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Memories of Massacre Preserved

Three artifacts from the infamous Nanjing Massacre were donated to Nanjing Jiangdongmen Massacre Memorial Hall yesterday, the day before the 72nd anniversary of September 18 Incident.


The first donation is an album of photos taken by Japanese soldier Kenenan Yitoo from July 13, 1937 to March 30, 1938 during the Japanese invasion of China.


It was donated by Bu Ping, deputy dean of the Academy of Social Sciences of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, who received the album as a gift from a Japanese friend in 1998.


Serving in the Japanese air force, Yitoo came to Nanjing, the capital city of east China's Jiangsu Province, on January 7, 1938 and then stayed in the city for over 80 days. He witnessed the atrocities carried out by Japanese invaders in the later part of the Nanjing Massacre and recorded the period with his camera.


There are more than 190 black and white photos in the album, most of which were taken in Beijing, Nanjing, Suzhou and Shanghai.


Of the total, 144 were taken in Nanjing where the massacre happened 66 years ago.


Under every photo, there is a detailed caption written by the photographer, noting times, places and incidents.


On one page of the album, four photos of piles of slaughtered Nanjing people are pasted together. Yitoo wrote the caption in the right margin: "Miserable! Hills of dead bodies were discarded along the city river outside the city wall."


Zhu Chengshan, head of the memorial hall, said, "Although we have many photos of the massacre, very few of them have captions. Therefore this photo album is especially significant."


The other two donations are a Japanese saber used during the massacre and a medal given by the Kuomintang government.


They were donated by Guo Yongzhu, a retired worker in Nanjing. Both the saber and the medal were left by his father Guo Xueli who died seven years ago.


According to the son, the saber was captured by his father when fighting as a Kuomintang company commander in the battle against Japanese troops in December 1937, just before the massacre.


After the city was occupied by the brutal Japanese soldiers, Guo Xueli escaped with the saber.


The medal was awarded to Guo Xueli for his bravery in the battle defending Nanjing. The characters on the medal read: "1937 medal for the injured" and "resist Japanese aggression and save the country."


(China Daily September 18, 2003)

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