Presentation on theme: "Chapter 6 The Syonan Years: Surviving the Horrors of War."— Presentation transcript:
Chapter 6 The Syonan Years: Surviving the Horrors of War
Focuses At the end of this chapter, you will learn: Japanese treatment of the Allied POWs and the local civilians. Life during the Japanese Occupation. The anti-Japanese groups. Lessons from the Japanese Occupation.
The Allied POWs Comprised of the British, Australians, Indians and other Europeans as well as women and children. POWs were imprisoned at camps like Changi Prison and Selarang Barracks. Indian soldiers in the British Force were asked to pledge their loyalty to the Japan and join the Indian National Army. Those who resisted were imprisoned or killed.
The Allied POWs POWs were forced to do hard labour such as cleaning up the city, burying dead bodies, restoring water and electricity supplies and repairing the docks. Many POWs were also sent to Thailand to build the Death Railway. They worked under horrible conditions. Many died or suffered from diseases.
The Local Civilians A. The Chinese Japanese hated the Chinese most because they helped China in resistance against Japan ’ s attack on China. Japanese were angry with the Chinese for the fierce battle at Bukit Timah which killed many Japanese soldiers. They were also suspicious of Singapore Chinese who contributed to China war efforts.
The Local Civilians The Chinese in Singapore were forced to form the Overseas Chinese Association and participate in Japanese celebrations (e.g. Emperor ’ s birthday). They were also made to contribute $50 million towards Japan ’ s war efforts. To raise this amount, they had to borrow half the amount from a Japanese bank.
The Local Civilians Japanese planned an operation on mass screening called Sook Ching to wipe out the Chinese who were anti-Japanese. All men between 18 and 50 years old were required to report at the mass screening centres. They were questioned by the Japanese and sometimes, local informers wearing hoods would point out certain people as anti-Japanese. Those pointed out would be taken into lorries to beaches like Changi to be gunned down.
Minds at Work! Discuss Some Chinese who passed the mass screening had stamps on their faces, arms, clothing or in pieces of paper. The stamped part of the clothes was cut out and used as a pass. Those who had the stamps on parts of their body had to take extra care to refrain from washing the mark off. 1. What do you think the people in the second category should do? 2. What would happen to them if they had washed off the stamp?
The Local Civilians B. The Eurasians The Eurasians were also treated harshly because they felt that the Eurasians thought themselves to be more superior to Asians. Eurasians also fought against the Japanese as part of the Singapore Volunteer Corp. Many were sent to the prison or the Thai-Burma border to build the Death Railway.
The Local Civilians C. The Malays They were not regarded as a threat to the Japanese rule. They tried to win over the Malays and convinced them that Japan would free them from the colonial rule. However, those who did not obey were still punished.
The Local Civilians D. The Indians Japanese tried to get their support and claimed that they were trying to help India break free from British rule. Those who displeased the Japanese were not spared.
Fear A. Kempeitai(Japanese Military Police) The Kempeitai dished out harsh punishments. Methods of punishment included the water torture, electronic torture, using needle and cigarettes to prick and burn the victims. They kept a close watch over the people. Interrogation centres were set up at Y.M.C.A at Orchard Road and Central Police Station at South Bridge Road The locals ’ movements were closely monitored and the Japanese issued documents like passes and work badges to monitor them. People who were caught looting were beheaded.
Fear A network of spies was created where informers were found all over the island. Sometimes, even one ’ s neighbours or relative could not be trusted because one could be reported as anti-Japanese or be arrested at the slightest remark made. Rewards and privileges encouraged many people to supply information to the Kempeitai.
Fear B. Japanese Imperial Army and the Sentry The Japanese Imperial Army beheaded looters and displayed their heads at public places like the Anderson bridge and Kallang bridge. Barbed wire roadblocks were set up all over Singapore and people are expected to produce passes issued by the Japanese. People had to bow in respect before the Japanese; those who did not obey were slapped, kicked, beaten up or punished to kneel on pebbles for hours. They would also go to the cinemas to take away youths to do hard labour.
Hardship and Suffering A. The Allied POWs They were made to clean up the city, bury the dead, restore water and electricity. Many were sent to work on the Death Railway where they were given only simple tools to fell huge trees and cut through rocks. There was insufficient food and the long working hours made many susceptible to diseases.
Hardship and Suffering B. The Locals There was serious food shortages because: Supplies from other countries were not coming in as they needed food for their own people. There was a shortage of fuel as the Japanese took fuel and petroleum products from Southeast Asia for their own use. Thus very few ships brought food into Singapore. The Allied countries could not bring in food as they were at war with Japan and their ships were sunk by the Japanese. The Japanese took much of the food supplies and left very little for the locals.
Hardship and Suffering Ration cards and product purchasing cards were distributed and each household was given a limited amount of food. The locals had to rely on a simple diet and they planted their own food like vegetables and sweet potatoes. In schools, students had to look after vegetable plots. Many people suffered from malnutrition and other diseases.
Hardship and Suffering To make things worse, many doctors and nurses were killed or sent to prison camps. The Japanese looted medicine for their own use while the local people looted medicine to sell in the black market. Those who could not afford to buy medicine died without medication. Sometimes, surgical instruments were home- made or improvised and success of treatments depended very much on the skills of the doctors and nurses.
Hardship and Suffering In the black market, unlawful buying and selling of necessities took place. Prices of goods were very high because only those who offered the highest prices could buy the items. The Japanese issued money, also called the "banana notes" because of the fruit prints on the notes. These notes were printed in large quantities without serial numbers and their value dropped because they could be forged easily. Its value became so low that "banana money" came to mean useless money.
Propaganda The Japanese used propaganda to: Influence people so that they would show respect to Japan. Promote Japanese culture and values.
Propaganda A. Language, News and Entertainment Japanese lessons were published in the newspapers and broadcast over the radio and taught in schools. The newspapers reported pro-Japanese speeches and the Japanese version of the war and had very little local news. All the radio stations were controlled by the Japanese and only local broadcasts could be heard. Japanese movies and propaganda films were shown. These often ridiculed the British and the other Europeans and showed the Japanese might and capabilities.
Propaganda B. Incentives Incentives and privileges such as job offers and allowances are given to those who learn the Japanese language. C. Culture To promote Japanese culture, special Japanese events like the Emperor's birthday were celebrated.
MPAJA The Malayan People's Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA) was an anti-Japanese group formed to fight against the Japanese. Members carried out secret attacks on the Japanese officers and their men They used the Malayan jungles as their bases they planned sabotages on the Japanese and grew their own crops there.
MPAJA They also tried to arouse anti-Japanese feelings in the people by distributing newspapers. Gatherings were frequently organized in the villages and small towns near the jungle to get more people to support them.
Force 136 Force 136 was a secret British organization set up to gather information about the Japanese and plan sabotage activities against them. The members were trained in India and set secretly into Malaya by submarine to help the MPAJA.
Force 136 One of its leaders was Lim Bo Seng, a Singaporean businessman. He played an important role in getting members, raising funds and food supplies for the Force. Unfortunately, he was captured in March 1944 by the Japanese and was severely tortured when he refused to give the names of those who worked with him. He finally died in prison in June 1944 at the age of 35.
Section 5 Drawing Lessons from the Japanese Occupation
Lessons Learnt The people of Singapore suffered under the Japanese rule, but they showed the following qualities: Resilience Courage Endurance Fortitude Thrift and frugality Some learnt to appreciate the British rule as compared to the Japanese rule. Others leant that they should rule their own country and not let another foreign power dictate their fates.
Check this Out! http://www.s1942.org.sg/home/index.jsp Focus on the Japanese Occupation section, specifically: The massacre of the Chinese populace. The POW diary. Some of the photos under the Archival Resources section.