In often moving prose, R. This is a welcome addition to the increasing body of historical literature in recent years that explores the impacts of that war on the civilian population as opposed to the operational aspects of the war.
In A Sea Of Bitterness: Refugees During the Sino-Japanese War
Some of these displaced people headed to adjacent provinces while others traveled farther south, including Chongqing, the seat of the National government after the fall of Nanjing in December Those who remained in Zhejiang sought safe havens in the Guomindang-controlled areas or in the hinterland within the Japanese-occupied territories pp. Three major military campaigns triggered massive displacement of Zhejiangese.
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The first was the Japanese landings in Hangzhou Bay in early November , followed by the fall of Hangzhou, the seat of provincial government, on 24 December This caused the residents a rude awakening to the reality of the war. Many eventually returned, however, in search of the comforts of settled life instead of the continued bleak uncertainties of refugee life p.
Three years later, the Japanese launched a second round of large-scale armed attacks in the region. The goal was to take control of the greater part of northern Zhejiang that included Ningbo, a key seaport in the coastal area. The third strike of the Japanese massive military offensive—carried out in the spring of —engulfed central and western Zhejiang. The city of Quzhou in western Zhejiang was among the most affected, not only on account of the ferocity of the Japanese assault but also because of self-imposed acts of destruction.
The Chinese military authorities ordered the evacuation of forty thousand residents within days as well as the destruction of homes along the city wall for defensive purposes. Against this backdrop Schoppa introduces an array of accounts of refugee experiences as recorded contemporaneously in diaries, journals, and newspapers, and as remembered by the victims in the aftermath of the war in other forms of writing.
The evocative title of this book, In a Sea of Bitterness, is drawn from one such personal narrative, produced by Feng Zhikai — , about two years after the end of the war. Keith Schoppa. Introduction: The thousand-person pit 1.
A world where ghosts wailed 2. Confronting the refugee crisis 3.
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Veering into the ravine 4. Days of suffering 5. The kidnapping of Chinese civilians 6. Government on the move 7. Playing hide-and-seek with the enemy 8. Guerrilla education 9. Wartime business more Wartime business Scorched earth Trading and smuggling Bubonic bombs Conclusion: Remaking homes. In the Library Request this item to view in the Library's reading rooms using your library card. Order a copy Copyright or permission restrictions may apply.
Mary (sea of bitterness) – Selected Poetry
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