Tag Archives: world war

HISTORY: DO YOU KNOW WHO MAMORU SHINOZAKI IS?

Mamoru Shinozaki was a Japanese government official stationed in Singapore before and during the Japanese Occupation. Sometimes referred to as the “Japanese Schindler”, Shinozaki is known for issuing government passes that saved the lives of many Chinese and Eurasians as well as other humanitarian acts during the Occupation. Shinozaki was instrumental in the formation of the Overseas Chinese Association, and the establishment of the Endau and Bahau resettlement villages. After the war, he was a witness in the war-crimes trial of Japanese officers involved in the Sook Ching massacre.

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GRANDMA RECALLS THE JAPANESE OCCUPATION IN SINGAPORE

My grandfather escaped death even though he was already lined up by the seaside thankfully for the missed bullets and the mangled mess of bodies that came crashing down upon him like dominoes falling on each other after the first one was pushed. As the fortunate few, he climbed out from the pile of human shields in a dramatic-sounding fashion and only made his way home after a few days of walking. But he did live to marry and tell my Ah Ma his frightful story.

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SHAMEFUL JAPAN STILL DENYING SYSTEMATIC SEXUAL SLAVERY IN WORLD WAR II

The term "comfort women" masks the lived reality of the approximately 200,000 Chinese women and girls kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II. (It is estimated that 400,000 women and girls from occupied countries such as Korea, China, and the Philippines were enslaved in total.) The term evokes a much more pleasant image than the survivors' stories do—harrowing tales of daily rape and torture, often ending in death or permanent injury. Many of these "women" were not women at all, but girls, pushed into the "comfort stations" as soon as they began menstruating.

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ATOMIC BOMB SURVIVORS SHARE STORIES

Ms Hattori recalled the surreal sight of people with their eyes popping out and skin hanging loose. Some had the pattern of their kimono seared into their skin. The plight of babies also haunts her. She recounted how a mother handed over her newborn, only to realise the baby was headless. Another tried to breastfeed her baby, but failed because the young one did not recognise her heavily scarred mother and refused milk. Another survivor, Mr Jongkeun Lee, 86, a second-generation Korean living in Japan, also shared how the burnt wounds on his neck gave him much distress when they became infested with maggots.

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SINGAPORE HEROES: LIEUTENANT ADNAN BIN SAIDI

In his passing, Adnan's undying valour exemplified his strong belief in the Malay motto: "Biar putih tulang, jangan putih mata" - death before dishonour. Adnan's body was never found. The Japanese continued to hunt down the rest of his family. To foil their attempts, Adnan's brother gave away his belongings and photographs. No one wanted or dared to keep Adnan's belongings for fear of being killed by the Japanese.

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