• Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution
  • Sites of Distorted Facts and Concealed Truth

Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution

Sites of Distorted Facts and Concealed Truth

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Li Qingyun (李慶雲) | Taken prisoner in 1943 and taken to the Hashima Coal Mine
Li Qingyun came from Hebei province in China. After joining the Chinese Eighth Route Army in 1942, he was besieged and captured by the Japanese army in November 1943. The Japanese troops raided, ransacked and burned the village. Tortured, he lost consciousness several times. He was transferred from prison to the Tanggu Concentration Camp and then taken to Hashima. He was housed in a shabby wooden house in Hashima in which 40 to 50 people slept in each room. He worked for 12 hours a day over two shifts with no holidays, and even longer on days of larger coal output. Inside the pit, laborers were made to work sometimes with only fundoshi undergarments or nothing at all. Sometimes his empty stomach made him dizzy and the coal loading was delayed, in which case he would be hit with a club by the overseer from behind. There was no rest even when sick, and no physical safety was guaranteed. All that he had to eat was a small bowl of mixed flour. Those who got sick not only did not receive treatment, but even had their rations reduced. When two people died from a gas leak, seven people went on strike and demanded negotiations with the coal mine; all seven were tightly tied up, beaten, and taken to the police. One of the policemen cut the back of his neck with a knife. After returning to China, he was treated as a Japanese collaborator and fell into severe depression.

- 『Listening to Battleship Island』 (original Japanese title: 軍艦島に耳を澄ませば), Shakai Hyoronsha, 2011; Oral History of Chinese Workers Taken to Japan During WWII - 2 (original Chinese title: 二戦擄日中国労工口述史2), Zhailu Press, 2005

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