top of page
  • Gordon Dumoulin

Known in China, little known beyond (7) - Kyoko Nakamura ไธญๆ‘ไบฌๅญ

๐˜๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜บ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜Š๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜—๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜บ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜Š๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ข, ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ-๐˜ฌ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜Š๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ข ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ-๐˜ถ๐˜ฑ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜—๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜บ (1921) ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜—๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜™๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ๐˜ถ๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ค ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜Š๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ข (1949) ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ๐˜ถ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฌ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ด โ€œ๐˜’๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜Š๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ข, ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅโ€

Two sets of clothes have been part of her closet since her youth; one is a Japanese kimono, the only present from her mother; the other is her Eighth Route Army uniform that she wore more than 70 years ago. ๐—ž๐˜†๐—ผ๐—ธ๐—ผ ๐—ก๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฎ๐—บ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฎ ไธญๆ‘ไบฌๅญ (91) was just 15 when she arrived from Japan at Jinzhou Nurse School, in Northeast China's Liaoning province in May 1945 (an area at the time still controlled by the Japanese army), to pursue her dreams of becoming a nurse. After 3 months, Japan surrendered to the allies, ending the occupation and the nursing school was taken over by the Eighth Route Army of the Communist Party. The 20 odd Japanese students were given two choices: Return to Japan, or join the Eighth Route Army. Nakamura weighed her options and joined the Eighth Route Army as nurse in the battlefields of the Liberation war.

In 1946, she was assigned as assistant of the famous ๐——๐—ฟ. ๐—›๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜€ ๐— ๐˜‚๐—ฒ๐—น๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๆฑ‰ๆ–ฏยท็ฑณๅ‹’. Dr. Mueller, born in Duesseldorf 1915 from a Jewish father, fled Germany duzing the Nazi era and studied Medicine at the University of Basel in Switzerland. In 1939, he left Switzerland for China, became related with Mao Zedong and started working as a doctor and medical teacher in the Eighth Route Army and Peopleโ€™s Liberation Army during the wars.

During this period, Nakamura admired Mueller's skills while Mueller was drawn to her intelligence and diligence. But at that time they were only comrades and Nakamura was soon transferred from the frontline hospital. However fate brought them together again two years later in a clinic in the suburbs of Tianjin. And the story goes that she overheard people asking him why he didnโ€™t get married as he was already 39 years. And he answered that he was in love with a Japanese girl. To much surprise for many, they got married in the spring of 1949, just before the founding of the Peopleโ€™s Republic of China. Their marriage left comrades confused, two โ€œdevilsโ€, German and Japanese getting married while both fighting with their hearts for the cause of the Peopleโ€™s Liberation Army. But praise, wedding gifts and congratulations came from all over China.

After the founding, they stayed in Beijing and got a daughter and son in the early 1950โ€™s. Nakamura continued to work as medical expert and Mueller worked as professor in different universities, including being Vice-President of the Beijing Medical University. In the early 1970โ€™s Zhou Enlai granted the family to visit Nakamuraโ€™s relatives in Japan and Mueller used this time to discuss the causes and diagnosis of Hepatitis B with Professor Nishioka. Upon return, he continued to research and developed the Hepatitis vaccine B in China for which he is especially known in China today.

While Mueller is more well-known in China than his wife Nakamura, remember following saying in China ๆฏๅ€‹ๆˆๅŠŸ็”ทไบบ็š„่ƒŒๅพŒ๏ผŒ้ƒฝๆœ‰ไธ€ๅ€‹ๅ‰ๅคง็š„ๅฅณไบบโ€œWhenever there is a successful man, there is always a great woman behind the scene.โ€

Her husband passed away in 1994 and Kyoko Nakamura is living in a Beijing hutong, their home since decades. Some of Muellerโ€™s last words to her: โ€œWe can have this kind of life today. It was given by the Communist Party. Over the years, what I believe most is the Communist Party. It's always for the people... After I die, you must stay in China and let my faith continue!"


Read other episodes of "Known in China, little known beyond" here :

Known in China, little known beyond (1) - Isabel Crook

Known in China, little known beyond (2) - Dwarkanath Kotnis

Known in China, little known beyond (3) - Edgar Snow

Known in China, little known beyond (4) - Anna Louise Strong

Known in China, little known beyond (5) - Rewi Alley

Known in China, little known beyond (6) - Nguyen Son


#china #chinesehistory #chinesesociety #cpc2021

32 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page