Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Japanese Occupation

The fall of Singapaore marked the beginning of a brief but tumultuous chapter of Singapore's history. Singapore was reamed 'Syonan-to'' which meant 'the Light of the South' or 'the Radiant South'.

The Japanese used fear to rule Singapore. The cruelty of the Kempeitai kept people in a constant state of anxiety and fear. At the slightest offence, punishment was swift and severe. Many anti-Japanese suspects were subjected to terrible torture or decapitation at the Kempeitai centre. The Eurasians were treated harshly because the Japanese felt they were a threat to them. Some Eurasians were members of the SIngapore Volunteer Corps and had fought against the Japanese. Many were put in prison camps. Those suspected of helping the British were put to death.

To remove Western Influence, the Japanese promoted the Japanese spirit (Nippon Seishin). Every school, government building and Japanese company began with a morning assembly. Those present at such gatherings had to stand facing the direction of Japan and sing the Japanese national anthem (Kimigayo). Taisho or mass drills were made compulsory for students, teachers, staff of companies and government servants. Teachers had to learn Japanese several times a week. The students received their daily Japanese lessons on the schools' broadcasting service.

Source: CPDD Ministry Of Education. (2007).Singapore From Settlement To Nation Pre 1819 To 1971. Singapore. Marshall Cavendish Education.