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Popularity 4Viewed 12601 times 2013-8-15 08:12 |Personal category:FORBIDDEN LOVE OF 2 SWORN ENEMIES|System category:Life






My Grandfather was from the Quanzhou, Fujian textile millers family in China. He often accompany their ships that sailed into Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar and the Philippines selling Chinese made fabrics and wares in exchange for silver or precious commodities; such as South Sea pearls, abalone and bird’s nest from Surabaya Indonesia; Rubber and tin from Malaysia; Spices from Singapore; Rice and gems from Thailand and Myanmar; Copper iron and silver from the Philippines.

My grandmother was from the family of naval officer corp of the Japanese Imperial Navy from Kokura, Japan and was assigned as military attaché in Xiamen, China.

Both their families were of distinction and had lived in the exclusive enclave in an island off Xiamen called Gulangyu where my grandfather’s family maintained a boutique shop of fine fabrics, jewels and exotic provisions.

Being young and innocent, my Japanese grandmother had no hesitation in striking conversation with my grandfather who on occasion was minding the boutique. He was curious what made a foreign female dotted by her Chinese nanny, wanting to master the Fujian dialect. She would buy things she may not need just so to find out what such curios as abalone, powdered river pearls, bird’s nest, and Korean ginseng comes from and for what purposes. There would be times that she was to return with a rather somber official looking member of their naval mission to return what was bought by mistake or on impulse.

Being a trader and not intending to place her in trouble, my grandfather or his father then would accept the returned items and reimburse the sale.





This set the tone of civility and cautious friendship between them on the part of my grandfather’s family knowing the reputation that preceded the Japanese military personnel then operating in China.

When the invasion of China’s northeast in 1937 broke out, it was with shock and dismay that my grandfather learned that her father is the garrison commander of the Japanese imperial Naval base in Xiamen.



Having textile factories and workers under their care, my grandparents’ family decided to stay put and deal with this adversity as it was much too much to move their assets. No place seemed safe except in Hong Kong or Singapore but the blockade had already began and most of their relatives were grounded in Fujian, China.

All their assets were commandeered by the dreaded Japanese Kempetai ( secret police) who decided that these assets were to serve the Japanese war effort.


My grandparents’ family hesitated and drag their feet and produced textile below their quota because they do not really know if they are to be paid for their services or not. It was at this point that his father was imprisoned, tortured and sent somewhere that up till this day no one knew of his whereabouts. My grandfather being multi-lingual was conscripted to act as interpreter for all prisoners of war and sent to the work camp of the munition plants at Kokura, Japan, where lo and behold my grandmother was the head of clinic staff in this camp as she returned to her hometown to join the war effort.



Fortunately, their past friendship kept my grandfather out of trouble many times. There were times that he was assigned to mining underground so that he does not becomes conspicuous and was visibly placed out of trouble. When she sense he was failing in health she would send him for interpretation duty in her work camp to nurse him back to health with extra ration and bed rest.

On August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. It was to be followed with another atomic drop three day later at Kokura. Fate has it that the weather visibility over Kokura was bad and the target was diverted to Nagasaki a few miles away.

My grandfather returned to Quanzhou, Fujian after the war and started to rebuilt their lost fortune. His multi-lingual skills led him to assist in processing surrendering Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean troops repatriating home as he can now speak Niponggo, Taiwanese and basic Korean learned from his former work camp days. He had not forgotten about my grandmother. He had summoned enough influence that he was able to requisitioned her to be exfiltrated from Kokura to join him in Fujian.

It was after the war that he found out where his father might have been buried in the shallow beaches in Xiamen where waves and wildlife may have claimed his body.

Nevertheless, it was meant to be that love between two persons whose countries were mortal enemies  happened. It was not easy. Forgiveness and misunderstanding does not easily get resolved on both sides. So my grandparents established themselves from scratch in Southeast Asia after the war.

Given two individuals without the prejudice of society, love do exists and is possible.

Fate also may have intervened that Kokura was passed over due to poor visibility and the second atomic bomb meant for it was diverted to Nagasaki. Does it mean that there is a more noble purpose for such a coincidence?

I wonder what this all mean to simple human being that we all are? Does humanity and love transcend all worldly prejudices?

Do we begin to believe that we are all brothers and sisters ONLY when our species face its own extinction?

I wonder.                                                                      


August 12, 2013

The Laurentians Mountain,


(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




Shake hands


Friends who just made a statement (3 Person)

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Comment Comment (6 comments)

Reply Report KIyer 2013-8-15 09:56
What a lovely love story! This is beautiful and truly inspiring.
Reply Report 米洛.DeSTi 2013-8-26 14:52
true and romantic
Reply Report huaren2323 2013-9-6 11:13
KIyer: What a lovely love story! This is beautiful and truly inspiring.
THANKS KIyer,...was out of town and now catching up. I did enjoy your pleasant treat at Guangzhou. I should try flying there enroute to Hong Kong next time. I need the discover my roots..
Reply Report huaren2323 2013-9-6 11:16
米洛.DeSTi: true and romantic
Yup. I have the genetics of these great brothers/sisters. Hope we can find peace and learn to live peacefully. Your Chinese handler name is Mi Lou...Hmm... how does it relate to De S Ti? just curious..
Reply Report 米洛.DeSTi 2013-9-9 12:34
milo is for miracle ,desti is for destiny ,then the whole meaning is miracle of the destiny
Reply Report huaren2323 2013-9-9 12:42
米洛.DeSTi: milo is for miracle ,desti is for destiny ,then the whole meaning is miracle of the destiny
Oh I see.... very postive...great..thank you...Have a good day then..It is Monday now in Asia....I suppose you are in Asia..we are still Sunday...getting colder now..goodbye summer...comes Autumn..,,time to go back to Asia...for warmer days...enjoy your week...

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Recent comments

  • 500,000 Chinese + Another 100,000 Chinese massacre in Indonesia - Lest We Forget 2014-8-25 20:10

    Michael, the truth shall be out whenever and so long as people remembers and more importantly lessons learned, ergo we progress as a specie. From the dawn of history men have brutalized each other but despite this we are still learning to live within  a Global Village. Teachers or as the Chinese say Lao Shu is important to instill in the young hoping that one day when they become leaders they can make the difference.
    There are many heroes that are not recognized in history but then what purpose o eahc of us have in this existence than to make a positive difference.
    Bring it on the Chinese corner or inside your classroom or just living and demonstrating by example. Even if it can be as unpleasant as arguing with a  street vendor for services she/he did sloppily.

  • 500,000 Chinese + Another 100,000 Chinese massacre in Indonesia - Lest We Forget 2014-8-25 07:44

    Huaren, Obama is an embarrassment to the American people. No one could have imagined the ineptitude and poor leadership that he has shown the world.

    The massacre at Nanjing is largely ignored in the USA. I never heard about when studying world history and even when studying World War 2. President Harry Truman has also been overlooked in Chinese history for what he did to bring Japan to their knees. Most students here know of Nixon but not Truman. If Truman had not had the courage to drop the two A-bombs on Japan, they would have likely killed many more Chinese and caused much more devastation. The Japanese have proven through history to be brutal and uncivilized people. If they had not surrendered, Truman would have dropped up to 10 A-bombs on them. I agree with your sentiment and feel the pain of the Chinese people over this situation. It is sad. America didn't acknowledge it because of what was happening on the Korean Peninsula. China was supporting the north while the US was supporting the south. I think this is why these things were overlooked by the US and China. The US didn't acknowledge the massacre at Nanjing and Chinese didn't give the credit to Truman that he deserved. All of this simply because they didn't agree about Korea.

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