I can’t help doing some research, since I know nothing about China in 1910s. ARSENAL MILITARY ACADEMY shows a Hollywood-style film industry complete with paparazzi reporters, which would have been more accurate in 1920s. Still, I learned that Shanghai was indeed known as the “Paris of the East”.

https://gbtimes.com/early-history-chinese-cinema

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    Thanks for the link, I looked up general history of the period but early Republic is overshadowed by Warlords era, so there isn’t a lot out there.
    Do you remember in what city it is supposed to take place?

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      It’s supposed to take place in Shenyang, which I don’t think was nearly as fashionable as Shanghai or as depicted in the drama.

      I looked it up on a map and it’s interestingly at the top of the Liadong Peninsula. Someone in the drama described the city as “The Gateway to China”, which makes sense since Japanese troops could invade from occupied Korea or Manchuria, and Russia and Japan had been vying for Port Arthur since the early 1900s. Strategically it’s an important place, and had growing industry, so it makes sense to set the drama there.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Port_Arthur

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        Thanks, I guessed the region correctly by historical importance but wasn’t sure about the city. Watching dramas as history nerd is painful 😉

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          Hehe, I think I jumped in my chair when I read “Liadong”, since it was under Gogoryeo contorl in ancient times, and became pivotal in the transition from Goryeo to Joseon, when Yi Seong Gye purposefully refused to reconquer it. Once again it was important i the 20th century. The drama only feeds us historical tidbits through conversations, but I’m eating them up.

          So yeah, I’m a happy history nerd.

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        BTW, have you heard of this book? https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23637733-manchu-princess-japanese-spy
        I read about Kawashima Yoshiko before in some articles, unbelievable crazy story.

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          I haven’t heard of this book. This is all new stuff for me! I wonder if they based Xiarong’s character on her to some degree.

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            Now that you mentioned it, it could be! But the real story is way, way more crazy (as it is usual with real life stories).

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    Many thanks for the link will read when I’m home.

    I wondered if Shanghai is close to Shunyuan (spelling?) cuz that is where the academy is at right? Shanghai is Manting’s hometown. Xiang Xiang is from Beijing. I believe Yanzhen too or is it Nanjing? And his father got relocated to Shunyuan? The Shen bros are from the town

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      The drama is set in Shenyang (they also call it Fengtian), which is actually just north of Korea! This was the “remote” north of China, the centre of the old Qing dynasty, and more dangerous since it’s closer to areas occupied by Japan. That’s why everyone’s puzzled that Xie Xiang would want to go to the academy there instead of staying in Beijing.

      Shanghai is further south and it was the culture and fashion hub. Manting’s home is Shenyang, but we have seen how she struggles to find work there.

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