Qiu Jin (1875—1907 AD) was born in Amoy in Fujian province. She learned kungfu when a little girl and admired Hua Mulan and Qin Laingyu (see above). She liked to dress in man''s apparel. She called herself “Swords Woman of Mirror Lake,” which lake was in her homeland.
In 1896 AD, she was married to Wang Tingjun (1879—1909 AD), who ran a pawn shop in Xiangtan town. Qiu Jin moved to live with her husband there. In 1900 AD, Wang was assigned an official position in Peking and the couple went to live in Peking. She bore two children for him.
In 1903 AD, she went to Japan to learn Japanese language at first. During her stay in Japan, she took part in the revolutionary activities with Chinese students there. In July of 1905 AD, she joined Sun Yat-sen''s alliance, a revolutionary league against Qing dynasty, and was assigned to be in charge of the revolutionary activities in Zhejiang province. When she returned next year, she became a teacher in Shanghai.
She planned to publish a newspaper named “Chinese Women.” She needed financial aid. She went back to her husband''s family and got a large sum of money for that purpose. She set her heart to wage the revolution, and so she asked to be divorced to her husband lest her action should affect her husband. Her desire of divorce was to protect her husband. If in the process of revolution, she was arrested, her husband had nothing to do with her action as they were openly divorced.
In autumn of 1905, two members of the League founded a normal school in Shaoxing town, really for military training. Qiu recruited six hundred members for the school. In January of 1907 AD, the first issue of the newspaper was published. She wrote articles for female rights and revolutionary ideas. She toured to towns not far from Shanghai for propaganda of revolution. In February that year, she became the school mistress. They planned to rise to arms on the sixth day of July, but the secret was leaked out. The uprising of her comrades in Anqing town of Anhui province failed. Someone betrayed her to Qing government while other comrades tried to persuade her to flee, but she rejected, saying that the victory of revolution must cost blood. She remained. On the fourteenth day of July, she was arrested in the school. In the prison she was tortured, but she confessed nothing. She only wrote, “Autumn wind and autumn rain saddens people.” It was because the first word in her name Qiu literally meant autumn. She was killed on the fifteenth day.
Her body was at first buried At Xiling Bridge on the West lake in Hangzhou city, but the local Qing government forced it to be moved. Therefore, in 1909 AD, her son moved her body to be buried at Mt. Zhao in Xiangtan town, where her husband''s family lived. In 1912 AD, when the first republic was founded, her body was moved back to be interred again in the same place by the West Lake of Hangzhou city. She is admired by all Chinese people for her heroic deeds.