Race the Rising Sun: A Chinese Universitys Exodus during the Second World War

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Among their professors were some who were Western-educated, at the time something that was highly respected.

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They encouraged a different mode of learning focused on free thinking and problem solving, and had a different relationship with their students, joking with them at times. Physical education was compulsory but Hsieh was already a keen athlete and particularly enjoyed basketball. Hsieh enjoyed the privileged life of being a student living on a beautiful campus, but this idyllic time was soon interrupted.

The Japanese had invaded China a few months previously.

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After conquering Beijing in July , the army marched southeastwards, along the way bombing towns, burning farms, destroying factories, and torturing civilians. By August, Shanghai had fallen and Hangzhou was next in line. Among other things, the Japanese were trying to obliterate Chinese culture so schools, colleges, universities and libraries were particular targets.

Race The Rising Sun: A Chinese University's Exodus During The Second World War

This exodus lasted eight years and spanned over a thousand miles. In addition to interesting topographical features, Guilin also boasted an interesting people and culture. Every aspect of my future was at stake. They could either join the Khmer Rouge or Vietnamese forces. This lake functions as a reservoir for the Yangtze River. Tho agreed to help escort the Chinese delegation into Cambodia. We rose early for class and exercised outside in the spring sunshine.

The administration of Zhejiang University decided that the students should be evacuated inland to a safer place. This was to start with the freshmen who were just a month or so into their first semester. Hsieh and his fellow students were moved to Chanyang Temple at Tianmu Mountain.

In this idyllic spot, and living among the resident monks, their lessons continued during the week, while weekends were spent exploring the mountains.

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In November, Japanese troops landed in Hangzhou Bay and the city came under aerial bombardment. People started to evacuate in greater numbers.

Many of the university students, angered by the invasion, began military training, learning different maneuvers and gun handling skills. The decision was made to move Zhejiang University inland to a small city called Jiande. Hsieh was among the freshmen, staff and their families who travelled down from Chanyang Temple to Jiande — girls and families in cars, boys and men on foot. When the Japanese later reached Chanyang Temple, they completely destroyed it.

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Meanwhile, those still at the main campus in Hangzhou packed up and moved by car and boat, in an operation that took a week. Jiande was only a small city and the university used temples, homes and schools as residence halls, offices and classrooms. Although all were in fear of Japanese bombardment, the university never considered shutting down.

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And this story was to continue for the next 8 years. They faced constant fear and worry due to the threat of enemy air strikes, as well as hunger and malnutrition, disease and exhaustion. Yet all the time the university was still operating, setting up temporary dormitories, classrooms, laboratories and libraries in the succession of towns where they sought refuge from the war.

For Hsieh the travelling was eye-opening. Moving inland, he met people from minority ethnic groups, heard them speaking differently, saw different customs and costumes, and found out about different religious beliefs.

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He was fascinated by other traditions that were very different from his own cultural norms. Seeing the karst landforms in Guangxi region, and having the chance to explore them on day trips, was a real thrill, although once, while wandering about alone with a textbook and map, he was stopped by a policeman who thought he was a spy! In Hsieh took the final exams and graduated.

He then moved to the Institute of Geography, a research center in the town of Beipei near Chongqing, Sichuan province.

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Although this time was intellectually interesting, it was socially restrictive as the area was so remote. Among them was Jean Kan, who had joined the Department of History and Geography in , and he was rather attracted to her. Brush up your download race the rising sun a chinese.

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