My grandma’s stories: Japanese occupation, of horror and terror

Book of words

(This is the fourth part of an ongoing series recounting my grandma’s stories about her life and the old days in Singapore. Click here for the first, second and third part)

December 7, 1941 – Pearl Harbor in Hawaii came under a surprise military strike by the Japanese, who officially declared their ambitions in the Pacific. The United States entered World War II for the first time.

Two months later, the Japanese conquered the whole of Malaya, including Singapore, putting an end to more than a century worth of British colonization.

“Compared to the British who left us to our own devices, the Japanese constantly harassed us,” grandma recounted the war years when she grew up as a young teenage girl. “They were merciless, brutal and always beating innocent people up.”

The new order of the day became terror and scarcity, and the number one item on everyone’s list…

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