University of Hawai'i Press

In the 1920s and 1930s, Chinese adapted scouting, which had originally been developed to masculinize British youth as future colonial troops. While Chinese families and teachers valued scouting as a form of outdoor recreation, Chiang Kai-shek and the Guomindang after 1927 connected scouting to preparation for military training. In addition to fostering masculinity among boys, the Chinese Scouting Association also directed Girl Scouts with new models of patriotic girlhood. The Guomindang promoted the distinct femininity of the Girl Scouts and channeled girls’ patriotism into nursing. As China entered World War II, Girl Scouts became significant symbols of patriotism in an increasingly militarized children’s culture. The Guomindang showcased Yang Huimin, a Girl Scout and heroine in the Battle of Sihang Warehouse, as a spokesperson for the Nationalist cause, but it could not fully control her public image.


Girl Scouts, scouting, gender roles, China, World War II [End Page 364]

Note: Many of the cartoons that are mentioned but not pictured in this article may be viewed online in the December 2014 issue of the Cross-Currents e-journal at

On the cover of the 1926 issue of Children’s World, a young Chinese boy salutes girls who are marching in step (figure 1). With rounded features and swinging movements, the children appear almost doll-like in an idyllic setting on the cover of this magazine for elite children. The children don scouting uniforms, and the boy carries the long stick typically used by Boy Scouts. This image raises questions about the militarization of children’s culture in the politically tense environment of the 1920s. Would child’s play retreat to an imaginary garden or confront an approaching war front? Could girls and boys salute each other in a shared youth culture, or would they march separately along a gender divide? This article explores the ways in which the Chinese Scouting Association aimed to prepare children for the realities of war by promoting heroes and creating rituals in the years leading to the Second Sino-Japanese War.

The Chinese Scouting Association sanctioned the militarization of childhood, which diversified the range of gender expression among children in China. Age provides a useful category of gender analysis (Leow 2012), and scouting, as a childhood activity, may thus offer a new lens onto the shifting landscape of gender performativity in the 1920s and 1930s. At a time when Western and Japanese imperialism presented an affront to indigenous masculinity, Chinese women could embrace a greater range of gender expression (Luo 2008). The images of the “androgynous” Chinese female soldier and the “sexualized” Modern Girl also influenced a younger generation, growing up in the 1920s, who would become Girl Scouts by the outbreak of war in 1937.1 Through the Chinese Scouting Association, the Guomindang (GMD) aimed to shape these influences on Girl Scouts and to promote a model heroine like Yang Huimin, a Girl Scout and courageous participant in the Battle of Sihang Warehouse, as a spokesperson for the Chinese war effort, both at home and abroad. By studying the Chinese Scouting Association, we gain insight into Nationalist mobilization—especially via the militarization of children’s culture, from camping and parades in the 1920s to wartime service in the late 1930s—to galvanize support for the nation during the War of Resistance. [End Page 365]

Figure 1. Cover of Ertong Shijie [Children’s world], 1926 (18: 20).
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Figure 1.

Cover of Ertong Shijie [Children’s world], 1926 (18: 20).

[End Page 366]


Scouting raises questions about the ways that military training, designed for colonial rule, could be adapted for youth and translated across nations. Scouting emerged in the context of movements to promote “physical culture” among youth for national defense (Brownell 1985, 18; Macleod 1983). Chinese scout leaders implicitly acknowledged the colonial origins of the Boy Scout movement in founder Sir Robert Baden-Powell’s response to the Boer War (e.g., Begbie 1935, 184; Liu 1938, 11). Nevertheless, scout leaders in the 1920s argued that, as a form of preparatory training, scouting should not be considered military service (SB 1922a); thus, the logic of age differentiation was powerful enough to convince some Chinese that scouting was distinct from soldiering.

Despite scouting’s connection to imperialism, missionaries could also export it abroad to promote national self-defense among colonized or indigenous peoples. In the movement for “muscular Christianity,” YMCAs founded Boy Scout troops to masculinize boys through recreation in the rugged outdoors.2 Christians established the first Chinese Boy Scout troop in 1912, and participation in Boy Scouts became available in most mission universities and schools in China by 1915.3 By 1922, Christian missionaries promoted scouting as a form of leadership training for both boys and girls (Flynt 1997, 176; Rawlinson and Thoburn 1922, 561). Ironically, because imperialism posed an affront to indigenous masculine power in China, Chinese reformers imported Western forms of physical training to improve China’s position in among its global competitors (Morris 2004, 12).

The early development of Chinese Scouts was directly tied to the influx of students returning from Western treaty ports. For example, the president and secretary of the first Chinese American Boy Scout troop (in New York) eventually moved to China to serve the Chinese Boy Scouts in Canton (Kemp 1920, 196; Norden 1918, 95). Educational psychologist Chen Heqin (1892–1982) was one of the first scout leaders of the New York troop during his studies at Columbia Teachers College, and he likewise brought scouting practices to China upon his return in 1919. Americans had lauded the Chinese American Boy Scouts as a triumph in race equality among patriotic Americans (Norden 1918, 95), but Chen presented the racially segregated troop as a way to connect Chinese Americans to Chinese culture (H. Chen [1943] 1993, 33). [End Page 367] Likewise, one of Chen’s Scouts praised Chen as a bridge to his “ancestral homeland.”4 Scouting thus facilitated a dimension of what political scientist Chan Sucheng terms “Chinese-American transnationalism” (2006, ix–x).

Like Chen Heqin, female Chinese student Zhang Zhaonan returned to China with information about Girl Guides after studying abroad in England.5 When Zhang returned to China in 1919, she published a series of articles about Girl Guides. In addition to founding a Chinese Girl Scout troop in Shanghai, Zhang also established the Shanghai Girl Scout Educational Research Society to study the biology of physical recreation and to publicize the Girl Scouts (C. Liu 1935, 3; G. Chen 1932b, 24). Early statistics about membership in the Girl Scouts are scarce (with competing claims about the “first” troops established in China) because of issues about recognition by international organizations (see G. Chen 1932a, 22; NYT 1934). In the late 1930s, the government began to register each scout, and by 1946, the total number had risen to 315,776 (of whom over 3,100 were girls).6

Because troops began locally, they enjoyed a great deal of individual autonomy in the “experimental phase” of scouting history before 1927 (Shen [1939] 1947, 1). Individual Girl Scout troops could elect to join the Chinese Scouting Association (e.g., C. Liu 1935, 4). Affiliated Girl Scout troops could attend Boy Scout meetings and activities. Yet their affiliation with the Boy Scouts was always somewhat contentious (e.g., SB 1923m). According to article 8 of the 1933 General Rules of Chinese Scouting, Girl Scouts were to adhere to a different set of regulations than Boy Scouts (Guomin zhengfu 1933; see also Cai 1999, 292). The outright exclusion of girls from the Boy Scouts could easily be denounced as a statement about the weaknesses of the fairer sex (Ling Long 1933a)—an unpopular argument when women so closely embodied the Chinese nation (Chow 1991, 170). Even within the Girl Scout movement, scout leaders maintained gender norms when they argued that Girl Scouts should learn to keep house and train to become good wives and wise mothers (e.g., Yan 1934, 101).

As this brief introduction indicates, the Chinese Girl Scouts originated from sources—like missionary groups—very different in orientation from those that gave rise to the androgynous “woman soldier.” According to comparative literature scholar Lydia Liu, “women warriors” had to “reject their female identity in a suicidal manner to become Chinese and fight for the [End Page 368] nation” (L. Liu 1995, 208). Despite the differences between the model female soldier and the relatively well-off girls in China’s treaty ports, the example of women warriors did help to promote the idea that girls could enjoy physical recreation, sports education, and even military training (SB 1923o; Y. Gao 2013; Judge 2001, 788). Because of the anti-imperialistic drive to liberate women, gender complicated the Chinese Boy Scouts’ masculine mission to protect China’s national territory.


Scouting, which began as a distinctly masculinizing organization for young men in Western-style universities in China, expanded in terms of gender and age in the first decade of the Republic, with boys as young as eight and girls as young as eleven entering troops (SB 1922h).7 The segregation of troops by age was part of a larger trend to nurture children and to protect them from age-inappropriate demands (Bai 2005, 150–175). Citing the Ministry of Education’s goals for primary school students, educator Shen Leiyu (b. 1891) explained that scouting would help to achieve the goal of improving children’s psychological well-being (Shen [1939] 1947, 65). By emphasizing age-appropriate learning, educators were also countering parental fears about military training.

Scout leaders claimed that the Chinese term for “scout,” tongzijun, literally “youth soldier,” was a misnomer because it emphasized militarization (e.g., SB 1922a). Parents misunderstood the nature of scouting because the Chinese translation included the character for jun, or “military” (Shen [1939] 1947, 6). In response to parental concerns about military recruitment, scout leaders insisted that scouting trained children to enjoy recreational activities, such as camping. This logic ignored the imperialistic dimensions of camping, evidenced by Girl Scouts crying out to be like Christopher Columbus discovering new territory, for example (C. Ke 1937, 53), or the dangers of camping during the political turmoil of the warlord era (NYT 1926).

One vocal champion of camping was scout leader Cao Yongfang, whose specialty was advertised as “playing dead” (SB 1924g). Cao represented the Boy Scouts in a meeting in Sweden (SB 1924hi), and in his manuals he drew from sources like Robert Baden-Powell’s Scouting for Boys (Cao and Zhang 1928, 3). [End Page 369] Cao emphasized scouting’s connection to the great outdoors (Cao and Zhang 1928, 1). According to Cao, recreation increased physical and mental agility by training scouts to develop special skills (1928, 5). Cao’s arguments reflect advertisements for scouting, often found in elementary civics textbooks, that invited young boys to navigate the great outdoors.

If camping were presumed to be a natural activity, the inclusion of Girl Scouts complicated the morality of an innocent pastime. Because Girl Scout troops participated in Boy Scout meetings and camping trips (e.g., SB 1922c, SB 1923b, SB 1923j), Chinese scouts were careful to expel any rumors of cohabitation. For example, the Shanghai News reported that Girl Scouts from Shanghai’s Patriotic Girls’ School slept separately from boys when attending a provincial Boy Scout meeting in Suzhou (e.g., SB 1923i, SB 1923k). Pictorial magazines also routinely depicted wholesome photographs of ruddy young Girl Scouts camping in exclusively female company (Zhongguo daguan tuhua nianlan 1930ae; Wu 1930, 27; 1934, 17; Huang Jianhao 1935, 22; Tuhua Shibao 1935, 1042; Xingqiliu 1936ac). When Shanghai News reported that the Scouting Association’s goals were especially tailored to the nature of children (Ch. yinghe ertong tianxing; SB 1922e), the language of childhood reinforced the notion that such activities were sexually innocent. With such rhetoric, the Scouting Association was perhaps reassuring parents about the propriety of allowing daughters to camp away from home.

If sexual propriety circumscribed girls’ freedom to camp, so too did concerns about female biology. At a time when Chinese female sports experts needed to prove scientifically that women could exercise during menstruation (Y. Gao 2013, 33), scout leaders like Liu Chengqing reassured parents that female campers would receive special consideration during their menstrual cycles and a greater degree of attention to hygiene in general (C. Liu 1935, 6; Shen [1939] 1947, 65). Officer of the Chinese Scouting Association Yang Kejing (1896–1974) thus allowed for gender segregation despite a commitment to gender equity (C. Liu 1935, 1, 7). Scout leaders were perhaps responding to critics who had argued that translations of Robert Baden-Powell’s Girl Scout manual were inappropriate for Chinese girls because the author was neither female nor Chinese (Pan 1931, 91; e.g., Baden-Powell 1932). Scout leaders thus promoted a form of gender equality while also preserving a degree of gender segregation based on assumptions of biological difference.

Even though troops were gender-segregated, girls and boys learned, for [End Page 370] the most part, exactly the same camping skills. When it came to tasks like tying knots or kindling a fire (Fan 1935b, 72), Girl Scout manuals simply recycled lessons verbatim, showing children how to “learn by doing” (Shen [1939] 1947, 71, 73; see also C. Liu 1935, 6; Boy Scouts of America 1911, 255). By including training in outdoor cooking and child rearing (e.g., Shen [1939] 1947, 80), the Boy Scouts implicitly de-gendered domestic skills (Culp 2007, 188). Likewise, both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were taught a civic duty to guide fellow citizens. In figure 2, we can see that Girl Scout manuals sometimes featured girls rather than boys in illustrations directing good behavior.

Figure 2. In a revised edition of Boy Scout manual, prepared for Girl Scouts, a scout offers a seat to an elderly woman..
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Figure 2.

In a revised edition of Xiaoliu Fan’s 1935 Boy Scout manual, prepared for Girl Scouts, a scout offers a seat to an elderly woman.

Public rituals, like flag ceremonies and parades, were an integral part of scouting culture and helped to promote civic duty and national pride. Military drills displayed male prowess (Hinsch 2013, 139), and athletic schools included formations in athletic competitions to shake off the image of the “sick man of Asia” (Shao 2004, 164; see also SB 1923d, 1924e). Rituals reinforced the dignity of both scout leaders and scouts (C. Liu 1935, 20) and presumably commanded the respect of audiences. Nationwide conferences helped to determine standards for manuals, uniforms, and scouting badges (SB 1922e, 1923c; Shen [1939] 1947, 56), and thus to create a national community. The participation of Chinese scouts in world meetings indicated China’s inclusion in the international community (Cao and Zhang 1928, 2).

The most graphic difference between Boy Scout and Girl Scout manuals [End Page 371] is the gendered dimension of the illustrations. In both cases, those who need help are inevitably female, as in U.S. manuals (Boy Scouts of America 1911, 251, 237). When a rescued woman wears a cheongsam (Chinese dress), the manual does not change the illustration, perhaps because the uniforms sufficiently distinguish the scout, whether male or female (Fan 1935b, 87). Boy Scout manuals sometimes copied illustrations from foreign texts (e.g., Cao 1928, 97; Boy Scouts of America 1911, 6). When artists redrew Girl Scout illustrations, they had the opportunity to render the figures to appear somewhat more distinctively Chinese.


Historian Gao Yunxiang argues that, in the 1920s and 1930s, female athletes and physical education teachers helped to promote a new aesthetic of “robust beauty” no less feminine than thinness and pallor (2013, 63–65). In keeping with these trends, Chinese periodicals like Sports Weekly devoted a series of articles to the Girl Scouts in 1932. These trends allowed girls, especially in new athletic schools, to exhibit their strength and beauty in the public arena, through print culture and film productions (e.g., SB 1922d, 1923fh; Jingxiu Huang 1929, 3). In 1922, the Star Motion Picture Company filmed a newsreel of Girl Scouts from the Patriotic Girls’ School and the East Asian Physical Education School dancing and performing martial arts, long jump, and flag ceremonies (SB 1922h).8 Photographs of Girl Scouts were circulated and recirculated in women’s pictorial magazines to promote physical recreation, but no doubt also for the visual appeal of the young, athletic girls themselves.9

Although uniforms often appear as androgynous or even masculinizing, these photographs indicate a diverse range of Girl Scout uniforms—from pantaloons (e.g., Lin 1935, 1) to skirts (e.g., S. Xu 1933, 6; Dang tongzijun cilingbu yuekan 1929, 4). Skirts on Girl Scouts are especially striking when juxtaposed with photographs of troops of female soldiers in pants (e.g., Shangbao huakan 1932, 2). In part because exposed skin was considered provocative, sports uniforms could be deemed transgressive (Y. Gao 2013, 43). To counter possible objections, illustrations of Girl Scouts sometimes darkened the legs to suggest tights (and photographs indicate that many girls did, in [End Page 372] fact, wear tights under their skirts). At Chinese Scouting Association meetings, scout leaders discussed standards for Girl Scout uniforms (SB 1922f, 1923a). Regardless of national regulations, girls could bring their own flair to their appearance. Illustrations show the generic model Girl Scout with a permed bob, a sign of the subversive but almost ubiquitous “Modern Girl” (M. Dong 2008, 204), sometimes even legislated as a marker of prostitution (Y. Gao 2013, 75). Thus, Girl Scouts could mark themselves as feminine in ways that challenged socially conservative norms.

Public parades helped to galvanize Chinese citizens by displaying the vigor of Chinese youth (Liangyou 1930a, 6; Sheying huabao 1933a, 29). Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts participated in flag ceremonies to rally national patriotism (Liangyou 1930bc; Sheying huabao 1934). The government selected public places, such as sports facilities, to hold sports competitions and award ceremonies for scouts (Guomin zhengfu 1930–1942; SB 1922g, 1923l, 1923n). Girl Scouts as well as Boy Scouts stood guard at these athletic events, despite the tendency for girls and boys to compete in different events.10 Girl Scouts in particular usually stood guard for public events celebrating women or women’s organizations (e.g., SB 1931, 1934). When Suzhou held a parade honoring the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Girl Scouts in 1924, the organizers deliberately intended to elicit the praise of passersby (C. Liu 1935, 4). Public rituals were also integrated into the scouting curriculum.11

By “maintaining order” at large public events (e.g., SB 1927), Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts played an important role in rallying national patriotism. As China historian Jeffrey Wasserstrom has noted, Boy Scouts could also surreptitiously organize marches as a cover for May Fourth protests, as well as to maintain order and safety at protests (1991, 82–83). The duty to maintain order thus helped to put scouts at the forefront of patriotic public performances. Photographs, such as figure 3, show that Girl Scouts as well as Boy Scouts served as guards at the interment ceremony to bury Sun Yat-sen in Nanjing (see also X. Shi 1929, 2). Their public presence helped to propagate the image of the patriotic Chinese scout.

Even more than for their duties guarding public order or performing flag-raising ceremonies, scouts gained a reputation for patriotism on the basis of their service during the Japanese attacks on Shanghai. In 1932, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts aided the wounded in the wake of the Japanese bombing of Shanghai (e.g., Tang 1932, 27; Kangzheng: Waijiao pinglun 1932); as a [End Page 373] result, Chinese scouts gained a reputation for patriotism and military bravery (Jones 2011, 232). After 1932, China also began to celebrate Children’s Day to showcase hope for China’s future. In the wake of Japanese aggression, many middle-school students demanded military training in schools (Culp 2007, 199). The government responded to this upsurge in patriotic sentiment by asserting a greater degree of control over local scouting movements and overtly training scouts for wartime service.

Figure 3. Girl Scouts solemnly stand at attention as they maintain public order at the ceremony to inter Sun Yat-sen..
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Figure 3.

Girl Scouts solemnly stand at attention as they maintain public order at the ceremony to inter Sun Yat-sen.


In the Nanjing decade, the central government increasingly institutionalized the Boy Scouts as a subset of military education and preparation. According to 1919 guidelines, Chinese scouts were already subject to government regulation (Cai 1999, 291). In March 1926, the Guomindang’s Central Training Committee called for troops to join the Chinese Scouting Association. At the National Educational Association of 1928, in the wake of the Northern Expedition and the ascendency of Chiang Kai-shek, central government regulation [End Page 374] intensified (Q. Liu 2010, 14). As historian Robert Culp has noted, 1927 was a turning point for increasing interest in military education, among students, the state, and school administrators (2007, 198–199). In 1934, the Ministry of Education made scouting, under the auspices of the Central Training Committee, a requirement in all junior high schools (Culp 2007, 183).

The Central Training Committee thus aimed to expand its pool of soldiers by mandating scouting, but the requirement may have been limited to those privileged enough to attend school. Granted, charity schools also offered scouting (SB 1924bc), and scout leaders advertised widely in local newspapers for members (C. Liu 1935, 15). However, economics could constrain membership. Girl Scouts had to pay monthly membership fees to offset communal expenses for camping (C. Liu 1935, 44). While pocketknives and scouting manuals were relatively inexpensive, a Girl Scout uniform cost 12 yuan (SB 1924a). Chinese films, such as Playthings and San Mao, reinforced the stereotyped contrast between transient street urchins and middle-class Boy Scouts (Jones 2011, 145). Ideally, according to one college professor in that era, camping trips would allow Chinese youth to witness rural poverty and thereby to “understand the sufferings of the people” (in Cao 1937, 1).

As historian Duan Ruicong (2013) has pointed out, Chiang Kai-shek saw scouting as preparation and recruitment for the military. Chiang wrote in his diary on June 17, 1932, “Today’s national defense needs to be based on education and economics, and the foundation of education is elementary school. Elementary school especially needs to be centered on the Boy Scouts” (in Duan 2013, 3). Chiang Kai-shek thus envisioned the Chinese Boy Scouts as a feeder institution to the Youth Corps and eventually the Chinese army. Thus, in contrast to its status as a mere extracurricular activity in the United States, scouting was perceived by Chiang to be the cornerstone of political education and military training in China.

Despite Chiang’s focus on military preparation, local school administrators continued to describe scouting as a form of physical education. In 1934, the director of the Shanghai East Asian Scout Training Facility explained scouting requirements in terms of physical education (M. Chen 1934). The missionary-run Shung Tak Baptist School for Girls included scouting as part of its weekly physical education requirements (Marlowe 1932). Private schools like Shung Tak needed to comply with requirements to obtain the state certification necessary to grant credentials to their students. These examples [End Page 375] attest to the difference between Chiang Kai-shek’s focus on militarized discipline and the local schools’ emphasis on physical education. Students also certainly created their own perspectives on scouting and citizenship (Culp 2007, 2). Nevertheless, some schools reported “scoutification” (Ch. tongzijun shenghuohua; see Anqing Nütong Xiaokan 1935a, 37) and thus acknowledged that scouting represented a new type of culture.

Chiang Kai-shek’s ideals provided the basis for Guomindang indoctrination in scouting manuals and magazines. In need of heroes (Shen [1939] 1947, 23), scouts honored the “heroic character” of Sun Yat-sen as the founding father of the party (Fan 1935a, 19–24; 1935c, 9–12). Boy and Girl Scout manuals appear nearly identical in terms of patriotic Nationalist elements, such as instructions for flag ceremonies (Fan 1935a, 30; 1935b, 63) and the party song (Fan 1935a, 49; 1935b, 68). Both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts would help to “rejuvenate the Chinese folk” (Ch. fuxing zhonghua minzu; e.g. Fan 1935c, 1) and save China from foreign imperialism through Nationalist revolution.

In keeping with Chiang Kai-shek’s relationship to the Third Reich, the Chinese Scouting Association began, in the late 1930s, to point to Germany as a model. In the preface to a scouting manual, educational psychologist Liao Shicheng (also known as Sze-chen Liao, 1892–1970) recalled that during his studies in the United States, his German teacher taught him to appreciate hiking into ravines and singing until sunset (in Cao 1937, 1). Professor of religious education Jiang Yizhen (also known as Newton Chiang, 1900–1983) wrote, “Camping skills are the scouts’ glad tidings; they brought modern Germany out of the depths of fire and water” (in Cao 1937, 3). In 1943, Chiang would report to the New York Times that Chinese Girl Scouts “did real ‘scouting,’ hunting out Japanese camps” (NYT 1943c). Scouting strengthened children and inculcated discipline (Chu 1936, 12).

Especially during the New Life Movement, scouting also reinforced traditional values, such as sincerity and filial duty (Shen [1939] 1947, 45), an overt goal of government scouting regulations (Guomin zhengfu 1933). Boy Scouts thus helped to inculcate civic-mindedness among junior high school students, while also introducing modern skills (Culp 2007, 178). By integrating cognition with practice, pro-scouting educators, such as Chen Heqin and Liao Shicheng, were helping to strengthen Chiang Kai-shek’s role as head of the Boy Scouts and promoter of self-discipline in the context of [End Page 376] national “rejuvenation” (Fan 1935a, 10–11, 32; Shen [1939] 1947, 9). This pedagogical move was compatible with Chiang’s own Confucian philosophical appreciation for the “unity of knowledge and action” (Ch. zhi xing he yi; see Wakeman 1973, 238).

Scouting manuals also encouraged loyalty to Chiang Kai-shek as national head of the Chinese Scouting Association. Scouting manuals were published by the loyal Huangpu Clique’s publishing house, the Zhengzhong Shuju, as well as by the Chinese General Boy Scout Headquarters.13 Chiang spoke at Boy Scout meetings, wrote for Boy Scout circulars, and met with Boy Scouts (Wan 1930). Girl Scouts celebrated the Generalissimo’s birthday (L. Feng 1936, 1), and Boy Scouts saluted him. Thus, Chiang Kai-shek promoted veneration of his own military leadership, in keeping with his success in cultivating a base of support among young cadets in the Whompoa Military Academy.

Like her husband, Madame Chiang Kai-shek patronized the Girl Scouts, who were integral to her war orphanages (Billingham 1936). On Children’s Day, Madame Chiang awarded red ribbons to scouts (Guomin zhengfu 1931–1941), who wore them as prizes (Guomin zhengfu 1930–1942). In conjunction with the New Life Movement, the government celebrated the twenty-ninth anniversary of International Women’s Day with a parade that included Girl Scouts; publicity photographs showed Madame Chiang pinning badges to a girl’s uniform and adjusting a girl’s cap (Jiang n.d.). The Chiangs thus cultivated personal loyalty among children through the Chinese Scouting Association.


Despite a similar emphasis on Nationalist revolution for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the significance of revolution was different for Girl Scouts, because gender equality was more central to their identity and mission. Although many manuals were non-gender-specific, manuals directed specifically to Girl Scouts expended much greater effort to integrate them into a global and historical context. Boys’ manuals provided fewer examples of romantic military heroes (e.g., Fan 1935a, 67; compare with the “modern knight” of the Boy Scouts of America 1911, 237) and perhaps assumed that literary representations of military heroes already dominated the imaginations of young men [End Page 377] (e.g., Yeh 1998, 120–121). Girl Scouts, far more than Boy Scouts, needed to justify their organization as socially legitimate by presenting the historical and social contexts that allowed girls to transgress gender norms in order to serve the state.

The New Elementary Girl Scout Reader connected modern Girl Scouts with female heroes of the past and around the world. As Culp has noted, the choice of heroines reflected Guomindang directives; thus, for example, Florence Nightingale was used to encourage nursing among girls (Fan 1935b, 75; Culp 2007, 202). Following trends since the turn of the century (see Judge 2001, 798; Mann 2000, 846–847), The New Elementary Girl Scout Reader ranked the historical soldier Hua Mulan among international military heroines and scouts such as Sacajawea, Laura Secord, and Grace Darling (e.g., Fan 1935b, 27–28). Some female soldiers, such as Xie Bingying, expressed a desire “to carry on the tradition of Hua Mulan” to liberate China (Gilmartin 1995, 189). The textbook provoked what we might cheekily call a “Mulan complex” by asking girls, at the end of the lesson, a series of questions connecting these heroines to the modern Girl Scout movement (Fan 1935b, 35–36). The textbook thus created a lineage of heroines for the girls to emulate. Women’s magazines reinforced an imagined community of Girl Scouts by photographing and identifying individual Girl Scouts and scout leaders by name (e.g., Jindai funü 1928, 5; Liangyou 1928, 26; Y. Huang 1928, 31; W. Zhang 1934, 21; Jing 1930, 2; R. Yang 1930, 1).

Although scouting remained dominated by boys (Shen [1939] 1947, 1),14 that very male dominance pushed some girls to prove themselves. Taking for granted the overwhelmingly masculine culture of scouting (even while acknowledging the contributions of Girl Scouts), leaders addressed scouts as “brothers” in general scouting meetings (e.g., G. Xu 1937, 8). After a meeting in Hangzhou, one Girl Scout complained about the lack of female participation when she wrote: “Do we female compatriots really have no social standing? Or is it that we are not as capable as men?” (J. Zhang 1938, 13). She implied that Chinese girls needed to earn social standing by serving the war front. Although aiming at equal representation, she claimed that the work “most suited” to female compatriots was the care of wounded soldiers (J. Zhang 1938, 12).

The Central Training Division tended to emphasize girls’ roles in medical services and boys’ roles in military services (J. Liu 2010, 18; Culp 2007, 202–203). [End Page 378] The Chinese Girl Scouts categorized female medical personnel in the Red Cross during the European Great War as “Girl Scouts” (Fan 1935b, 75). Boy Scout manuals also praised the service of Girl Scouts as nurses (Fan 1935a, 17). In competitions, Girl Scouts practiced bandaging the wounded. They also demonstrated, in choreographed performances, how to carry the wounded off the battlefield. Early training in sweeping the streets (e.g., F. Yang 1936) prepared girls to survey the damage of war and to clean the battlefield. As historian Nicola Spakowski (2009) has argued, cleaning the battlefield and tending the wounded were the most arduous tasks and fell to those with the least authority—young women. In this way, participation in the Girl Scouts helped prepare young women for demanding work as nurses.


Having argued that membership in the Boy Scouts should not be considered a form of military service, scout leaders then made special exceptions for scouts to serve in the military as China entered the war in 1937 (Shen [1939] 1947, 3). Scouts alluded to the experiences of the European Great War to indicate that China was following a global trend in allowing children to serve during “extraordinary times” (e.g., G. Xu 1937, 8). Prominent educator Zhang Zonglin edited The Wartime Reader with illustrations of grenades and warplanes overhead. Scout manuals included lyrics for children to sing that they were the “small troops of China.” In 1937, the Chinese General Boy Scout Headquarters began to publish the magazine Wartime Scouts each Saturday as reference material to guide Wartime Service Scouts. In the inaugural issue, the editor directly asked “little friends” to “rise up! Rise up! Rise up!” to volunteer their services to the war effort (NYT 1937b). Wartime Scouts insisted that patriotism transcended divisions of gender and age.

Nevertheless, journalists in Wartime Scouts maintained age restrictions to protect very young children from direct military combat. The magazine reminded children that they needed to be at least twelve to join the Boy Scouts officially (G. Xu 1937, 8). Only scouts fifteen or older could join paramilitary troops (Zhanshi tongzijun 1937a, 17). Given the difficulty the Nationalist Army had in conscripting soldiers (Landdeck 2014), such efforts to protect overzealous youngsters from direct military combat were remarkable. Instead, the army enlisted children as laborers during the war (Plum 2012, 250–253). [End Page 379] Soldiers also told children that the army was retreating from the Japanese in part because of a lack of proper supplies, and the army thus needed scouts to procure provisions and materials rather than to serve as soldiers on the front line (Zhanshi tongzijun 1938a, 3). These messages reinforced scouting manuals, which quoted Sun Yat-sen on the importance of production (Shen [1939] 1947, 69). According to Wartime Scouts, industrial work thus constituted as much of a contribution as armed combat, and was deemed more age-appropriate for children.

One major focus of wartime propaganda was the battle of August 14, 1937, in which Japanese forces heavily bombed the Chinese-controlled areas of Shanghai. A reporter for Wartime Scouts claimed that 2,700 scouts aided the Chinese effort during the Battle of Shanghai, a number repeated by other estimates (Lü 1937, 13). Scouts voiced their heroic desire to sacrifice everything, including “the security of careers and family,” to “shed blood” on the battlefield (Cang 1938, 3). Indeed, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts sometimes went missing in action during their rescue work (SB 1937).

One Girl Scout, twenty-two-year-old Yang Huimin (1915–1992), left her native Nanjing to join the Shanghai Wartime Service Scouts (Xia 1939, 43). She crossed enemy fire to provide a Nationalist flag and supplies to soldiers in the Sihang Warehouse. At the time, Yang Huimin’s brother, Yang Ruifu, was serving as second-in-command of the “lone heroes” who were left behind as civilians and the rest of the army retreated to safety (Harmsen 2013, 203). Impressed by Yang Huimin’s courage, the soldiers flew the Chinese flag over the Sihang Warehouse, in full view of the members of the International Settlement (which remained safe from Japanese attack). The small unit of soldiers projected itself as a full battalion (numbering eight hundred) in order to help ward off the advancement of the Japanese troops. Chinese applauded the heroism of the “lone heroes” to protect the retreating civilians and expected the incident to elicit sympathy from around the world (Yun 1938, 341).

Made famous by their heroism during the Battle of Shanghai, the Yangs became spokespeople for the Nationalist war effort. After the battle, the Yang siblings called for volunteers (e.g., SB 1938b) and were celebrated in the press (Xian shibao 1938, 5). A journalist visited Yang Ruifu, who had been injured in the line of duty, with the express purpose of finding and interviewing his sister the Girl Scout (Y. Shi 1935, 5). With her extraordinary bravery, Yang [End Page 380] Huimin quickly overshadowed her brother. Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek noted her contributions (Chiang 1938, 12), and Madame Chiang gave Yang Huimin a special award in recognition of her valor (Zhanshi tongzijun 1940, 12; L. Huang 1946). Appearing also on magazine covers with movie stars (Kangzhan huabao 1937b), Yang Huimin became something of a celebrity.

In the pages of Wartime Scouting and other journals, Yang Huimin herself recalled the events of the Battle of Shanghai. Even though government officers encouraged her to retreat to safety, Yang had maintained her determination to serve and was permitted to help solicit contributions (H. Yang 1938a, 7) along with the rest of her troop (Zhanshi tongzijun 1938b); the commanding officer allowed her to go to the front (H. Yang 1939b, 35). Likewise, when a soldier offered her a gun on the battlefront, she eagerly shot a round of bullets until an officer commanded her to return inside to safety (H. Yang 1938b, 7). Even though Yang modestly acknowledged that she did not know if she had hit any Japanese troops (H. Yang 1938b, 7), her actions followed a pattern; she consistently sought permission from reluctant officials to serve in dangerous positions.

Because of the paramilitary affiliation of the Wartime Service Scouts, Yang’s uniform signaled that she had a legitimate role to play. She later recalled, “He [the officer] perhaps thought I was the wrong person, but once he saw that I was wearing a scout uniform, he carefully listened to what I had to say” (H. Yang 1939b, 36). She then quoted her conversations with the commanding officer, in which she announced that she was number 44 in the First Shanghai Wartime Service Scout Troop (H. Yang 1939b, 36). Her official status as a scout gave her a legitimate voice. Like Xie Bingying before her, Yang Huimin tended to refer to her uniform in her memoirs; she later recalled that she had not even noticed that her Girl Scout uniform was soaked through, because she was so busy talking with the soldiers (H. Yang 1938b, 7). By focusing on the uniform, Yang directed attention to her role rather than to herself. The uniform allowed young girls to mimic the trappings of heroism. In reenacting the role of Yang Huimin, regular girls probably wore Girl Scout uniforms when they repeated Yang’s lines, agreeing with her “good brothers” about the need to sacrifice for the nation (T. Xu 1938, 48).

Yang focused primarily on the bravery of her good brothers rather than her own. “When the heroes saw me arrive,” she wrote, “they were full of [End Page 381] smiles as they spoke freely with me about the cowardice of the Japanese troops” (H. Yang 1938b, 7). Her role is a bit more prominent in that statement than the reader might at first recognize, especially since she also wrote, “When my brothers saw me like this, their courage increased” (H. Yang 1938b, 7). For her part, Yang was delighted to be called a “compatriot” by the soldiers (Yang 1938b, 7). Thus, Yang highlighted the way that her presence helped to galvanize the regular troops. Nationalists sought to sustain that effect through media representations. Her photograph, in uniform, was juxtaposed against the embers smoldering under the warehouse, and her image thus became emblematic of the Battle of Shanghai (e.g., Kangzhan huabao 1937a, 10).

Yang self-consciously took up the mantle of spokesperson for the Chinese war effort abroad. New York’s Chinatown greeted her with a public parade, and Chinese Americans spent eight thousand dollars welcoming representatives from China (Funü wenxian 1939b, 43). The Chinese news media marveled at the “hundreds of thousands of Americans” who listened to Yang’s speeches (W. Gao 1939, 15). Yang personally met Eleanor Roosevelt, who presided over the Second World Congress of Youth (Chun 1947, 8; W. Gao 1939, 17; Funü wenxian 1939b, 43). In the United States, Yang was heralded as a Girl Guide and war “veteran”—the only representative at the Second World Congress of Youth to have a head shot displayed in the New York Times (NYT 1938d). In this head shot, she wears a cheongsam that contrasts with portraits of her languid pose in uniform. The Chinese press also noted that American newspapers had published her photograph, covered her story (e.g., Nan 1938, 1), and interviewed her on the radio despite her limited English (W. Gao 1939, 15). Afterward, Yang and the other Girl Scouts went on a goodwill tour of the United States (NYT 1938e). Yang also traveled across Europe in 1939 (Gang 1939, 5; Funü wenxian 1939a, 41).

In her travels, Yang continued the scouting practice of soliciting funds for the Chinese war effort (e.g., Waibu zhoukan 1935, 26; Anqing Nüzhong Xiaokan 1935b, 42; Liushengji 1938, 1; Zhu and Ye 1934). In the United States, she helped raise twenty-five thousand dollars (Funü wenxian 1939b, 44), and she continued to collect money for the war effort while on tour in Holland (Kangzhan yaoxun 1939, 5). Extending the notion of Chinese American transnationalism, Yang included Chinese Americans in the category of “children of China” who needed to struggle for the Nationalist [End Page 382] revolution (H. Yang 1939a, 2). Chinese applauded Chinese Americans for supporting the war effort (Funü shenghuo 1935, 1), often through monetary contributions (NYT 1937a). In the United States, Chinese American Girl Scouts sang the Chinese national anthem, “Sanmin zhuyi,” at a wartime fundraiser headed by award-winning novelist Pearl S. Buck (NYT 1941). When U.S. Girl Scouts raised sixteen hundred dollars in aid for the Chinese cause, Chinese Girl Scouts used the funds to distribute relief through the Chinese Red Cross (Zhongguo hongshizihui huiwu tongxun 1941). In China, Girl Scouts personally distributed rice to those too weak to collect aid (Dongfang huakan 1941, 8; Liangyou 1941, 24).

Girl Scouts like Yang Huimin conveyed an image of international friendship and peace. When Yang attended the Second World Congress of Youth in 1938, it was as one of six representatives of China. Although the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America boycotted the meeting because it included representatives from Communist countries (NYT 1938ab), the Girl Scouts, the American YMCA, the Chinese YMCA, and the Chinese Student Christian Association all sent participants (NYT 1937e; World Youth Conference, 1938, 39–40). The White House also supported the event (NYT 1938c). With an explicit message of peace, delegates suggested an oil embargo against Japan (World Youth Conference 1938, 7). Yang recounted to Americans the horrors of war (W. Gao 1939, 16) and reported that Chinese scouts saved both Chinese and Japanese wounded (Nan 1938, 1). Perhaps because many in the United States were still aiming to avoid war, the American press also emphasized the ability of Chinese and Japanese—Girl Scouts, at least—to get along while camping in the United States (NYT 1937bc).

China accepted some of these messages of global friendship, but turned the discourse toward an argument in favor of China’s inclusion in the global community, in contrast to Japan’s self-imposed exile. Yang told Chinese audiences that she felt moved by the friendship and sympathy that she felt from other representatives, and the pride that she felt when the Chinese flag was flown (Funü wenxian 1939b, 43). After she returned to China, Yang relayed the highlights of the World Youth Congress to journalists there (Funü wenxian 1939b, 43). In contrast to her stance in the United States, however, Yang emphasized the heroism of martyrs in the Chinese press. Like the American press, Chinese journals reported the shared goals of civic training among Chinese and Japanese Girl Scouts (D. Zhang 1937, 40–41), [End Page 383] but Japanese membership had already begun to wane because of pressures to join national youth groups (Kage 2010, 28). Demonstrating China’s global engagement in contrast to Japanese isolationism, in 1943, Madame Chiang toured the United States and was received by Chinese American Boy and Girl Scouts (NYT 1943a). Thus, Chinese references to Japanese scouts occurred at a time when Japan was turning instead to overtly Fascist organizations—and this may have been one reason the Guomindang continued the Boy Scouts despite also creating (often for an older demographic) the Three People’s Principles Youth Corps (Ch. Sanminzhuyi Qingniantuan).

As a Girl Scout, Yang Huimin was associated, perhaps too freely, with the YMCA and wartime relief measures. The magazine Outlook reproduced a photograph of Yang dressed in her uniform, greeting a child amid a crowd of listeners, and asserted that Yang was then “in the U.S.A. presiding [over] the world YMCA” (Zhanwang 1939, 9). The U.S. Girl Scouts did hold a world meeting in 1947, which professor of religious education Jiang Yizhen, then in the United States, attended (Zhongguo tongzijun zonghui gongbao, 1947a; NYT 1943b). Perhaps because of the association between scouting and Christianity, Yang distanced herself from Christianity by explaining that she was never a believer, not even when she was on the battlefront (H. Yan 1939b, 35).

Yang continued to fulfill her duties as a patriotic Girl Scout in China. She upheld traditional female norms by serving as a nurse tending the wounded, according to her duties in the Shanghai Wartime Service Scouts (Chiang 1938, 12), although she announced that she wished she could, instead, engage in real military combat (H. Yang 1938c, 15). Her preferences may have contributed to her allegedly lackluster performance as a nurse (L. Huang 1946, 4). Beyond this functional role, she played a symbolic role in reminding audiences about the bravery of Guomindang soldiers in the Battle of Shanghai. Yang toured unoccupied China to rally support for the resistance (Kangzhan yaoxun 1939), making special appearances at Boy Scout meetings (e.g., SB 1938c). During the battle itself, soldiers had written calligraphy on handkerchiefs to give her as souvenirs, and those mementos continued to remind her of their bravery in the face of battle (H. Yang 1939b, 37).

The Battle of Sihang Warehouse was memorialized in drama and films about the incident, including a 1938 propaganda film by director Ying Yunwei called Eight Hundred Heroes (sometimes translated as The Lone Battalion) [End Page 384]

Figure 4. A newspaper captures a moment from the film Eight Hundred Heroes, in which Chen Boer plays Yang Huimin dressed in a Girl Scout uniform..
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Figure 4.

A newspaper captures a moment from the film Eight Hundred Heroes, in which Chen Boer plays Yang Huimin dressed in a Girl Scout uniform.

(Zang 1939, 26). The film depicts Yang Huimin swimming across Suzhou Creek in a scene that showcased the new aesthetic of female robustness (Y. Gao 2013, 215). In the movie, Yang solemnly salutes the Chinese soldiers and leads them in a procession for the flag-raising ceremony (figure 4). Because Yang left for the United States before the production of the film, the director was not able to interview her about her actions, and thus the film is not a wholly or strictly accurate portrayal of the events; Yang had not in fact swum to the warehouse across Suzhou Creek with the flag as the film depicted. In keeping with her personal modesty, Yang protested that she did not consider herself as brave as the film suggested her to be (H. Yang 1939b, 36). As Yang implicitly acknowledged, the director had designed the Suzhou Creek scene to exaggerate Yang’s valor for propaganda purposes; the choice of swimming drew on popular associations linking swimming with both middle-class femininity and the Girl Scouts. Despite her corrections to the scene, Yang Huimin appeared with female swim champion Yang Xiuqiong (Li 1938, 28) [End Page 385] in articles advertising the film (e.g., Kangzhan huabao 1937a, 10). Yang Huimin also appeared against the backdrop of historical photographs of the battlefield; the juxtaposition of the actors and the Yang siblings highlighted the film’s basis in real-life events.

The government capitalized on the Battle of Shanghai for national and international audiences. News articles about the incident emphasize the admiration with which foreigners viewed the heroic Chinese resistance (Zhanshi tongzijun 1937b, 5). Promotions for the film were multilingual, in English, French, Russian, and Chinese (e.g., Zang 1939, 26), and the flag-raising scene closes by panning out to a multinational audience saluting the flag of the Republic of China. The film was screened both domestically and abroad in order to rally support for the Chinese defense against Japan (Johnson 2012, 163). After watching Eight Hundred Heroes, an American Girl Scout wrote to establish a correspondence between her troop and the Chinese Girl Scouts (Tongzijun jiaoxuezuo 1945, 16). Thus, the Nationalist Party also tapped into the international nature of the scouting movement to help bolster support abroad. In the film narrative of Eight Hundred Heroes, the Girl Scout much more clearly instigates the flag-raising ritual and march than was the case on the synchronic cover of Children’s World; in both cases, however, the Girl Scout salutes her brothers, aligning them in a common cause.

Nationalist propaganda emphasized Yang Huimin’s “girlhood,” in terms of both gender and age, to highlight further her extraordinary contributions and dedication to the war effort. Yang herself drew attention to her “girlhood” in ways that would bolster both Chinese emancipation and women’s liberation. During his interviews with Yang on Believe It or Not!, Robert Ripley noted that she was a gentle and lovely Chinese girl “who could not weigh more than ninety pounds” (W. Gao 1939, 16); her physical delicacy and affinity for flowers contrasted with her valor (Sheng 1946, 5). At twenty-two years of age during the Battle of Shanghai, Yang nevertheless called herself “a weak little girl,” who “naturally did her best to sacrifice herself for her nation” because “saving the country does not differentiate between men and women, nor between old and young” (H. Yang 1938c, 15). She also exhorted the Chinese government to increase its military education of China’s youth (X. Feng 1939, 21). Thus, Yang may have allowed her image as a weak girl to be manipulated for the Chinese war effort, but she also implicitly argued that equality among citizens was necessary to obtain national salvation. [End Page 386]

The Chinese press reported that Yang represented the model of the Chinese “New Woman” in the United States (Nan 1938, 1). She was featured among other modern women in wartime China (Zhanwang 1939, 9). According to Yang, during her travels, she also witnessed the way that women in other countries had emancipated themselves (H. Yang 1940, 30). Using her newfound international perspective to critique the women’s movement in China, Yang argued that Chinese women were too attracted to “weak beauty” instead of “robust beauty” (H. Yang 1940, 31). She criticized “Westernized” Chinese women for sleeping in and wearing cosmetics, and thus associated women’s liberation with a virtuous lifestyle and national patriotism (H. Yang 1940, 31–32). Although her union of physical and spiritual emancipation for national ends thus echoed Chiang Kai-shek’s New Life Movement, Yang shifted her emphasis from weak girlhood to strong womanhood in part as a result of her increasing maturity and international experience.


It is perhaps overly facile to point to wartime mobilization as the singular factor that militarized children’s culture in the years preceding the War of Resistance. Despite assurances to parents about the difference between recreation and military training, already implicit in camping and maintaining public order was a drive to train children to protect national territory. Chinese drew on international trends, first inspired by British colonial experiences in the Boer War, to invigorate and strengthen children. The participation of girls complicated this mission with issues of sexual propriety and female protection, but the exclusion of girls would have undermined the Guomindang commitment to revolution and anti-imperialism. Given the Guomindang’s suspicion of radical youth (Huang Jianli 1996, 191), the Chinese Girl Scouts may have seemed a relatively safe place to foster and unleash militaristic impulses among Chinese girls.

The example of Yang Huimin indicates some of the tensions in the Guomindang idealization of the Girl Scout. The Chinese Scouting Association aimed to preserve gender difference, especially when encouraging girls to serve as nurses rather than armed soldiers. Nationalist propaganda emphasized girlhood because the poignancy of girls’ sacrifices made them [End Page 387] especially helpful models. It was her distinctiveness that allowed the Chinese Girl Scout to stand out in military culture. Ironically, the Chinese Girl Scout was also more universally recognizable as a part of a global institution (NYT 1937d); she thus especially appealed to Western audiences because scouting indicated China’s continued commitment to international cooperation, in contrast to Japan. Yang played with images of female weakness and military strength for her own ends, and she implied that the Chinese Girl Scouts’ national distinctiveness did not mean marginality on the world stage, nor did their institutional similarities mean conformity to American pressures to avoid war.

The Guomindang showcased Yang in part as an answer to the need to create new heroines for girls, but the championing of particular models could also be problematic. Yang readily accepted her role as a “weak little girl” who encouraged her “good brothers” and galvanized audiences. Yet, like many Chinese women who recognized “egalitarianism as sameness rather than difference” (Finnane 1999, 16), Yang pushed for opportunities to engage in armed combat and passively endured her assignment as a nurse. Once vaunted for her mobility for war mobilization and lauded for escaping the clutches of the Japanese (Ting 1939, 7), Yang began to incur suspicion as the war wore on. In 1942, Yang Huimin was thrown into military prison under suspicion of colluding with the enemy (Chun 1947, 8; Haixing 1946, 1; SB 1946). Actress Hu Die, the mistress of secret service head Dai Li, accused Yang of robbery (Lao 1946, 3). Although Yang was eventually acquitted in 1946 (Shanghai texie 1946, 7; SB 1946), some members of the press denigrated her character (L. Huang 1946, 4), and others expressed surprise that an innocent and brave child had grown into a criminal (Zhou 1946, 3). Because she had so publically represented the Guomindang war effort, these accusations may have also tarnished the party’s credibility.

Especially in her capacity as a spokesperson for the Chinese cause, Yang’s contribution was primarily ritualistic. In fact, she was celebrated for presenting a flag as part of a nationalistic ritual, often performed by scouts. Uniforms, flags, and salutes formed Yang’s staple vocabulary. As in the case of children’s play, ritual and symbol created a world of meaning for scouts (Chudacoff 2007). Rituals, such as choreographed demonstrations of troops carrying the wounded off the field, helped prepare Girl Scouts for the harsh realities of war. Scouting rituals invited children to decode and to navigate [End Page 388] wartime experiences through the lens of patriotism, so much so that they could interpret military withdrawal as a grand defense of national territory in the Sihang Warehouse. Such ritualistic symbols were, of course, intended to inspire civilians, including children, to contribute to the war effort, both within and alongside the formal military. Thus, the case of the Chinese Girl Scouts should also help us reconsider “militarization,” not only as a mechanism that prompted children to enter the military services but also as a set of tropes to help them understand the war and their own roles within it.

Margaret Mih Tillman
Purdue University
Margaret Mih Tillman

margaret mih tillman is assistant professor of history at Purdue University. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the joint Berkeley-CASS conference “The Military and Militarization in Wartime China” (UC Berkeley, September 2013). The author would like to thank Duan Ruicong, Joshua Howard, Liu Wennan, Beatrice Schraa, Hoyt Cleveland Tillman, and the two anonymous Cross-Currents reviewers for their input on drafts of this paper, and Liu Ching-cheng and Wu Ya-ting for first suggesting this topic.


1. For more on the Chinese “Modern Girl,” see Tani Barlow (2008) and Madeleine Dong (2008). For more on androgyny and the female soldier, see Antonia Finnane (1999) and Christina Gilmartin (1995).

2. Concerned about the “feminization” of Protestantism and the sedentary idleness of urban youth at home in the West, Christians established YMCAs to promote “muscular Christianity” (Putney 2003, 6). Muscular Christianity dovetailed with missionary rhetoric that characterized Chinese as “the sick man of Asia,” in need of sports and physical training (Morris 2004). Christian missionaries attributed the liveliness of a new generation of Chinese boys to outdoor camping and scouting (Sparham 1920, 52) and defined scouting in terms of outdoor recreation to appeal to Chinese (Clark 1917, 502).

3. In China, the YMCA played an important role in establishing Boy Scouts (Culp 2007, 178–179; Wasserstrom 1991, 34), especially YMCAs that were originally affiliated with local foreign Boy Scouts (see SB 1916a-b). Chinese Christians traced the Chinese origins of Boy Scouts to the boys club established by Reverend Yan Jialin (also known as Yen Chia-lin), in conjunction with the YMCA, in 1912 in the city of Wuchang (Fan 1935a, 57). G. S. Kemp, principal of Boone University, was also a scout leader in Wuchang (Kemp 1920, 196). On the occasion of the 1915 Far Eastern Games, the first national meeting of Chinese Boy Scouts was held (Kemp 1920, 197). As a result of the 1915 meeting, major missionary universities established Boy Scout troops (Kemp 1920, 197). [End Page 389] Scouting thus developed in conjunction with the rise of physical education in schools. Responding to Chinese pressure, Christian missionaries allowed the Boy Scouts to be “open to every class and religion” (Kemp 1920, 199–200).

4. Li “returned” to China to teach engineering. Fellow scout Hong Weileng became a professor at Yenching University in Beijing, and another scout, Li Zhaochang, became a professor of Chinese language at the University of Hawaii (see H. Chen [1942] 1993).

5. Many early Chinese manuals referred specifically to “Girl Guides,” following the British system (e.g., SB 1924f); in the United States, Girl Scouts were also originally called “Girl Guides” due to British influences (Rothschild 1981, 116). Girl Guides were more hierarchical than the Campfire Girls. Chinese scout leaders reported that in 1912, Sir Robert Baden-Powell and his sister Agnes published a manual entitled How Girls Can Help to Build Up the Empire. Chinese observers noted that these renewed efforts of the Girl Guides coincided with the induction of English princesses to the organization (G. Chen 1932b, 24; Shen [1939] 1947, 65). Chinese Scouts thus insinuated the imperialistic implications of the scouting movement in ways that stressed nationalistic rather than religious connections.

6. For the registration and numbers of scouts, see records publicized by the Chinese Scouting Association; for example, Zhongguo tongzijun zonghui gongbao (1947b-c). For registration forms, see, for example, Hubeisheng zhengfu gongbao (1935).

7. Scouting drew on international trends for “child-centered” education by providing an age-graded scale of activities for scouts. Boys entered Cub Scouts between eight and twelve years of age; Boy Scouts between twelve and fifteen years of age; and Eagle Scouts (Ch. qingnian tongzijun) after the age of eighteen (Guomin zhengfu 1933; also see Fan 19365b, 16. For girls, Brownie Scouts began before the age of eleven; Girl Scouts between eleven and sixteen years of age; and Eagle Scouts after the age of sixteen (Shen [1939] 1947, 5). In addition, “Naval Scouts” welcomed children fourteen and older. These regulations dovetailed with contemporary educational trends for age appropriate learning.

8. For more on the Star (Mingxing) Motion Picture Company, see X. Huang (2009).

9. For example, see entries in Ling Long [“Elegant and fine”] (1933b-i; 1934); Tuhua shibao (1928, 575); Sheying huabao 1933c. Yingjin Zhang notes that Liangyou helped to commodify and aestheticize the female body in the late 1920s and early 1930s (2007, 123); see especially her analysis of portraits of female athletes as a reflection of new standards for female robustness (Y. Zhang 2007, 145–149). For the recirculation of stock images, compare, for example, Dazhong huabao (1934, 37) and Ling Long (1933d); compare Lu Shidong (1935a) and Lu Shidong (1935b, 11); Sheying huabao credited Ling Long (1933b, 16).

10. For further visual examples of scouts standing guard, see also Tuhua shibao (1930, 1); Xuexiao shenghuo (1930, 27), and Jiankang jiating (1937, 12). Most events were also gender-specific; for example, girls danced (SB 1922b), and there was also more mention of girls swimming in water-based competitions (e.g., SB 1923p, 1924d, 1924h). Because of its muscle-stretching (rather than muscle-bunching) effects, swimming was considered [End Page 390] an especially feminine activity (Y. Gao 2013, 171), as well as especially middle-class activity (Y. Gao 2013, 168, 200). Two-legged racing was also gender-specific rather than co-ed (SB 1923e), for obvious reasons. In a spread on the “Inspection of Jiangsu scouts,” the pictorial magazine The Young Companion showed young Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts lined up for review together, but reading and talking in separate tents (C. Chen 1931, 34).

11. Children’s textbooks depicted illustrations of Boy Scouts marching in parades, led by Boy and Girl Scouts holding the national and party flags, among crowds of urban onlookers. In one children’s textbook, which Princeton’s Cotsen Children’s Collection dates to the 1930s, students learned to write a letter to their grandparents, featured alongside an illustration of marching Boy Scouts (Ertong xin chi du n.d., 38). The letter writer actually describes his father’s departure, but the illustration reinforces his stance as a patriotic young man, one who is ready to replace his father on the front lines. The textbook thus uses the patriotism of youth to galvanize an older generation.


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Duan Ruicong. 2013. “Jiang Jieshi yu kangzhan chuqi zongdongyuan tizhi zhi guojian.” [Chiang Kai-shek and the construction of the general mobilization system in the early stage of the anti-Japanese war]. Paper presented at “The Military and Militarization in Republican China” conference, University of California, Berkeley, September.
Ertong Shijie [Children’s world]. 1926. 18 (20): cover.
Ertong xin chi du [Children’s new letter writing textbook]. n.d. N.p.: Shijie shuju [World bookstore].
Fan Xiaoliu, ed. 1935a. Xinbian tongzijun chuji kecheng [New elementary scouting reader]. Shanghai: Ererwu tongzijun shubao yongpinshe.
———. 1935b. Xinbian nütongzijun chuji kecheng [New elementary Girl Scout reader] Shanghai: Erer tongzijun shubao yongpin she.
———. 1935c. Xinbian tongzijun zhongji kecheng [New intermediate scouting reader]. Shanghai: Ererwu tongzijun shubao yongpinshe.
Feng Lin. 1936. “Jiang Weiyuanzhang shouchen jiaxing nütongjun shi mian zhushou” [Girl Scouts celebrate the Generalissimo’s birthday with a meal]. Zhejiang Qingnian [Zhejiang youth] 3 (2): 1.
Feng Xi. 1939. “Oufang Yang Huimin Nüshi” [Interview with Yang Huimin]. Funü shenghuo [Women’s life] 7 (6): 21.
Feng’an dadian xiezhen [Portraits of the ceremony to inter Sun Yat-sen]. 1929. “Weichi zhixu zhi nütongjun” [Girl Scouts maintaining security]. 7: 45.
Finnane, Antonia. 1999. “What Should Chinese Women Wear?” In Dress, Sex, and Text in Chinese Culture, edited by Antonia Finnane and Anne McLaren, 3–36. Clayton, Victoria: Monash Asia Institute.
Flynt, Wayne. 1997. Taking Christianity to China: Alabama Missionaries in the Middle Kingdom, 1850–1950. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.
Funü shenghuo [Women’s life]. 1935. “Huaqiao nütongjun chufa kangdi xuanchuan zhi qian” [Chinese American support for the War of Resistance]. 5 (9): 1.
Funü wenxian [Women’s reader]. 1939a. “Kangzhan funü dongtai: Bali huanying Yang Huimin” [Women in the War of Resistance: Paris welcomes Yang Huimin]. 1: 41.
———. 1939b. “Nütongjun Yang Humin fanguo” [Girl Scout Yang Huimin returns to China]. 2: 46–48.
Gang Zhong. 1939. “Di sishiyi hao nütongjun Yang Huimin” [Yang Huimin of the No. 44 Girl Scout troop]. Kangzhan yaoxun [Bulletin on resisting Japanese aggression] 48: 5.
Gao Wenda. 1939. “Yang Humin zai Meiguo” [Yang Huimin in the United States]. Qingnian tuanjie [Trans-Pacific news service]. 1 (7): 15–17. [End Page 393]
Gao, Yunxiang. 2013. Sporting Gender: Women Athletes and Celebrity-Making during China’s Nationalist Crisis, 1931–45. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.
Guomin zhengfu [National government]. 1930–1942. “Zhongguo Tongzijun huodong an” [Activities of the Chinese Scouting Association]. Academia Historica, 001-094972-0001.
———. 1931–1941. “Ertongjie an” [Children’s day]. 001-051616-0023.
———. 1933. “Zhongguo Tongzijun congzhang” [Chinese Scouting Association regulations]. Academia Historica, 001-000000-6217A.
Gilmartin, Christina Kelly. 1995. Engendering the Chinese Revolution: Radical Women, Communist Politics, and Mass Movements in the 1920s. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Haixing [Starfish]. 1946. “Yang Huimin tong di miwen” [Confidential correspondence between Yang Huimin and the enemy]. 21: 1.
Harmsen, Peter. 2013. Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze. Pennsylvania, PA: Casemate.
Hinsch, Bret. 2013. Masculinities in Chinese History. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.
Huang Jianhao. 1935. “Guangzhou tongzijun luying zhendi zhong zhi zhi xin nütongjun” [Guangzhou Scouts camping]. Xinren zhoukan [New people weekly]. 1 (28): 22.
Huang, Jianli. 1996. The Politics of Depoliticization in Republican China: Guomindang Policy toward Student Activism, 1927–1949. Berne: Peter Lang.
Huang Jingxiu. 1929. “Zhongguo Nütizhuan nütongjun: (Er) xidi jinshan” [Chinese Girls’ Athletic School Girl Scouts]. Tuhua shibao [Illustrated times] 587: 3.
Huang Leiqing. 1946. “Yingxiongye? Yang Huimin jiujing shige shayang ren! Xiang congqian xianqi shi hedeng ronggui, dao er jin zhi luode shenbaiminglie” [A hero? What sort of person is Yang Huimin? From the honor of presenting the flag to present-day ruin]. Qiufeng [Autumn wind] 8: 4.
Huang, Xuelei. 2009. “Commercializing Ideologies: Intellectuals and Cultural Production at the Mingming (Star) Motion Picture Company, 1922–1938.” PhD diss., Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg. Available at
Huang Ying. 1928. “Guangdong tongzijun shenghuo: Zhongshan Daxue nütongjun Huang Qiongyao nüshi” [Guangdong Scouting: Zhongshan University Girl Scout Huang Qiongyao]. Liangyou [The young companion] 29: 31.
Hubeisheng zhengfu gongbao [Hubei provincial government circular]. 1935. “Lingsheng sili geyuan quan xiaochuji zhongxue zhun han song Zhongguo tongzijun” [Chinese scouting forms for elementary middle school]. 127: 8–12.
Jiang Zongzheng zongtong wenwu [President Chiang Kaishek’s artifacts]. n.d. “Jiang Furen zhaopian ziliao juanji” [Collection of photographs of Song Meiling]. Academia Sinica, 002-050113.
Jiankang jiating [Healthy home]. 1937. “Weichi zhixu zhi Liangjiang nütongjun” [Liangjiang Girl Scouts maintaining order]. 2: 12. [End Page 394]
Jindai funü [Modern woman]. 1928. “Guangzhou Zhongshan Daxue nütongjun lingxiu Huang Qiongyao nüshi” [Guangzhou Zhongshan University Girl Scout leader Huang Qiongyao]. 4: 5.
Jinxiu banyue kan [Advanced studies bimonthly]. 1935. “Banyue lai jiaoyu xiaoxi” [Bimonthly educational news]. 5 (18): 40–41.
Jing Shan. 1930. “Minfu Xuexiao Nütongjun jiaolian Weng De nüshi” [Minfu School Girl Scout Ms. Weng De]. Tuhua Shibao [Illustrated times] 583: 2.
Johnson, Matthew. 2012. “Propaganda and Censorship in Chinese Cinema.” In A Companion to Chinese Cinema, edited by Yingjin Zhang, 151–178. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Jones, Andrew. 2011. Developmental Fairy Tales: Evolutionary Thinking and Modern Chinese Culture. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Judge, Joan. 2001. “Talent, Virtue, and the Nation: Chinese Nationalisms and Female Subjectivities in the Early Twentieth Century.” The American Historical Review 106 (2): 765–803.
Kage, Rieko. 2010. Civic Engagement in Postwar Japan: The Revival of a Defeated Society. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Kangzhan huabao [War of Resistance pictorial]. 1937a. “Babai gujun yipian jiaotu” [Eight hundred lone heroes among the scorched earth]. 10: 10.
———. 1937b. “Tong xing Chen Juanjuan weiwen xiang Zhabei gujun xian qi zhi siyihao nütongjun Yang Huimin” [The young movie star, Miss Tung Chuan Chuan, consoling Miss Yang Wei-ming the Girl Scout No. 41, who offered the Chinese flag in honor of the lone battalion]. 12: cover.
Kangzhan yaoxun [Bulletin on resisting Japanese aggression]. 1939. “Yang Huimin nüshi yi fan Chongqing” [Yang Huimin has already returned to Chongqing]. 2 (11): 5.
Kangzheng: Waijiao pinglun [Resistance: Foreign affairs forum]. 1932. “Zai houfang fuwu de nütongjun” [Girl Scouts serving in the rear]. 1 (4): n.p.
Ke Chengzhi. 1937. “Nütongjun luying tongxun” [Girl Scout camping information]. Tao Sheng [Roar] 1 (6): 53–55.
Ke Jia. 1946. “Yang Huimin xianqi zhi zhenxiang” [The truth about Yang Huimin]. Xin Shanghai 36: 3.
Kemp, Foster G. S. 1920. “The Boy Scouts of China.” In The China Mission Yearbook, 1919, edited by E. C. Lobenstine and the China Continuation Committee, 196–204. Shanghai: Kwang Hsüeh Publishing House. Available at
Landdeck, Kevin. 2014. “Chicken-Footed Gods or Village Protectors: Conscription, Community, and Conflict in Rural Sichuan, 1937–1945.” Frontiers of History in China 9 (1): 56–82.
Lao Huang. 1946. “Hu Die tansu Yang Huimin” [Hu Die accuses Yang Huimin]. Taishan [Mount Tai] 3: 3.
Leow, Rachel. 2012. “Age as a Category of Gender Analysis: Servant Girls, Modern Girls, and Gender in Southeast Asia.” The Journal of Asian Studies 71 (4): 975–990. [End Page 395]
Li Yulian. 1938. “‘Meirenyu’ he ‘guoqihun’: Yang Xiuqiong yu Yang Huimin” [The mermaid and the spirit of the flag: Yang Xiuqiong and Yang Huimin]. Daxiahun [Heroic spirit] 7 (7/8): 28.
Liangyou [The young companion]. 1928. “Funüjie: Guangzhou Zhongshan Daxue nütongjun lingxiu Huang Qiongyao” [Women’s world: Guangzhou Zhongshan University Girl Scout leader Huang Qiongyao]. 30: 26.
———. 1930a. “Quanguo tongzijun da jianyue: nütongjun liedui raoxing changrang” [Chinese Scouting Association: Girl Scout parade]. 47: 6.
———. 1930b. “Quanguo tongzijun dajianyue: nütongjun biaoyan qihao” [Chinese Scouting Association: Girl Scout flag demonstration]. 47: 6.
———. 1930c. “Quanguo tongzijun dajianyue: nütongjun zhi qishou” [Chinese Scouting Association: Girl Scout flag bearers]. 47: 6.
———. 1941. “Zhongguo nütongjun daibiao Meiguo nütongjun shifa zhenmi” [Chinese Girl Scouts distribute aid on behalf of U.S. Girl Scouts]. 165: 24.
Lin Zemin. 1935. “Wuzhou zhongxue nütongjun qi fuzhuang yu nan junren” [Wuzhou Middle School Girl Scouts, their clothing, and male soldiers]. Ling Long [Elegant and fine] 5 (7): 1.
Ling Long [Elegant and fine]. 1933a. “Nütongjun shi nüzi junshi xunlian xiansheng” [Girl Scouts are the rallying cry for female military training]. 3 (43): 2377.
———. 1933b. “Huo nütongjun bihua dan qi bisai diyi zhi di bashiba tuan jingyin zhongxue nütongzijun” [Flag competition won by Girl Scout Troop 88 of the Jiangyin Middle School]. 3 (43): n.p.
———. 1933c. “Nütongjun jundao shiyong bisai diyige ruifen, xi Changshu Nüzi Yishu Zhongxue di qiqisi tuanyuan” [Girl Scout sword contest, Changsu Girls Art Middle School Girl Scout No. 774]. 3 (43): n.p.
———. 1933d. “Nütongjun guancha bisai geren diyi sha qian nüshi xi Yangzhou Nüzhong di liushi tuan tuanyuan” [Member of Yangzhou Girls Middle School Girl Scout Troop No. 60 observing a competition]. 3 (43): n.p.
———. 1933e. “Nütongjun fengbu bisai qingxing” [Girl Scout darning competition]. 3 (43): n.p.
———. 1933f. “Nütongjun liushituan chifan zhi qingxing” [Girl Scout Troop No. 60 eating]. 3 (43): n.p.
———. 1933g. “Nütongjun bihua shuangqi bisai qingxing” [Girl Scout flag competition]. 3 (43): n.p.
———. 1933h. “Nütongjun guilü bisai qingxing” [Girl Scout game]. 3 (43): n.p.
———. 1933i. “Nütongjun jiuhu bisai xi di liushi tuan Yangzhou Zhongxue nütongjun huo guanjun ertu jun wei jiuhu bisai” [Girl Scout competition for nursing the wounded]. 3 (43): n.p.
———. 1934. “Nütongjun zhi shenghuo qingxing: xicai” [Girl Scout living conditions: Washing vegtables]. 3 (43): n.p.
Liu Chengqing. 1935. Nü tongzijun jiaoyufa [Teaching methods for Girl Scouts]. Shanghai: Commercial Press. [End Page 396]
———. 1938. Zhongguo tongzijun jiaoyu [Chinese scouting education]. N.p.: Commercial Press.
Liu, Jennifer. 2010. “Indoctrinating the Youth: Guomindang Policy on Secondary Education in Wartime China and Postwar Taiwan, 1937–1960.” PhD diss., University of California, Los Angeles.
Liu, Lydia. 1995. Translingual Practice: Literature, National Culture, and Translated Modernity: China, 1900–1937. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Liu Qingyu. 2010. “Guomin zhongxue zonghe huodong lingyu tongjun jiaoyu zhuanchang jiaoshi” [Junior high schools’ comprehensive effort to promote scouting education as a teaching speciality]. MA thesis, Taiwan National Normal University.
Liushengji [Gramophone]. 1938. “Nütongjun quanjuan jingshen: buxi hu ren laoye” [The Girl Scout spirit of collecting donations: Willingness to address people as master]. 5 (2): 1.
Lü Chao. 1937. “Zhandi fuwu lijian ji” [War service records]. Zhanshi Tongzijun [Wartime scouts] 1: 13.
Lu Shidong. 1935a. “Funü yu yundong: Nü tongjun chuishi” [Women and exercise: Girl Scouts cooking]. Ling Long [Elegant and fine] 5 (2): n.p.
———. 1935b. “Tongjun shenghuo: Nütongjun chuishi bisai” [Scouting life: Girl Scouts’ cooking contest]. Paishe huabao [Filming pictorial] 10 (40): 11.
Lu Zhenyuan. 1947. “Tongzijun shiye yu Nütongjun shiye” [Scouting and Girl Scouts]. Tongzijun jiaoxuezuo [Scouts’ teaching, learning, and doing] 2 (8/9): 11–13.
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Mann, Susan. 2000. “Presidential Address: Myths of Asian Womanhood.” The Journal of Asian Studies 59 (4): 835–862.
Marlowe, Rose. 1932. “Sili Chongde Nüzi chuji zhongxue” [Shung Tak Middle School for Girls]. Shanghai Municipal Archives. Q235-1-043-668.
Morris, Andrew. 2004. Marrow of the Nation: A History of Sport and Physical Culture in Republican China. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Nan Shan. 1938. “Yang Huimin xiaojie zai Meiguo” [Yang Huimin in the United States]. Qingnian zhi you [The youth’s companion] 2 (4): 1.
Norden, Warner M. Van. 1918. Who’s Who of the Chinese in New York. New York: Warner M. Van Norden. Available at
NYT (New York Times). 1926. “Boy Scout Hikes in China Are Popular but Dangerous.” September 26. Available at
———. 1934. “Marines Help to Establish Girl Scout Camp in China.” October 14. Available at [End Page 397]
———. 1937a. “New York’s Chinatown Campaigns for War Funds.” October 11. Available at
———. 1937b. “Far Eastern Girls at Scout Picnic.” August 4. Available at
———. 1937c. “Visiting Girl Scouts Test Culinary Skill.” August 13. Available at
———. 1937d. “Universal Girl.” August 15. Available at
———. 1937e. “World Youth Congress Will Gather at Vassar.” November 14. Available at
———. 1938a. “Youth of World to Convene Here.” August 7. Available at
———. 1938b. “Youth Congress Replies.” August 8. Available at
———. 1938c. “Mrs. Roosevelt Gives Youth Congress $100.” August 10. Available at
———. 1938d. “World Congress of Youth Opens.” August 16. Available at
———. 1938e. “Young Chinese to Tour Nation.” September 11. Available at
———. 1941. “Song Festival at Town Hall for Aid to China.” January 25. Available at
———. 1943a. “City to Welcome Mme. Chiang Today.” March 1. Available at
———. 1943b. “Girl Scouts to Meet.” November 6. Available at
———. 1943c. “Senior Girl Scouts Discuss War Role.” November 7. Available at
Pan Shiwei. 1931. “Tongjun shubao jieshao ji piping: Nütongjun jiaolianfa” [Introduction and criticism of scouting manuals: Girl Scout training methods]. Qiang pu li kan [Strong, universal, and sharp] 6 (10): 91.
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Putney, Clifford. 2003. Muscular Christianity: Manhood and Sports in Protestant America, 1880–1920. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Rawlinson, F., and Helen Thoburn, eds. 1922. “The Chinese Church as Revealed in the National Christian Conference Held in Shanghai, Tuesday, May 2 to Thursday, May 11, 1922.” Shanghai: Oriental Press. Available at [End Page 398]
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SB (Shen Bao [Shanghai news]). 1916a. “You yige tongzijun dui chengli” [Another scouting troop is established]. December 1.
———. 1916b. “Shanghai tongzijun zhi xingcheng” [The flourishing of Shanghai scouting]. November 2.
———. 1922a. “Zhengqiu xiugai tongzijun mingci zhiyijian” [Editorial to change the title of the Boy Scouts]. January 4.
———. 1922b. “Nantong.” June 20.
———. 1922c. “Nannü tongzijun ji wen” [Records of the Boy and Girl Scouts]. June 20.
———. 1922d. “Susheng tongzijun jiaolianyuan dahuiji” [Jiangsu provincial scoutmaster meeting]. August 15.
———. 1922e. “Nanjing.” October 9.
———. 1922f. “Nanjing.” October 10.
———. 1922g. “Nü tiyu xiao tongzijun zuoxing xuan shili” [Girls’ Athletic School Girl Scouts swearing-in ceremony]. November 28.
———. 1922h. “Mingxing gongsi zhi xinpian yu sige sheyingjia” [Star Motion Picture Company’s new releases and four directors]. December 28.
———. 1923a. “Changzhou.” January 9.
———. 1923b. “Jiangsu Tongzijunhui kaihui yuzhi” [Advance notice of the Jiangsu Boy Scout meeting]. January 24.
———. 1923c. “Jiangsu Tongzijun kecheng taolunhui ji” [Jiangsu Boy Scout meeting notes]. January 29.
———. 1923d. “Shanghai Tongzijun lianhehui yiji” [Shanghai Scouting Association competition]. March 23.
———. 1923e. “Shanghai Tongzijun lianhehui shaoxi: Tongguo Tongzijun liandong guize” [Shanghai Scouting Association news: Passing of regulations regarding Boy Scout activities]. March 1.
———. 1923f. “Aiguo Nüxuexiao tiyu chengji” [Athletic success of the Patriotic Girls School]. May 1.
———. 1923g. “Shengxiao disanchu lianhehui yundonghuiji (fu tupian)” [Provincial schools’ third district athletic competition]. May 3.
———. 1923h. “Shengxiao disanchu lianhehui yundonghui chengji (fu tupian)” [Results from the provincial schools’ third district athletic competition]. May 4.
———. 1923i. “Suzhou.” May 19.
———. 1923j. “Changzhou.” May 19.
———. 1923k. “Suzhou.” May 20.
———. 1923l. “Tongzijun xiaoxi: Xidan getuan zhi tuanti bisai; aiguo tongzijun yanqing tuanyuan” [Scouting Association News: Xidan troops’ competitions; patriotic scouts invite leaders]. June 11.
———. 1923m. “Jiangsu Tongzijun lianhehui dongshihui ji” [Jiangsu Scouting Association board of trustees meeting]. October 30. [End Page 399]
———. 1923n. “Aiguo Dongya Lianhe yundonghuiji (fu tupian)” [Patriotic East Asian Society sports meeting]. November 11.
———. 1923o. “Liangge nütongzijuntuan jiang juxing yezhan” [Two Girl Scout troops engage in military field opperations]. November 13.
———. 1923p. “Tongzijun youyihui jiang yanxuji” [Scouts to hold performance]. December 13.
———. 1924a. “Tongzijun yongpin zhi fashou” [Scouting materials on sale]. March 20.
———. 1924b. “Pinmin jiaoyu dayou xingzhi (futupian). Canjia tuanti jiushi yuqi. Renshu chaoyue wuqian yishang” [Charity schools’ parade (attached picture). Over ninety groups in attendance. Over five thousand people]. March 13.
———. 1924c. “Gesheng Jiaoyujie zaxun” [Miscellaneous provincial educational news]. May 1.
———. 1924d. “Hunanquansheng yundonghui” [Hunan provincial sports competition]. May 10.
———. 1924e. “Shanghai Tongzijun fu Ning huicao chufa” [Shanghai scouts head for Ningbo]. May 14.
———. 1924f. “Susheng tongzijun zai Ning hui caoji: Fu tongzijun chengji yongju zhanlanhui” [Suzhou Province Boy Scouts sporting event in Ningbo: Exhibition of Boy Scout achievements]. May 17.
———. 1924g. “Jiangsu tongzijun hui caogei jiang ji” [Jiangsu Scouting Association awarded prizes]. May 20.
———. 1924h. “Fu Dan Tongzijun liuren yi xuanchu” [Six members of the Boy Scouts selected to go to Sweden]. May 21.
———. 1924i. “Liang tuanti huanying huiguo tongzijun daibiao ji” [Two groups welcome Boy Scout representatives back to China]. October 21.
———. 1927. “Gesheng Shanghui Lianhehui Zuori kaimu: Jiangzong siling chuxi zhixun” [Provincial chambers of commerce meeting to be held, Chiang Kaishek to attend]. December 18.
———. 1931. “Kangri jiuguo yundong zuowen” [Mobilization for the War of Resistance]. October 1.
———. 1934. “Guoji funüjie, funüjie juxing lianhuan dahui, sanyue bari xiawu” [International Women’s Day celebration to be held on March 8th]. March 7.
———. 1937. “Hongzha you jiuhurenyuan: Sishi tongzijun shengsibuming fan Hu zhe jin jiashiyuan yiren” [Bombs attack rescue workers yet again: Forty scouts are missing, only one returns to Shanghai alive]. November 7.
———. 1938a. “Canjia zhanshi fuwu” [Wartime service]. January 26.
———. 1938b. “Yang Ruifu jiang zai qingying” [Yang Ruifu calls for volunteers]. March 3.
———. 1938c. “Qingzhu tongjunjie.” March 9.
———. 1946. “Yang Huimin jiang chuyu” [Yang Huimin leaves prision]. November 1.
Shangbao huakan [Commerical illustrated]. 1932. “Zhandi fuwu zhi nütongjun” [Girl Scouts’ wartime service]. 5 (8): 2.
Shanghai texie [Shanghai feature stories]. 1946. “Xian qi xiaojie wuzui kaishi, Yang Huimin [End Page 400] qiaoran lai Hu” [The girl who presented the flag is acquitted, and Yang Huimin quietly returns to Shanghai]. 26: 7.
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Sheng Yi. 1946. “Yang Humin de dadan zuofeng” [Yang Huimin’s bravery]. Hai Xing [Starfish] 11: 5.
Sheying huabao [Shanghai illustrated]. 1933a. “Quancheng nütongjun raochang yizhou” [Girl Scouts circling the field]. 9 (41): 29.
———. 1933b. “Nütongjun: Ling Long Funü tuhua zazhi neirong zhi yi ban.” [Girl Scouts: Ling Long pictorial magazine]. 9 (46): 16.
———. 1933c. “Nütongjun: nütongjun bijian shuang xiao bisai qingxing” [Girl Scouts: Girl Scout competition]. 9 (46): 16.
———. 1934. “Beiping quanshi tongzijun da jianyue: Nütongjun zhi yidui” [Beiping municipal Boy Scout parade: A Girl Scout troop]. 10 (8): n.p.
Shi Xinjia. 1929. “You Hu lai Jing canjia feng’an zhi nütongjun” [Shanghai Girl Scouts arriving in Nanjing for the interment of Sun Yat-sen]. Tuhua Jingbao [Capital illustrated news] Special Feng’an edition: 2.
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Ting Chan. 1939. “Jieshao Yang Huimin Nüshi” [Introducing Miss Yang Huimin]. Kang Jian [Building resistance] 5: 7.
Tongzijun jiaoxuezuo [Scouting teaching, learning, and doing]. 1945. “Meiguo yige nütongzijun laixin” [A letter from a U.S. Girl Scout]. 9: 16.
Tuhua shibao [Illustrated times]. 1928. “Shanghai Zhongxue nütongjun paiqiudui” [The Girl Scout volleyball team of Shanghai Middle School]. 575.
———. 1930. “Weichi zhixu zhi nütongjun” [Girl Scouts maintaining order]. 651: 1
———. 1935. “Yingzhang nei xiuxi Guangzhou nütongjun” [Cantonese Girl Scouts at camp]. 1042.
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Wu Qianli. 1930. “Guangzhou nannü tongjun yewai zhu ying shenghuo” [Guangzhou Boy and Girl Scouts camping outdoors]. Liangyou [The young companion] 43: 27.
———. 1934. “Guangzhou tongzi luying: Nütongjun xizhuo chuiju” [Guangzhou scouting: Girl Scout washing cookware]. Dazhong huabao [Popular pictorial] 4: 17.
Xia Jiang. 1939. “Ji nütongjun Yang Huimin” [Remembering Girl Scout Yang Huimin]. Zazhi [Magazine] 4 (5): 43.
Xian shibao [Current times]. 1938. “Sanren ye dao Hankou qu: Yang Huimin qianxian huoyue” [Three people go to Hankou: Yang Huimin on the front]. 13: 5.
Xingqiliu [Saturday]. 1936a. “Nütongjun Feng Xiaode xing zhi pingli” [Girl Scout Feng Xiaode at a bottle toss contest]. 665: 22.
———. 1936b. “Nütongjun zaofan” [Girl Scouts cooking]. 645: 22.
———. 1936c. “Nütongjun zhi yingzhang” [Girl Scout tents]. 645: 22.
Xinxing [New form]. 1938. “Chen Bo’er suo chuan fuzhuang wei ‘Zhongguo nütongjun sishiyi hao’” [The uniform that Chen Bo’er wore to be the 41st Girl Scout]. 2: 36–37.
Xu Guanyu. 1937. “Zhanshi de Zhongguo tongzijun.” Zhanshi tongzijun [Wartime scouts] 1: 8.
Xu Shaonan. 1933. “Hubei sheng diyici tongzijun dajianyue” [General review of Boy and Girl Scouts in Hube]. Liangyou [The young companion] 77: 6.
Xu Tao. 1938. “Baogaoju: Babai zhuangshi” [Drama script: Eight hundred heroes]. Shishi leibian [Current affairs] 10: 45–49.
Xuexiao shenghuo [School life]. 1930. “Weichi huichang zhixu zhi Liangjiang nütongjun duizhang” [Liangjiang Girl Scout leader maintaining order]. 7: 27.
Yan Ping. 1934. “Nütongzijun suo fu de zeren” [The duties of Girl Scouts]. Zhenhua jikan [Zhenhua quarterly] 1 (3): 99–101.
Yang Fenglin. 1936. “Jiaqing nütongjun zaijieshang yangxi xiaodu” [Jiaqing Girl Scouts cleaning the streets]. Zhejiang qingnian [Zhejiang youth] 3 (2): 1.
Yang Huimin. 1938a. “Yang Humin diyihao baogao” [Yang Huimin’s first report]. Zhanshi tongzijun [Wartime scouts] 11: 7.
———. 1938b. “Huxi xianqian de shenghuo huiyi” [Recalling life on the Shanghai front]. Zhanshi tongzijun [Wartime scouts] 12: 7.
———. 1938c. “Zuguo zai shuimeng zhong xingle” [Our ancestral homeland has awakened]. Guo hun [National spirit] 4: 15–16. [End Page 402]
———. 1939a. “Dashidai zhong de ‘Zhonghua ernü.’” Kangzhan Yaoxun [Bulletin for the War of Resistance] 49: 1–2.
———. 1939b. “Wei babai zhuangshi xianqi liang zhounian de huiyi” [Recollection of the eight hundred heroes of two years’ past]. Minzu gonglun [National forum] 1: 34–38.
———. 1940. “Zenyang zuo yige dashidai de funü” [How to be a woman of an important era]. Minzu gonglun [National forum], March 15, 30–33.
Yang Ruiduan. 1930. “Guangzhou Zhongda Nütongjun siling Huang Qiongyao” [Guangzhou Central University Girl Scout leader Huang Qiongyao]. Tuhua shibao [Illustrated times] 651: 1.
Yeh, Wen-hsin. 1998. “Urban Warfare and Underground Resistance: Heroism in the Chinese Secret Service during the War of Resistance.” In Wartime Shanghai, edited by Wen-hsin Yeh, 119–138. London: Routledge.
Yun Yi. 1938. “Duanping: Cong yuanzhu Babai Zhuangshi shuodao women de guoji xuanchuan” [Commentary: The aid of Eight Hundred Heroes for touching on our international publicity]. Quanmin Zhoukan [News of all the people] 1 (22): 341.
Zang Changgeng. 1939. “Bie lai wuyang” [Do not come unscarred]. Zhonghua [Chinese] 84: 26.
Zhang Ding. 1937. “Riben nütongzijun gaikuang” [Japanese girl scouting situation]. Zhejiang Qingnian [Zhejiang youth] 3 (5): 39–42.
Zhang Jiasu. 1938. “Cong Shanghai dao Beijing” [From Shanghai to Beijing]. Zhanshi tongzijun [Wartime scouts], January 15, 11–14.
Zhang Wenjie. 1934. “Nüzi tiyu: Nütongjun Liu Dingshu nüshi” [Girls sports: Girl Scout Liu Dingshu]. Ling Long [Elegant and fine] 4: 21.
Zhang, Yingjin. 2007. “Artwork, Commodity, Event: Representations of the Female Body in Modern Chinese Pictorials.” In Visual Culture in Shanghai, 1850s–1930s, edited by Jason C. Kuo, 121–161. Washington, DC: New Academia Publishing.
Zhang Zonglin. 1937. Zhanshi duben [Wartime reader]. Shanghai: Shenghuo shudian.
Zhanshi tongzijun [Wartime scouts]. 1937a. “Zhongguo tongzijun zhanshi fuwu dagang” [Chinese scouts’ wartime service outline]. 1: 17–18.
———. 1937b. “Zhabei zhuanglie kangzhan zhong de yige nütongzhun” [A Girl Scout in the Battle of Shanghai]. 1: 5.
———. 1938a. “Wojun shibai de yige yuanyin” [One reason for military failure]. 5: 3.
———. 1938b. “Tongzijun xiaoxi: Eshenghui Tongzijun dongyuan wei jianshou sihang cangku zhi babai zhuangshi quanmu” [Scouting news: Hubei Province mobilizes scouts to aid the eight hundred heroes protecting Sihang Warehouse]. 24: 5–6.
———. 1940. “Nütongjun Yang Huimin ronghuo zonghui diyi zuo jin shi rongyu zhang” [Girl Scout Yang Huimin receives the first Boy Scout honorary prize]. 51: 11–12.
Zhanwang [Outlook]. 1939. “Zhanshi xin nüxing” [New women of wartime China]. 1: 9.
Zhongguo daguan tuhua nianjian [Chinese illustrated yearbook]. 1930a. “Nütongjun: Shanghai nütongjun zhi fushi” [Girl Scouts: Shanghai Girl Scout uniforms]. 240.
———. 1930b. “Nütongjun: Guangzhou nütongjun zhi fushi” [Girl Scouts: Guangzhou Girl Scout uniforms]. 240. [End Page 403]
———. 1930c. “Nütongjun: Pengren” [Girl Scouts: Cooking]. 240.
———. 1930d. “Nütongjun: Yeying” [Girl Scouts: Camping]. 240.
———. 1930e. “Nütongjun: lüxing” [Girl Scouts: Field trips]. 240.
Zhongguo tongzijun zonghui gongbao [Chinese Scouting Association circular]. 1947a. “Meiguo nütongjun zonghui juxing shijie nütongjun luying” [American Girl Scout Association holds global Girl Scout camp]. 1 (6): 12–13.
———. 1947b. “Sanshiliu nian wu yue fen hezhun nütongjun fuwuyuan yilanbiao” [List of March 1946 Girl Scout service personnel]. 2 (5): 12–15.
———. 1947c. “Yijiuwuliu nian geguo tongzijun tongji” [1946 Boy Scout membership statistics from around the world]. 2 (5): 15.
Zhou Ping. 1946. “Shaonian dezhi da buxin: Yang Humin lang dang rulao!” [Yang Huimin has entered prison!]. Wenfan [Literary food] 29: 3.
Zhu Xunlin and Ye Changlie. 1934. “Tongjun zuozongdongyuan mujuan” [Scouts solicit donations]. Shen Bao [Shanghai news], December 9. [End Page 404]