Joey Who?

Open Letters
to Joey



All the little bits of Joey related triva that just wouldn't fix anywhere else...

Joey Who?

Wong Jyo Yin, Wong Cho Yin, Wang Xu Xian, Wang Tsu Hsien

To someone new to Hong Kong cinema it may seem that these are four different people.

But happily they all refer to the one and only Joey!

Wong Jyo Yin and Wong Cho Yin are romanized Cantonese. Unlike the Pinyin system which has become the accepted form for romanizing Mandarin (with at least one major exception discussed below), there are almost as many ways to romanize Cantonese as there are translators. I personally prefer romanizing Joey's name in Cantonese as Wong Jyo Yin since it's easier to remember that way (don't have to remind myself that 'CH' is pronounced as 'J' when used in this form).

Wang Xu Xian is romanized Mandarin based on the Pinyin system. I still have a hard time time getting the accent right when pronouncing Joey's name in Mandarin.

Wang Tsu Hsien is the Taiwanese form of romanized Mandarin. I had been graciously informed by visitors to my original Joey site that since Joey is Taiwanese this should be the preferred form of romanization. In the interest of keeping the information on this site as accurate as possible, my references to Joey will always take this form.

Okay, so that's simple enough right? Well, since I'm known for never doing things the easy way, I'll throw in another variation. Several years ago I took a course in conversational Cantonese and met two Taiwanese cuties (Hi, Rae and Chien Yin) who gave me the Taiwanese pronunciation of Joey's name. After several minutes of utter confusion on my part I finally managed to grasp that Joey's name in Taiwanese (Fukinese) is very roughly "Ong Jyo Han". Someone else later told me that the last character in her name is pronouced more like "hen" than "han". Ai ya!

Then there's also another form that I hope someone can give me an definitive answer about. In Tom Weisser's introduction to the "Asian Trash Cinema / Asian Cult Cinema" books, he states that the hanzi (Chinese characters) of Joey's name can be romanized as "Wong Ki Chang". Given the error-ridden nature of the books I would dismiss this as just another error. But years ago before I could even recognize any hanzi, I saw a calendar in a Chinese restaurant which had a picture under of someone who looked llike Joey and under the hanzi were the English words "Wong Ki Chang"

Finally, there is the "Joey" question. Unlike many other Hong Kong stars for whom English names are used primarily , Joey seems to be comfortable with her English name. I can only guess that it's derived from her name pronunciation in Cantonese. Say Jyo Yin quickly several times and the jump to Joey seems obvious to me.[1]

Joey actually seems to be comfortable with her English name, even having it used as a in-joke in Diary Of A Big Man and Spy Games. In addition, in 1996 she had a Japanese clothing line marketed as Joey Brand and her WaCatta magazine article has several pictures with her signature in hanzi as well as Joey in English.

A final of bit of Joey trivia. I've been told that the hirakana used for her name translates directly as Joey Wang. So Joey it is!


Confessions of a Joey Fan

02/17/07 - The following was posted in my first Joey website back in 1997. Every once in a while I would read it (usually after I receive an email from a fellow Joey fan) to remind myself where this all started. *SIGH*

The How and Why of this Joey Wong Page

I'll start with the Why since it's pretty simple. It's probably the same reason why so many other idol sites are created, to give due recognition to their favorite star. In my case it's that plus the fact that counting my Webpal Zastaph's site this makes a grand total of two. I'm a regular visitor to the alt.asian-movies newsgroup and other than an occasional "Where is She?" it really seems that old adage "out of sight, out of mind" applies to Joey. So to hopefully put her back in sight (at least in a little way) these pages were created.

The How is a bit more complex. A few months my Webpal Harald Wittimaak posted a Joey site for essentially the same reason as I did. When he closed down the site to concentrate on some of his other projects he graciously sent me the foundations of his site. Since I wasn't ready to post my own site I contacted Zastaph who I knew was also interested in Joey. Armed with some of the info and pics from Harald and myself, he created his own site. Now I've finally gotten around to getting off my rear and creating this site which I see a companion to Zastaph's. So out of the ashes of one fallen site comes two and hopefully more in the future.

The Making of a Joey Fan

1991 - Cable channel Bravo is showing an episode of "The Incredibly Strange Film Show" focusing on Hong Kong horror films. A jaded horror film buff is watching and hoping to get some leads to the ultimate horror film. From among the clips of jumping vampires, flailing body halves and flying warriors one single scene captivates him. A ghostly nymph in flowing red silk twirls and gives a breath of air to a wayfarer hiding in her bath. The wayfarer is mesmerized and so is the film buff. I can still clearly remember that day. I don't think my former girlfriend (a wonderful local Chinese girl) was watching with me but I felt a pang of guilt as I instantly developed a schoolboy crush on the nymph on the screen.

I've always been interested in horror films and by the late eighties during the height of the "splatter films" I was reading and watching everything I could to find out what the next horror trend was. The first turning point was when I happened across a copy of "Naked! Screaming! Terror! #4/5". My girlfriend gave me an odd look as I stepped up to pay $4.00 for this small black and white booklet. She still couldn't understand when I spent the next few weeks pouring every page and insisting that I have to find some of the films reviewed within.

By the time I saw "The Incredibly Strange Film Show", I had already seen most of the Hong Kong horror "classics" like the Black Magic series and Succubus as well as true classics like The Killer and A Better Tomorrow I had read about A Chinese Ghost Story in "Naked! Screaming! Terror!" and the original "Asian Trash Cinema" book but didn't give it a second thought until that night. Once I saw Joey I knew I had to see this film. It took several weeks before I finally found a Japanese copy of A Chinese Ghost Story and it would be several years before I finally found a English subtitled version. Since that night I started on a journey that still hasn't ended. I've managed to see 49 Joey films and several hundred (I lost count when it went over 200) other Hong Kong films. And my love and admiration of Hong Kong films keeps growing. I haven't kept up with the latest releases mainly because I don't have time to watch them, but also because without a new Joey release every few months a trip to the store somehow seems less worthwhile.

By the way, I've decided that A Chinese Ghost Story may well be the ultimate horror film. A perfect blend of gore, humor and SFX with a great storyline. And of course Joey Wong!

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Created 01/01/03   Updated 11/10/05