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Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I recently made the mistake of watching the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie. However, this won't be a review of that movie (don't see it). I wanted to explore one of the characters. No, nothing more on that Depp character. We all know about the Keith Richards thing. Smarter people than myself even suspect Depp's reference to Adam Ant (maybe the next historical craze, now that we've gone through Antoinette, Greek fighting boys and half-serious pirate, will be English highwaymen).
What I do want to point out is the female Asian pirate. The Chinese pirate who didn't get censored out of the movie by the Chinese government.
Credited as Mistress Ching and played by an American of Japanese extraction, Takayo Fischer nee Tsubouchi), I immediately suspected that this pirate was influenced by Zheng Yi Sao (or Zheng Shi in Wikipedia). A few years ago, this name appeared in a kid's pirate book, with only a snippet saying that she was active in the first half of the nineteenth century and that she commanded thousands in the South China Sea.
Growing up, like all little girls who want to grow up to pillage coastal towns and keelhaul insubordinate minions, I read up about my predecessors. In those days, the only female pirates who made it into the classical pirate canon were Anne Bonny and Mary Read. All other women in history, the books implied by omission, stayed home and baked strudels.
When I looked up Zheng this time, besides a Wikipedia page (and some cultural influences - she appeared in a Borges story), she was joined by other Chinese pirates with two x-chromosomes. Seven of them according to this list. This other list has three more to add to this roster.
Here's the total combined list, with possible redundancies and no standardization of romanization (I hate Wade-Giles):
Thanks for the wasp/hornet comment. I kinda felt bad jet spraying their nest down, but I didn't want to risk getting stung either. Cheers - LJ
Oh hey, about the comment on my 'ring' post... I sized my wedding and engagement rings 3 times before finding the right circumference. It does take a while for a ring to settle, especially if you've never wore one on a particular finger everyday, like, ever.Post a Comment