat down with a mouthful of tea.

“You want to know how I found you, obasan? I can tell you a terrific, sad story. If you want a happy ending, just tell me, and I can change it into a bad story, ” I said, making a poor effort to fend off our melancholy.

“I want a perfect ending. Or a sad ending, albeit a happy one. How a story ends gives meaning to how it began. Sumimasen. Tell me when did you arrive in China? Did you ask for permission to leave the camp? Do they treat you well? You can’t be an officer at your age…You are now…?”

“I will be eighteen in a couple of months. I’m with a special unit, intelligence is our task.”

“That sounds logical. Back then you told me you wanted to become a writer. Are writers intelligent people?”

“I should think it’s extremely improbable to call anyone who plods along with books intelligent these days. So I guess I changed my mind. I draw lines.”

I added quickly at her inquisitive expression, “We gather information of a new place before our large troop arrives. We make maps. It has been some time now since I got my first job.”

Madame K. looked at me briefly, touching her gingerly fingers to the rifle.

“Do you have to kill people to do what you do?

Butterfly, a novel by Julie Oyang, p123-124. Title available on Visit  for more info.


When I dare to be powerful! Where I dare to be powerful! How I dare to be powerful!”

Julie Oyang,

novelist & visual artist

Julie artwork (c)2014

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DIAL SEE FOR CHINA: THE ART OF MOVIE-MAKING IN PRC — reposting from m new blog about love, Chinese cinema and many more


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