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"Children in Wartime Asia" Subject of Conference at Pomona College

Child of War book cover

A history conference on “Children in Wartime Asia 1931-1945” will be held on Friday, November 11, from 1:30-5:30 p.m., at Pomona College in the Hahn Building (Room 101, 420 N. Harvard Ave., Claremont).

The speakers will examine how the horrors of World War II affected children in Asia in both predictable and surprising ways. They were hungry, sick and poorly clothed and housed. They often were separated from their families and lost parents or siblings. Some lost their own lives. The presentations at the half-day conference will address this neglected issue of children in wartime Taiwan, China and the Philippines.

What prompted Pomona College Professor of History Samuel Yamashita to organize this event was, “the paucity of scholarly English-language articles and books on the situation of children in Asia during World War II. This stands in marked contrast to the experience of children in Europe during World War II, which has been amply documented and written about.” In his own research, Yamashita said he discovered that children suffered the most, “First, because they were the smallest and weakest; and second, because they often did what they were told to do.”

The lecture schedule is as follows:

  • “Preparing for the Final Exam: Wartime Patriotism in Children's Textbooks in Colonial Taiwan” —Winifred Chang, UCLA
  • “Adjudicating War: Juvenile Offenders in Wartime China, 1931-1945”—Lily Chang, University of Oxford
  • “Abandoned Children in Manchuria: Past and Present"”—Mariko Tamanoi, UCLA
  • “Writing A Child of War”—Curtis Tong, Pomona College

For more information, contact: (909) 607-8035 or kayo.yoshikawa@pomona.edu.