Japanese media reports of Hong Kong in WW2: View pages | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Japanese media reports of Hong Kong in WW2: View pages

I bought this Japanese newspaper on eBay a couple of years ago. I can't read any Japanese, but the seller included this description:

The main headline is:

"Ceremonial entry into Hong Kong by Imperial Japanese Army and Navy "

Some articles and pictures:

  • Japan flag stands at the Victoria Park, Hong Kong
  • Commander Sakai and Japan troops parade through Hong Kong
  • Celebration for occuping Hong Kong held
  • Occupation of all islands of Hong Kong is complete
  • Japan troops bombs Manila
  • Map: around Manila, the Philippines
  • Report from Manila: Manila fallen soon
  • Picture: Hong Kong residents come out of Air-raid Shelter
    Civilians emerge from Air Raid shelter tunnels

  • Picture: British soldiers disarmed in Hong Kong
    Captured British soldiers on Queen's Rd East

  • Picture: Detained British and American children with smiles for Japanese victory in Hong Kong

  • Analysis: How to fight against British and American weapons
  • Picture: British HMS Unity (N66)
  • Unque commercial ads
  • etc,

Here are complete scans of the newspaper pages (click any thumbnail for a larger view). Thanks to Paul Wan and his friend, we now have translations of the articles that mention Hong Kong. Paul writes:

You and I have a New Year gift from my friend in Vancouver, who translated the gist of the newspaper for Gwulo fans. He said that the newspaper is in classic (old) Japanese. You may share the content in Gwulo.

Thanks again to Paul and his friend. I'll paste in the translations below.

Page 1 – six headlines/columns mention about Hong Kong

Page 1 - top

Page 1 - bottom

  • Headline: 莊嚴!香港入城式 (Solemn! Hong Kong City Entering Ceremony)
    In the morning of the 28th the weather was good. At the hill top in Hong Kong Island: the Victoria Peak, the Japanese flag was flying. It was a good day for holding the city entering ceremony. Sakai, the Supreme Commanding Officer in HK at 2.00 pm departed for the ceremony. He inspected the parade at the Boundary Street etc. Then from Kowloon he traveled to Hong Kong Island. At So Kwan Po he greeted the platoons from the army and the navy. Later together with high ranking officers, he inspected the parading army on horse in Central. The city entering ceremony was ended at 4.10 pm, then in a car Sakai was driven to the Governor House located at the middle of a hill. The air force and the navy also had contributed performance for the ceremony.
  • Headline: いて占領祝賀式 (The Occupation Cerebration Ceremony that Followed)
    After the city entering ceremony was over, senior officers at the parade arrived at the Governor House at 4.30 pm to take a break. Then at the open space outside the Governor House a ceremony was held. The supreme army commander Sakai made a speech and the ceremony was ended by photo taking. Inside the building there were singing and dancing and toasting, the event was ended at 5.30 pm.
  • Headline: 征戰日記 (War Campaign Diary)
    In the occupation of Hong Kong, the army and the navy disarmed the enemy on the 26th afternoon and occupied the whole island. On the 27th the Navy entered the harbor. On the 28th the city entering ceremony was held. . . (This column continues to talk about other war fronts at locations outside Hong Kong)
  • Headline: 香港在米資產凍結 (Hong Kong’s Assets in the US Frozen)
    (News released from Buenos Aires) The United States Finance Minister announced the frozen of HK assets in the US when Hong Kong came under the Japanese occupation.
  • Headline:香港全島占領完了(Hong Kong Whole Island Occupation Completed)
    Hong Kong Island had been completely occupied. The Imperial Army and Navy charged with the duty to attack Hong Kong had disarmed the enemy. They were disarmed on the 26th at 6.00 pm and the whole island was occupied.
  • Headline:海軍部隊 堂タと香港入港 (The Navy with a Commanding Presence, Entering Hong Kong Harbor with anImpressive Bearing)
    Before the city entering ceremony, the Navy in Hong Kong made a splendid appearance in the Hong Kong’s waters on the 27th at 10.00 am. At 3.00 pm on the same day, the Navy senior officials visited the Supreme Commander Sakai. They shook hand to express thanks for breaking the British’s 100-year dream of imperial invasion in S.E. Asia. The navy had been on alert to the possible escape of the British gun boats and torpedo boats etc. They shot at and sank torpedo boats that tried to escape at high speed. They cut the cable line under the sea, stopping Hong Kong’s connection with the outside and thus isolated Hong Kong Island. They attacked the Stone Cutter Island and occupied the war supply depot, and subsequently the army could land at the Kowloon Peninsula. On 26th when entering Hong Kong the navy met not even one enemy boat. In total they captured over 200 boats of various descriptions.

Page 2 - one headline is related to Hong Kong

Page 2 - top

Page 2 - bottom

  • Headline: 歡喜 勝利告ぐる軍使 (A Happy Visit at Dawn, Army Visitors that Announced the Victory)

    (It is an article written by Yano, the chief Japanese Consular General in Hong Kong and he sent it to the Asahi Newspaper for publishing. The title’s article was “Eighteen Days in a Surrounded City”)

    On December 12th the Chief Consular General of Japan in Hong Kong together with other Japanese (mostly heads of big Japanese organizations in Hong Kong) visited the Japanese prisoners locked up by the British in the Stanley Prison to give them courage and spiritual support. On their return trip back to the residence of the Consular General they encounter shelling and other dangers. When they arrived at the Consular residence and stayed. On the 25th at 4.45 pm they knew that the British had surrendered and they immediately disarmed the British soldiers guarding the Consular residence. On 26th December at 4.40 am they were visited by three officials from the Japanese Army to inform them about the defeat of the British forces in Hong Kong.

Page 3 - two headlines are related to Hong Kong

Page 3 - top

Page 3 - bottom

    • Headline: 將士淚あり 今ぞひれ香港 (The Soldiers and Officers in the Lining-up Were With Tears, Now Hong Kong groveled at my feet)
      The city entering ceremony held on the 28th December was started at 3.00 pm. Along Queen’s Road; there was a two-mile long army and navy parade. It was followed by a victory celebration ceremony at the Hong Kong Governor’s House. The business center near the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank was flying a Japanese flag. There were those Japanese who had been locked up for 18 days and now released to freedom from the hands of the Japanese Imperial army. There planes flew pass from the west. At the So Kwan Po, the military band played music. The parading soldiers had tears on the face and were gratifying their fallen comrades.

  • Headline: 九龍散華 台灣日タ 記者 (A Taiwan Reporter Died in Kowloon)

    A Japanese army reporter from Taiwan was killed by shrapnel that hit at his heart on 23rd shortly after 11.00 am while he was staying with a marine detachment.

Page 4 - no news about Hong Kong

Page 4 - top

Page 4 - bottom

There is more background information about this Japanese newspaper company available on Wikipedia.

The following newsreel clips aren't dated, but they'd likely have reached Japan soon after the British surrendered.

Newsreel #1http://www.t3licensing.com/license/clip/750146_003.do?assetId=clip_29275934

  • 0:00 - Titles
  • 0:05 - Japanese soldiers marching alongside river. Location unknown
  • 0:15 - Japanese soldiers marching along dirt track. Location unknown
  • 0:20 - Japanese soldiers in vegetation. Location unknown
  • 0:23 - Japanese firing field gun. Location unknown
  • 0:29 - British and Indian POWs being marched down a hillside track. The same group of men are shown in in one of the photos on the cover of Tony Banham's "We shall suffer there". He identifies them as "British and Indian POW's captured at Shing Mun". The Japanese captured the Shing Mun redoubt on 10th December.
  • 0:40 - Sign shows "Tai Po Road". Caterpillar-tracked vehicle tows trailers with Japanese troops on board.
  • 0:48 - Japanese troops on slope consult documents. Buildings in background. Location unknown.
  • 0:50 - Japanese sentry. Long, deserted road in background. Kowloon?
  • 0:53 - Column of Japanese troops march along deserted road. Kowloon?
  • 0:58 - Column of Japanese troops, led by flag-bearer and officer on horseback, march along deserted road. Kowloon?
  • 1:05 - Another column of marching Japanese Troops, but accompanied by a European wearing a Tam-o-shanter. Who was he? In Kowloon?
  • 1:11 - Column of Japanese troops march along deserted road. Collection of single-deck buses in background. Kowloon?
  • 1:18 - Japanese soldier in vehicle hands out paper (money?) to civilians
  • 1:21 - Crowded street. Vehicle with loudspeakers on the roof. Japanese throwing papers from vehicle to crowd.
  • 1:26 - Japanese "Peace Mission", including Mrs Lee and her dachshunds setting off from the Harbour View Hotel in Kowloon. This happened on 13th December.
  • 1:38 - Japanese troops looking across waterway through binoculars. Location unknown.
  • 1:42 - Ships at sea. Location unknown.
  • 1:51 - Several shots of Japanese troops crowded onboard a ship, and ships underway. Location unknown.
  • 2:23 - Guns on larger Japanese ship, and guns firing. Location unknown.
  • 2:29 - View of harbour. Location unknown.
  • 2:32 - Ship guns firing again.
  • 2:33 - Aerial view of Stonecutters' Island. Smoke rising from western end of island.
  • 2:37 - Japanese planes flying in formation
  • 2:42 - View of Mount Davis from north, showing clouds of smoke rising from its slopes. Probably after bombing by plane, given previous view.
  • 2:46 - Aerial view of unknown location
  • 2:50 - Japanese seaplane in flight.
  • 2:53 - Ships at sea. I guess these are Allied ships, trying to avoid being bombed.
  • 3:01 - Aerial view of Taikoo dockyards
  • 3:07 - Aerial view of north shore of Hong Kong Island. Pans across, Causeway Bay, the Typhoon shelter, and the clouds of smoke rising from the blazing APC oil tanks at North Point.

Newsreel #2http://www.t3licensing.com/license/clip/977064_003.do?assetId=clip_29636974

  • 0:00 - The first section duplicates film from Newsreel #1, with some additiona shots of Japanese soldiers onboard ship.
  • 2:13 - Japanese troops crouching behind rubble, then running. It looks as though there are tram power lines in the view, so it should be on Hong Kong island.
  • 2:17 - Japanese soldiers run across the frame carrying a box of shells then firing a field gun from behind sandbags. Location looks to be Kowloon, facing Hongkong island.
  • 2:27 - Japanese troops run across area behind wire fence, and climb a large crane marked "Babcock & Wilcox". Would this be at the Hung Hom dockyards?
  • 2:34 - Smaller cranes, with billowing smoke in the background. Probably the APC tanks at North Point.
  • 2:38 - Japanese soldiers run up seawall with smoke billowing behind them. APC tanks at North Point again?
  • 2:47 - Large area of oil on fire.
  • 2:51 - Oil tanks on fire. 
  • 3:04 - Pall of smoke hangs over building.
  • 3:10 - A view of some large equipment I don't recognise
  • 3:14 - British bunkers, showing damage from fighting
  • 3:19 - Japanese officers looking at wrecked British ships
  • 3:37 - Crowd of British POWs in Statue Square. They look to be from the Navy. 
  • 3:58 - This shows the Japanese victory parade, which happened on the 29th December. It begins with planes flying in formation along the north shore of HK island, shown from the air and from the ground.
  • 4:24 - Japanese officers on horseback ride towards Central, following the tram line past the Cricket Club and the Supreme Court building. Japanese troops line the street.
  • 4:30 - The parade moves along a different section of road that I don't recognise.
  • 4:36 - View of the troops lining the route. Location unknown.
  • 4:38 - The parade passes buglers. Location unclear.
  • 4:42 - The parade moves along a different section of road that I don't recognise.
  • 4:49 - The parade moves along DVRC. The P&O building is visible in the centre of view.
  • 4:57 - The parade continues west along DVRC. The Gloucester building is visible in the centre of view.
  • 5:02 - Japanese soldiers with the boxes containing the ashes of their fallen comrades. Location looks like the Queen's Road E / Hennessy Road junction.
  • 5:06 - Final view west along tram lines, Jardine House on left, GPO on right.

Newsreel #3http://www.t3licensing.com/license/clip/750147_005.do?assetId=clip_29275935

  • 0:00 - Titles
  • 0:05 - View down Kowloon peninsula with Hongkong island in background. Smoke rising from several locations.
  • 0:10 - Japanese soldiers climb up sea wall and run inland
  • 0:17 - unclear
  • 0:20 - Japanese soldiers run out from shelter of building
  • 0:24 - View of harbour. Location unknown.
  • 0:27 - Japanese tanks. They look to be driving east along King's Road, with the chimneys of the North Point power station in the background.
  • 0:34 - Indian POWs and western civilians walking past the Commercial Press building in North Point.
  • 0:42 - View of sunken wrecks in the harbour. Hung Hom dockyards in the distance.
  • 0:45 - A plume of water rises from an explosion in the harbour.
  • 0:48 - A small boat races along the harbour under fire. Possibly one of the British MTBs?
  • 0:57 - Japanese planes in sky, and shell-bursts from anti-aircraft fire
  • 1:01 - Camouflaged Japanese soldiers looking through binoculars
  • 1:04 - Japanese artillery team firing field gun. Location unknown.
  • 1:09 - View of artillery shells exploding near their target. Looks like British fortification, but location unknown.
  • 1:11 - Camouflaged Japanese soldier looking through range finder.
  • 1:13 - Japanese artillery firing.
  • 1:20 - Smoke rising from built-up area. Location unknown.
  • 1:22 - Smoke rising from built-up area. Looks like the Naval dockyard.
  • 1:25 - View west along North shore of Hongkong island
  • 1:30 - Remainder of newsreel is a Japanese man reading an announcement.

Thanks to contributor Moddsey for providing the links to these clips. If you can add any details to the scenes - eg identify people, locations, or equipment - please let us know in the comments below.

Regards, David