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Three Years and Eight Months: Hong Kong during the Japanese Occupation

Exhibition Talks

1. The Forgotten East River Column: How did Guerilla Fighters Rescue the Chinese Cultural Elite and the Soldiers of Western Allies in Hong Kong during the Japanese Occupation?

Speakers:
Prof. Cheung Siu-woo, Associate Professor, Division of Humanities, HKUST
Ms. Wan So-ming, Chairperson, The East River Column History Research Association

Date: November 28, 2018
Time: 12:30 – 1:30 pm
Venue: Multi-function room LG4, Lee Shau Kee Library
Language: Cantonese (Cantonese-English simultaneous interpretation will be provided. Receivers are first come, first served.)
Registration: https://lbcube.ust.hk/ce/index.php/event/5966/

About the talk

Due to various reasons, the guerrilla war that sabotaged the Japanese Occupation in Hong Kong during WWII has been largely forgotten. This talk aims to illuminate the courageous deeds of the East River Column guerrilla fighters by focusing on two of their major contributions.

The first is about the rescue of more than 300 famous Chinese artists, writers and journalists who had taken shelter in Hong Kong to conduct anti-Japanese propaganda before the Japanese occupation. In the beginning of the occupation, the guerrillas succeeded in salvaging this group of Chinese cultural elite and in transferring them along several routes back to the guerrilla strongholds in Mainland China.

The second contribution by the East River Column is the rescue of many captured or escaping soldiers of the Western allies, and transferring them to Western allies’ military bases outside Hong Kong. The talk will focus on the successful case of salvaging Lt. Donald Kerr, an American pilot whose plane was shot down by Japanese air force during his mission of bombing the Kai Tak Airport.

About the Speakers

Professor Cheung Siu-woo is Associate Professor of HKUST Division of Humanities. He developed his interest in cultural anthropology during his undergraduate study at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He later received his training at the University of Washington and completed his MA and PhD in Anthropology there. His area of specialization extends from South China to Vietnam.

Ms. Wan So-ming is a Visiting Lecturer of School of Chinese Medicine of Hong Kong Baptist University and the Chairperson of The East River Column History Research Association. Ms. Wan organized the compilation of the Diary of L. Donald W. Kerr, a pilot of the Allied Powers rescued by East River Column, for 7 years, hoping to enhance people’s understanding on the contribution of East River Column in protecting Hong Kong under Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong.

Students may attain 1-hour credit for the HLTH1010 Healthy Lifestyle Course after attending the talk.


2. Three Years and Eight Months: Hong Kong during the Japanese Occupation

Speaker: Mr. Cheng Po Hung
Date: October 30, 2018
Time: 12:30 – 1:30 pm
Venue: Multi-function room LG4, Lee Shau Kee Library
Language: Cantonese (Cantonese-English simultaneous interpretation will be provided. Receivers are first come, first served.)
Registration: https://lbcube.ust.hk/ce/index.php/event/5872/

About the talk

From December 1941 to August 1945, it was the darkest period in the history of Hong Kong in the World War II. During the “Three Years and Eight Months” under the Japanese Imperial Army’s occupation, Hong Kong suffered from the ravages of war, with fear and helplessness permeating citizens’ everyday lives. In this talk, Mr. Cheng Po Hung will talk about people’s daily lives during the Japanese occupation period; including the Japanese troops entering the city, Nipponization policy, banking and finance, food and provisions, population policy and entertainment, etc.

Most of the exhibits in this exhibition are generously on loan from Mr. Cheng Po Hung.

About the speaker

Mr. Cheng Po Hung, Collector and Expert Advisor of the Hong Kong Museum of History and the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.

Students may attain 1-hour credit for the HLTH1010 Healthy Lifestyle Course after attending the talk.