November 3, 2012
Wartime lessons help us all
Thank you for Dan Bloom's culture article headlined “Memoirs recall Japan’s wartime rule over Taiwan in the 1940s” (Nov. 1, page 12), and thanks to Mr Tony Kuo (郭天祿), who translated into English his father’s memoirs of life under Japanese rule and as a soldier for the Japanese.
This type of research needs to be carried out to enlighten us to a fascinating and under-studied period of World War II and the years prior to the war.
Tens of thousands of Taiwanese served in the Imperial Japanese Army. As in Tony Kuo’s father’s diary, their story needs to be told.
I have always been interested in the US bombing of Taiwan. At the National 228 Memorial Museum in 228 Park there is an exhibit on the bombing of Taipei by the US. The Presidential Office and Longshan Temple were just two of the many buildings bombed in those air raids in an effort to defeat the Japanese occupiers of Taiwan.
I recall religious Taiwanese friends’ stories that some of the bombs dropping from the air were caught by “guardian angels” of the people below. If only those stories were true: So many suffered during the war, on all sides of the conflict.
Let us tell the stories of those who lived through those times in the hope that such violence will never happen again.
Academic research, oral histories and newspaper articles such as this can only enlighten us to those terrible times.