Japanese-Occupied Asia from 1941 to 1945: One Occupier, Many Captivities and Memories

TitleJapanese-Occupied Asia from 1941 to 1945: One Occupier, Many Captivities and Memories
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsHack, Karl, and Kevin Blackburn
EditorHack, Karl, and Kevin Blackburn
Book TitleForgotten Captives in Japanese-Occupied Asia

Between 1941 and 1945 there was no generic experience of captivity in Japanese-occupied Asia. Some prisoners of war were sent to work in Japan and Taiwan, others to labor on the 'Death Railway' between Thailand and Burma. Some camps had death rates of below one percent, others of over 20 percent. Some camp guards compounded bad conditions with personal brutality; others acted with restraint. Civilian internees, meanwhile, usually remained in the area where they were detained, in Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, China or the Netherlands East Indies, only to suffer increasing shortages as the war wore on. This chapter, and this book, highlight the dangers of reducing these varied experiences, and their place in memory, to one monochrome stereotype.

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