20 février 2017

Meeting with Jacqueline Meyrier

French version Among the people who actually knew Shanghai 1930s, my recent meeting with Jacqueline Meyrier, the daughter of Consul General Jacques Meyrier, is a special one. We did had the opportunity to discuss with the 90 years old lady who specially came to Shanghai to celebrate her birthday after more than 67 years of absence. This unique event happened at the Villa Basset, the French Consul General residence. Villa Basset (last photo) is well-known by the French community in Shanghai as it is the place to celebrate the 14th of... [Lire la suite]

12 janvier 2017

French Concession police story

Version Française I just finished the memoirs of Joseph Shieh (Xue Gengxin 薛耕莘 in Chinese) written with help of French journalist Marie Holzman. This is actually the kind of readings that leaves you with dozens, not to say thousands of questions.  Hired by the Shanghai French Police in 1930, Joseph Shieh made his way through those troubled years marked by the control of gangs on the French Concession, the fierce fight between Communist Party and Kuomintang party and later the Japanese invasion. He ended his life in 2008 at... [Lire la suite]
29 novembre 2016

Da Ke Tang, my cup of tea!

Version Française Having tea in the “Da Ke Tang” is one of the most authentic experiences I had (and still have) in Shanghai. Da Ke Tang is an old Art Deco villa, which belonged to a top member of Chiang Kai Shek’s Kuomintang party in the 1930s. Hidden in the back of an alley on Xiangyang Road, this is the kind of place you would never find by accident. On the first time I went there, I could not believe my eyes: none of the original luxurious wood decoration had been changed. The floor, ceilings and door panels were all... [Lire la suite]
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23 novembre 2016

Shanghai butterfly

 Version Française  When recently flipping into Lynn Pan's wonderful book "Shanghai Style", I saw a picture of a lady sitting on the bumber of an elegant 1930s luxury car. She is gorgeous, staring at the photographer. She is dressed with Western clothes although she is undoubteddy Chinese and her hair is curled. She wears leather boots, in the maneer of an English Lady returning home after a fox hunt. This photo is the one of Hu Die, a prominent film star of Shanghai 1930s! Hu Die (meaning butterfly in Chinese) or Hu... [Lire la suite]
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30 janvier 2015

Albert Londres last reportage 1/2

Version Française Among my preferate books about Shanghai, Albert Londres "War in Shanghai" ranks top of the list. a series of articles written during the 1932 shanghai incident. Albert Londres came to shanghai between November 1931 and April 1932 to comment the events of the invasion of Manchuria by Japan. When he arrived, he was eventually caught in the first battle of Shanghai between Japanese Marine Corp and Chinese Republican Army. His report of these dramatic episode is a unique insight on Shanghai communities of the time at a... [Lire la suite]
30 janvier 2015

Albert Londres last reportage 2/2

Beginning of article In the heart of the action "The Asian madness has just struck Shanghai", he wirites on 31st January 1932. "War is in the streets!". Following the boycott of Japanese goods, the Empire of Japan Marine Corps suddenly launched its troops on Shanghai. This conflct will last one month and result in some 30000 dead among them two thirds are civilians. Albert Londres was staying in the Palace Hotel, opposite today's Peace Hotel, which made it easy to walk to war scene on  Broadway Avenue or the nearby French... [Lire la suite]

29 janvier 2015

Le dernier reportage d’Albert Londres (1/2)

English version Parmi les livres qui m’ont le plus inspiré dans ma quête du Shanghai d’hier et d’aujourd’hui, “La guerre à Shanghai”, recueil d’articles d’Albert Londres figure en bonne place. Le célèbre reporter est en effet venu a Shanghai entre Novembre 1931 et Avril 1932 afin de commenter les "événements" liés à l'invasion de la Manchourie par le Japon. A travers une série d’articles quotidiens particulierement vivants et bien documentés, on decouvre par le détail le Shanghai des années 30 avec un oeil neuf captant... [Lire la suite]
29 janvier 2015

Le dernier reportage d'Albert Londres (2/2)

Début de l'article Au coeur de l'action "La folie asiatique vient de toucher Shanghai, écrit-il le 31 Janvier 1932. La guerre est dans les rues". Suite au boycott des biens Japonais par la population locale, la Marine Japonaise vient en effet de lancer une offensive dans la ville. C'est le début d'un mois de conflit sanglant qui fera plus de 30000 morts dont les deux-tiers sont des civils. Descendu au Palace sur le Bund (en face du Peace Hotel actuel), notre journaliste peut se rendre facilement à pied à la fois sur... [Lire la suite]
09 janvier 2015

Shanghai tycoons 2/2 - Chinese

The republican elites After Chiang Kai Shek coup in 1927, it will not be long for the new rulers to take personal advantage of their links with finance in the fight against communism. Chiang himself had a couple of villas built in Shanghai for his wife and family. His brother in law and also finance minister of the Kuomintang, TV Soong,  and most of all the banker HH Kong who married one of the Soong sisters like Chiang largely used their positions to get richer. The minister of... [Lire la suite]
09 janvier 2015

Shanghai tycoons 1/2 - Westerners

Version Française You might already have noticed that I am fascinated by the glamour side of Shanghai 30's. No wonder then that I tell you today about the tycoons and the wealthy people of these years who gave the city some of its most beautiful buildings and landmarks. One question is to know how they got rich? Another one is who were they? I mean were they only some westerners coming into Shanghai to take advantage of the "Unfair Treaties" or were there also some Chinese among them to get the best of those golden years?... [Lire la suite]