Chinese children in 1944 Seoul featured singing to Imperial Army soldiers ‘in the beautiful bloom of Japanese-Chinese friendship’

This is a historical article published in 1944 in the Keijo Nippo newspaper, which served as the national newspaper of colonial Korea and a propaganda organ of the Imperial Japanese colonial regime that ruled Korea from 1905 to 1945.

This article provides a glimpse into an event where Chinese children from the Seoul Overseas Chinese School, which still exists today in the Myeongdong district of Seoul, entertained wounded Imperial Army soldiers with song and dance in 1944 during World War II. Not surprisingly, their school endorsed the puppet Wang Jingwei regime known as the Reorganized National Government of the Republic of China. Interestingly, the Russian Tatar community in Seoul also had their children perform for injured soldiers in a similar manner. These activities were part of efforts to evoke a sense of Pan-Asian unity, aligning with the concept of the East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere promoted by Imperial Japan.

This historical account highlights that minority communities in Korea were not exempt from demonstrating support for Imperial Japan. Neutrality was not an option. The Chinese community in Korea numbered around 83,000 in 1942, though it remains unclear how many of them resided in Seoul at that time. Chinese residents contributed significantly to the economy of colonial Korea, as China was the colony’s major trade partner, and Chinese residents facilitated this trade.


Gyeongseong Ilbo (Keijo Nippo) April 7, 1944

They Applaud and Forget Their Painful Wounds

The Good Children of China

Comforting the Brave Soldiers in White

“Sakura, Sakura, Sakura blossoms of March!”

In the beautiful bloom of Japanese-Chinese friendship, the charming Chinese children, filled with the spirit of living and dying together, sang the military Sakura song to the brave soldiers in white. The good children, symbolizing the vigorous new spirit of the young Republic of China that has risen strongly for the peace of East Asia, sang with all their might. Their endearing voices deeply touched the hearts of the gently smiling brave soldiers, evoking a warm bond and a shared passion to walk forward hand in hand.

To commemorate the Chinese Children’s Day on April 4th, on the afternoon of the 6th at 1:30 PM, when the forsythia fruits were swelling, twenty-five children from the Seoul Hanseong Overseas Chinese School, led by Principal Xue, held a lively entertainment event to thank and comfort the injured Imperial soldiers at the Yongsan Seoul Army Hospital in the Patriotic Hall. After presenting a donation from the children’s sincere hearts, Principal Xue and student representative Zhang Changfang gave heartfelt speeches in fluent Japanese to open the event, saying, “We are striving to become as admirable as the strong children of Japan. Although we cannot fully comfort the brave soldiers who fought for the liberation of the East Asian peoples with our humble performances, we hope our sincere hearts can bring them joy. We, Chinese children, are grateful to the Imperial soldiers whom we see as our fathers and brothers and pray for their health.

They performed a variety of songs and dances, including the “The March of Prosperous Asia,” “Invincible Imperial Army,” and “Military Sakura,” as well as games, magic, drama, and Chinese sword dance, offering a bouquet of entertainment. The brave soldiers, whose white uniforms filled the venue, were so delighted by the adorable and passionate performances that they forgot their pain and gave thunderous applause. Finally, with a supporting performance by the Korean Music and Drama Troupe, the pure-hearted entertainment beautifully linking Japan and China concluded, delighting the soldiers to their hearts’ content and alleviating their boredom. Everyone took commemorative photos with the soldiers and departed at 4 PM. [Photo: The Brave Soldiers in White Enjoying the Entertainment Performances]


京城日報 1944年4月7日