My Family Survived WWII

japanese-troops-in-tsim-sha-tsui     blessings-3-3-2

As I am recalling my journey, I am tracing my steps from the beginning of my life. I count every step as a blessing. Even though at the time it happened, it seems to be something undesirable, yet it turned out to be a blessing. They were blessings in disguise.

I will start with my parents.

My parents got married when my father was sixteen years old and my mother was fifteen.  My mother gave birth to thirteen children and seven of them survived. I am the seventh in the birth order, but I only have one older sister who is second in birth order. I always wanted to know what happened to my first, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth siblings who were born before I, but my parents never mentioned about them. My parents went to Hong Kong from Canton, China after they got married. My older sister was born in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong was a British colony before and after WWII. On December 8, (Asian time zone), Japan launched an attack on Pearl Harbor and invaded Hong Kong. Great Britain surrendered Hong Kong to Japan on December 25, 1941, on a day that the people in Hong Kong called Black Christmas. Japan occupied Hong Kong for December 25, 1941, to August 15, 1945.

Japanese invaded Hong Kong – Japanese troops were in Tsim Sha Tsui

During this period, my parents moved back to China. According to my older sister, they made a living by keeping a small farm. As for my mother, she continued to make babies, but obviously, the babies couldn’t make it under those hardship or lack of proper care.

On August 15, 1945, the VJ (Victory over Japan) Day, Japanese left Hong Kong. Three months later I was born. I was the only child among all the siblings born in China. 100 days after I was born, they moved back to Hong Kong where I was raised.  There was no transportation in operation. My family – my parents, my older sister, and my grandma, who carried me on her back, went on foot, following the railroad track for more than for forty-seven miles to go back to Hong Kong. After our family settled in Hong Kong, my mother had 6 more children.  The 10th girl in birth order died of meningitis.

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