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"Braving the Storm: Hong Kong under Japanese Occupation"

 

22/1 to 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. Throughout the War of Resistance Against Japan, the people of Hong Kong supported their compatriots in China with both human and material resources, and this unwavering support bears testimony to how the intimately connected people of mainland China and Hong Kong have stood by one another through thick and thin.

Under pressure from Japan, the British government banned the export from Hong Kong of military supplies such as ammunition and fuel in July 1939, but hundreds of vehicles and aircraft together with uncountable relief supplies were nevertheless transported directly from the colony to the mainland. 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 anti-Japanese messages to foreign countries. Works of art, films and comics promoting the resistance effort were created and distributed in Hong Kong, with renowned directors such as Situ Huimin and Cai Chusheng making films that encouraged the city's population to get involved in the anti-Japanese campaign.

The display of invaluable artefacts and historical images from the War of Resistance Against Japan sheds light on the contribution that the people of Hong Kong made to the anti-Japanese efforts in mainland China, and the city's days of darkness during the Japanese occupation. We hope the exhibition will give visitors a better understanding of the support Hong Kong provided in the War of Resistance and of how the people of Hong Kong joined hands with other patriots, guerrilla forces and international allies in the fight to defeat Japan's aggression.

 

 
Braving the Storm - Hong Kong under Japanese Occupation