Saturday, July 08, 2006

Battle of Shanghai in WW II

Seeing Paddy with his colleague on the streets of Shanghai made me wonder what the role of Shanghai was in the Sino-Japanese War that began in 1937 and lasted for eight bloddy years. It turns out that Shanghai fell to the Japanese forces in the opening phases of the that war. Wikipedia is a great place to start examining The Battle of Shanghai . Are you going on any battle tours, are there monuments to see? Does your program study the colonialism that imposed on China by the great Western Powers? Can you give us a sense of what you are "glimpsing" in China? Or is it just another Hogwarthe special program with a different theme? Are you guys doing anything on the Boxer rebellion?, the Opium Wars? Maybe you can add something to the Wikipedia article about the Battle of Shanghai? I would love to see modern pictures of some of the Battle sites.

C

3 comments:

Paddy said...

I don't think there's much of the old city remaining, but i'll look into it.

Paddy said...

I thought I was providing a 'glimpse' of what we're doing here through www.glimpseschina.blogspot.com. The program has a significant academic component, including 90 minutes of Mandarin instruction in small groups (3 people) every day. I can't say that there is intensive, focused work on any one topic such as history or modern international relations, but the students are getting a taste (to mix my sensual metaphores) of Chinese history, culture, and everyday life. I try to give the little history lessons where I can as accompaniment to the regular classes. As for significant battle sites or war memorials in the city, they don't exist, or at least I haven't discovered them. However, this city is all about Western imperial domination, mostly by the British (of course!), French, Japanese,and Americans - the Russians came here after 1917 but were always fairly low on the Western totem of culture/power (they competed for examplw with the Chinese to dominate the prostitution industry in the 1920s and 30s) - and, yes, I try to teach this to the students as they tour through the so-called Concession District (essentially French architecturally - brings to mind images of Saigon as you drive down the tree-lined streets with walled enclosures on either side).

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