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War's end meant years of pain for Japanese girl in China

33 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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33 Comments
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Captured at one point by the Soviets, her father was about to be sent to Siberia when Chinese friends rescued him.

As horrible as that time was, these stories really move me. As horrible as the CCP is, the Chinese people sheltered and protected many Japanese families that were left behind - even though they were the families of their invaders. I sometime ask Japanese friends if they would have done the same if the situation was reversed.

Something to think about in a time of rising nationalism and warmongering.

20 ( +29 / -9 )

A that time not much hope from Japanese.

With all this anniversary drama hope Japanese as nation feel ashamed what they have done in not only in China in other countries too.

-3 ( +22 / -25 )

It also meant freedom for Japan's colonies. 8/15= Korean independence day.

1 ( +15 / -14 )

"even though they were the families of their invaders. I sometime ask Japanese friends if they would have done the same "

More than just a few questions must be raised:

1) Were those left behind Japanese civilians instrumental in bringing pain, death and destruction to the entire Chinese Nation?

2) Were all Japanese civilians (back home in Japan) instrumental in bringing pain, death and destruction to all Chinese residents in Japan?

4) Did every single Chinese help shelter a nasty Japanese civilian (many of them kids)

5) Did every Japanese nasty individual actively help prosecute the always peaceful Chinese residents in Japan?

I find such questions extremely pertinent, given that the underlying "message" and view here on JT appears to be as follows:

a) Look at the Chinese; although victims of malefactor Japanese as a whole they were still magnanimous in victory. So many Japanese butchers saved by the Chinese.

b) Japanese? Nah' they're evil anyway.

14 ( +20 / -6 )

It is saddening to see how the Japanese of that time responded to defeat.

Even innocent families were slaughtered by their own-tragic!

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Without taking sides, a very moving story. She is a survivor, and I am glad her story, both the good and the bad, has been told, for her children, for us and for all people.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Nationalism and revisionisms are powerful tools in the hand of the wrong propaganda,all these articles seems like some institution want to revert back to the past and bring a sort of new isolationism.

I see dark clouds for the future of this part of the planet.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

All civilians are victims, on all sides, in any war. This is why wars are remembered everywhere with a prayer that it never happens again. Of course the internet hate mongers who never experienced any war themselves don't get it, Just like the young people all over the world who are not taking COVID19 seriously .

13 ( +15 / -2 )

My wife's grandmother experienced a similar fate. I've spent some time in Manchuria, and she's aware of that and appreciates it, but one thing she does NOT want to do is revisit those memories, so we never talk about it.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Great true story of human kindness, Chinese solidarity towards Japanese that must be told to encourage people to build a peaceful society.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Nationality aside, this also shows one difference between the Chinese and the Japanese/Koreans. Many Chinese have never really minded adopting orphans or lost children. Today, the Chinese, whether in China, HK or Taiwan still continue to adopt. The Japanese and Koreans seem to have this real aversion to adopting a child who is not blood-related, and if a related child were orphaned, they would rather have the child stay in an orphanage than let other kind loving parents adopt them.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I have a HK friend whose grandmother was actually a Japanese child stuck in China.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Amazing story!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

That was pre-Mao. Anyone caught helping foreigners today would be executed by the communist dictator.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

My grandmother had cyanide tablets ready for herself, my mom and all her siblings, in the event of the American invasion. Fortunately, Japan surrendered and it didn't happen. Family suicide was being contemplated in many places.

It was a tough time for everyone. Everyone. I wish we could put all the issues surrounding it behind and just remember and honor everyone who went through the nightmare.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

A cruel nation, Japan.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

@Peeping_Tom Sadly you are making my point by making it an adversarial issue rather than recognizing the humanity on display. Your distilled version was not at all what I was saying.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

What a brave lady.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

"she wants her children to know the suffering she went through after the war". Suffering she went through?

Suffering of millions Chinese, Koreans Russians and many others her father was part of making.

Unlike Germans and Italians Japan newer used their intelligence to admit to themselves; They did wrong, they did Stupid and they know it. Stories of their suffering should be shown as suffering caused by their own doing, not the fault of those they abused and made suffer.

It is sad that Japanese, today some of the friendliest and most civilized people in the world can't get out of their guilt closet and see it written in the history books rather than carry it on their shoulders every day of their lives.

It is so simple, Just say once; We did Wrong, we did Stupid and we regret for everyone affected including ourselves.

Than go on and let your children live free.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

It sounds like a Joke, War's end meant YEARS of pain for Japanese girl in China!

Aug 15, 1945

In 1948, they were finally allowed to evacuate.

After the YEARS of Suffering?

What suffering?

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

“As horrible as that time was, these stories really move me. As horrible as the CCP is, the Chinese people sheltered and protected many Japanese families that were left behind - even though they were the families of their invaders. I sometime ask Japanese friends if they would have done the same if the situation was reversed.”

Agreed. Extraordinary story

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Aug 15, 1945

In 1948, they were finally allowed to evacuate.

After the YEARS of Suffering?

What suffering

3 years. Years is plural. That's why it is called years.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I've always thought that the enemy of the Japanese people during the war wasn't the Americans, Chinese or Brits, etc. It was their own government. Imagine being told by your own government to go kill yourself. Horrible. A real betrayal.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

My uncle lived his life with a disability (bad leg) from fighting the IJA in Guadalcanal before eventually ending up on the occupation of Japan at the war's conclusion. Suffering on both sides but never an apology from Japan for the horrors they wrought on those they subjugated, those who fought them and the suffering of their own people. Even the current generation who was not even born before that war was over refuse to apologize. Sympathy is therefore difficult to come by. Japan must atone for its past. To date it has not done so.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Again...another story of a Japanese victim of war...always the victim....

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Noone can disagree she suffered terribly. She was a little girl, surrounded by death, war and fear, her entire family dying around her, in a hostile country, relying on the kindness of enemies of the state to which she belonged. She is not responsible for the crimes of her father, nor the suffering caused by Japanese hawkism. God bless Fumie Sato.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

A cruel nation, Japan.

> Again...another story of a Japanese victim of war...always the victim....

In war every side has it's own cruelty, every side has it's own victims...

Stop living in the past, cut your hate, drama and childish tantrums..

1 ( +6 / -5 )

"Unlike Germans and Italians Japan newer used their intelligence to admit to themselves; They did wrong, they did Stupid and they know it."

While the Germans have certainly atoned for their past the situation with Italy is very different. Many are probably not aware than in August of 1943 the Italian Parliament voted to change sides and join the Allies against the Germans. The very next day the Germans, who knew the vote was coming, invaded Italy and occupied it. Mussolini fled to northern Italy to a rump state under German control. The Italian Navy fled to Malta under heavy air attack by the Luftwaffe, costing them several of their best ships. Italian partisans fought with the Allies towards the end of WWII. As such they were not as distrusted after WWII as the Germans were. Yet today one sees Mussolini's grand daughter is a right wing politician (party affiliations have varied from "center right" cough cough with Silvio Berlusconi to far right neofascist) who served in both the lower and upper houses of the Italian legislature and now serves in the European Parliament. Imagine the outrage if a descendant of Hitler was a German politician or a Tojo was elected to the Diet! A great grandson of Mussolini is another Italian politician farther to the right than his cousin who appeals to fascism nostalgia and his family name. Outright admiration of Mussolini's fascism is open today in Italy. Despite family there I have a visceral dislike of the Italians. Yes I have been there. You can have it!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I use stories like these occasionally to remind my own family, that when they think life isn't so great, we could be much worse off and that in spite of everything, we are still living in the best of times and we are lucky to be where we are. My heart aches when I read stories like this and so often I wish the past could have been different for so many different peoples.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

this lady is lucky for being able to return to Japan. it is unknown if she knows why she was in China at the end of the second Pacific War as part of the second WW. tens of millions people perished in China. the most important thing is to prevent history happen again, letting everybody enjoy warm sunshine and fresh air freely.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Again...another story of a Japanese victim of war...always the victim....

Go and see the UK news sites at the moment. Perhaps more of "always the hero" , but it isn't so different.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I find such questions extremely pertinent, 

Questions that start with”Did EVERY” already have their answers. They are contrarian by design and impertinent; was every POW tortured? Were all civilians killed by the bomb? Were all woman forced to serve as sex slaves? Did all survivors develop cancer or other diseases? Did the psychopath kill every person he met? Did Gandhi help every person he met?

Draw any conclusion and we can nullify it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@kentarogaijin

Cut your sycophantic view towards Japan and try living in a slightly less bias present.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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