Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Song of the Sirens


Japanese troops entering Tsitsihar, Northern China, September 18th, 1931

Those in Liuzhou this morning, Sunday 18th September, may have wondered what the wailing sirens were about. No, we aren’t under immediate threat.

The sirens wail to commemorate the Japanese invasion of China which started on September 18th 1931. They don’t do this every year, but only on significant anniversaries such as those ending in zero or five. Today is the 85th anniversary.

. This entry was posted on Sunday, September 18th, 2016 at 10:48 am and is filed under History. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Song of the Sirens”

  1. David Says:

    Interesting thank you .
    Manchuria, of course , I’d forgotten the Japanese had got so far north . The Chinese will never forget will they , and who can blame them . Some poignant museums up there dedicated to the memory of that invasion and its consequences.
    It puzzles me that in the west I often hear or read that for the Chinese WW2 started in 1935 or even ’37 . Unless it’s simply to diminish the Chinese suffering I can find no reason for this .
    Any ideas ?

  2. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    First, apologies for the delay in approving your comment. I’ve been out of town and couldn’t remember my administration password. This computer stores it automatically.

    Re the date confusion. Although the Japanese invaded North eastern China (Manchuria is a name imposed later by the Japanese and is loathed by the Chinese as a symbol of occupation.) in 1931, there was little effective resistance and apart from occasional local skirmishes, no real state of war existed. That changed in in 1937 when Japan decided to overthrow China’s Nationalist leader, Chiang Kai-shek (蒋介石 jiǎng jiè shí). They invaded huge areas of eastern China. This met full resistance and quickly developed into full scale war in which much more of China was occupied (including, briefly, Liuzhou). This war lasted until 1945 and the defeat of Japan in WW2. Hence the war is usually dated to 1937. I know of no record of or reason for a 1935 date.

  3. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    “I’d forgotten the Japanese had got so far north.”

    That’s where they started.

  4. David Says:

    Thank you . That’s perspective…..
    Throw in a slight complication of the burgeoning CPC’s on/off dalliance with the Goumindang , the personalities involved and the (for me) mind numbing scale of events it’s small wonder there’s little understanding in the west !

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