“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

The Murder of Pamela Werner in Peking – 80 Years Ago This Week

Posted: January 9th, 2017 | No Comments »

Eighty years ago this week in a freezing Peking 19-year-old Pamela Werner was murdered in Peking and her body dumped by the Fox Tower…

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Happy New Year – and so 2017

Posted: January 7th, 2017 | No Comments »

Here’s hoping you all had a good new year – time to start posting again for 2017 – back from a holiday straight after Christmas – life feels a little like Chinese artist Lei Xue’s series of crushed cans….

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Off on holiday but leaving you with a good tale – Remembering Shirley Hazzard’s Espionage Career in Hong Kong and Shanghai

Posted: December 28th, 2016 | No Comments »

I’m off on my holidays for a bit and it’s an internet patchy destination so i’m using the vacation as a chance for a break from posting for a fortnight or so…but will return with lots more old China soon and firm news on new books in 2017 for anyone interested….happy new year and see you in early January. In the meantime i’ll leave you with a link to a great tale set in post-war Hong Kong and Shanghai I recently recalled about the sadly departed Shirley Hazzard….

This December the Australian writer Shirley Hazzard (1931-2016) died at 85. For those interested in Asian history her 2003 novel The Great Fire was esepcially pertinent with its descriptions (eye witness ones for Hazzard) of Hong Kong, Shanghai, Japan and elsewhere in the years immediately after the Second World War. I was lucking enough to meet Hazzard at the M on the Bund Shanghai International Literary Festival some years ago when she visited. Here, on the Literary Hub, is an anecdote she recalled on her first visit to Shanghai since 1947 under very different circumstances – as a spy for British Intelligence…..click here….

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The Five Days of an Old Shanghai Christmas – #4 – Merry Christmas to you all from the Yangtze Patrol

Posted: December 23rd, 2016 | No Comments »

The USS Guam joined the United States Pacific fleet only in 1943 but saw service in operations off Okinawa before joining the United States Yangtze Patrol, more commonly known as the “YangPat”. USS Guam was stationed at Shanghai for a time and handily commissioned the grewat White Russian cartoonist Sapajou (at that time looking himself for a way out of China) to draw their Christmas Card – he did and, as you can see, it outlines the patrol route up the Yangtze of the Guam (below) and other YangPat vessels.

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The Five Days of an Old Shanghai Christmas – #3 – 1946: Christmas Aboard USS Curtis for a Hundred Shanghai Orphans

Posted: December 22nd, 2016 | No Comments »

December 1946 – Shanghai’s second free Christmas since the end of the Japanese occupation. But still shortages are acute, civil war raging, inflation awful and so many displaced persons to find new homes for. The USS Curtis (below) was in town and the crew decided to hold a Christmas party inviting a hundred Chinese and Russian orphan kids aboard for what must have been a seriously memorable Christmas feast…

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The Five Days of an Old Shanghai Christmas – #2 – 1942, a cold and hungry Christmas in Japanese occupied Shanghai

Posted: December 21st, 2016 | No Comments »

December 1942 – the second Christmas of Japanese occupation of all Shanghai. This report emanated from the capital of Free China, Chungking (Chongqing). The reporter claims that thousands of Chinese are dying every week from starvation  and disease; food supplies are erratic at best and greatly reduced. Among the foreigners left in the city, Jewish refugee children are the worst affected and as many as 12 a week dying of malnutrition. Jewish children are reported to be fighting with Chinese beggar kids for scraps. Coal, rice, meat, all fuels…in short supply and with prices spiraling upwards; foreigners are being interned, some in camps, some in common prisons…

1942 was a grim Christmas in Shanghai…there were to be yet two more Christmases before liberation in 1945….

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The Five Days of an Old Shanghai Christmas – #1 – Shanghai on Your Christmas Radio

Posted: December 20th, 2016 | No Comments »

In 1930 everyone could enjoy a little of Shanghai’s Christmas…on the radio. For the first time Shanghai, as well as Manila, Tokyo and Honolulu were all wishing the United States mainland a merry Christmas by the magic of short wave radio…

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Kashgar Revisited: Uyghur Studies in Memory of Ambassador Gunnar Jarring

Posted: December 19th, 2016 | No Comments »

Contributions to Kashgar Revisited provide new insights into ongoing research into Uyghur history, linguistics and culture, while building on the scholarly legacy of Gunnar Jarring, the Swedish Turcologist and diplomat…

 

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Edited by Ildikó Bellér-Hann,University of Copenhagen, Birgit N. Schlyter, University of Stockhholm, and Jun Sugawara, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies

 

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