Braving the Storm: Hong Kong under Japanese Occupation

22.1.2016 – 29.6.2016

Thematic Exhibition Gallery,
Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence

Japan's occupation of the northeast provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang in 1931 following the Mukden Incident of 18 September formed the prelude to its full-scale invasion of China. After the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of 7 July 1937, the Chinese people joined hands to put up fierce resistance. As the Japanese army advanced across the mainland, Hong Kong's unique political and geographical position made it an ideal and major channel for the transportation of supplies to China from overseas and a base camp for promoting the anti-Japanese campaign abroad.

As China's major cities fell to the Japanese one by one, many prominent politicians, writers, artists, singers, dancers, comic artists, journalists and filmmakers came to Hong Kong, where they made use of the city's unique location to promote antiJapanese messages to foreign countries. At the same time, the Hong Kong Students' Joint Relief Union was founded to unite local students in resistance against the Japanese invasion. Raising funds through flower sales, charity performances and fun fairs, the union‘s activities conducting promotional and education work marked the climax of the student movement in the resistance effort.

The display of invaluable artefacts and historical photographs in this exhibition sheds light on the support provided by the people of Hong Kong in the war against Japan and their contribution to the anti-Japanese efforts in mainland China as well as on the city's days of darkness during the Japanese occupation.