1943 Etern poster

Eternity (万世流芳), a controversial collaborative film effort between Japanese and Chinese filmmakers, was made in Japanese-occupied Shanghai in 1943.

Relating the story of Lin Zexu and the Anglo-Chinese First Opium War, the film was a Japanese attempt to produce an anti-Western film that would appeal to the occupied Chinese.

At war’s end, the film was considered a propaganda tool of the enemy, and many of its production staff left Shanghai due to the hostile environment.

The cast included the Chinese actor Chen Yunshang.

Chen Yunshang

Chen Yunsang


However, the major star of the film was the Manchuria-born Japanese actress Yoshiko Ōtaka who had previously appeared in several Chinese films using her Chinese name of Li Xianglan. In addition to acting, she was a popular singer with popular hits including the Candy-Peddling Song (賣糖歌) and Quitting (opium) Song (戒煙歌).  

Unlike her previous films, which were blatantly pro-Japanese, Eternity brought Li stardom, and entry into the mainstream Chinese film market.


Yamaguchi Yoshiko