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Invasion

Invasion

In this scene Chinese Australians are reading advertisements for performances of a folk opera about the Japanese massacres in China

Many Chinese Australians were deeply concerned about the impact of the Japanese invasion of China that began in 1937. These people are reading advertisements for performances of a folk opera about the Japanese massacres in China.

Japanese militarism directed against China

Chinese communities throughout the world were concerned about Japanese militarism directed against China. By the mid-1930s, Japan dominated Manchuria, the north-eastern region of China, and in 1932 had attacked the major trading city of Shanghai in retaliation against Chinese protests. Following international condemnation, the Japanese withdrew from their assault on Shanghai. However in 1937 they launched a full-scale offensive southwards, capturing Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Nanjing (Nanking) — then the capital city of China. The atrocities committed against the Chinese civilian population in this city were so appalling that the seven weeks of mayhem and massacre was referred to in the foreign press as the rape of Nanjing.