Friday, October 03, 2008

Sad Memories at Old Ford Factory - PhotoHunt

PhotoHunt theme : Sad

For 3 years and 8 months, Singapore was under Japanese rule. The Japanese Occupation was the darkest years in Singapore history. Sad memories are now preserved by Memories at Old Ford Factory

In front of the museum, a granite stone has this insrciption :


"夫以銅為鏡, 可以正衣冠;
以古為鏡, 可以知興替;
以人為鏡, 可以明得失."

唐, <<貞觀政要>>

Translated in English, it reads:
"Taking History as a Lesson. (from Emperor Tang Taizong)

With a bronze mirror, one can see whether he is properly attired
With history as a mirror, one can understand the rise and fall of a nation
With man as a mirror, one can see whether he is right or wrong"

Source: Zhenguan Zhengyao

Take time to reflect on the consequences of war as you take in the inspiring words.

Japanese treatment of POWs

Entertainment for the Japanese soldiers was to throw babies into the air and catch them on the tip of their bayonets. They killed the innocents as their past-time. You can hear the oral history accounts of witnesses and victims.

How could men behave like beasts? It makes me sad to see our own kind treating one another like dirt.

Walk through the gallery to find important lessons of creativity, adaptability and entrepreneurship from the annals of history, displayed by those who lived through the Occupation years.

Memories at Old Ford Factory
351 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 588192

Mondays to Fridays, 9.00am to 5.30pm

Saturdays, 9.00am to 1.30pm

Closed on Sundays


  1. a lot of those crime has to do with japan's militant past lah... china put up very fierce resistance against the japs, that's why when china fell to the japanese, the japanese emperor at that time gave orders to ensure that the chinese suffer terribly.

    with another, joker (Aso) as japan's next PM, he has so far been very ambigeous in his stance toward visiting the war shrine...
    looks like korea and china's going to have another diplomacy problem with japan soon..

  2. Hi articulator,
    The Japanese Emperor was very vengeful and cruel. Making so many innocent Chinese suffer. If he had not invaded China, would the Chinese people fought them?

    Many innocents died because of one man's anger. geez...

    Japan is not going to apologise for their war crimes. No matter which one of them becomes the PM, they will always have problems with China and Korea.

  3. which explains why the US is the only ally japan has.....whahaha...they both deserve each other ;)

  4. Interesting. I never knew Memories at Old Ford Factory existed! :P

  5. Leonard,
    Go take a look. Bring your parents. :)

  6. Oh my, I remember that old Ford building. I used to ride past it when travelling on the bus on the way back to Johor Bahru. It's located on a hillock in Bukit Timah right? I was then a student in Singapore.

    I never realised how much sufferings and grief belongs to that building's past.

    My English teacher at Montfort Secondary School related to us how innocent Singaporeans were shot in cold blood at the beach in Punggol. Hundreds were gathered at the foot of the hill on which a Catholic Church stood. The Singaporeans were told to flee for their own freedom. And as they ran for their lives, the Japanese soldiers opened fire and shot them doing target practice.

    Thanks for sharing this article with us.

    God Bless you Always!

  7. Windmill,
    Yes, when you take bus number 170 to JB, it passes by this old Ford factory. It's been converted to a museum now.

    It holds so much of sad memories for the older people of Singapore.

    I was told about that episode too. The Japanese soldiers firing at the fleeing people. To the Japs, it was fun. For the victims, they were running for their lives. I can imagine the horror and fear as they flee, they would never understand why they had to die. They thought they were given a chance to live which was pretty slim.

  8. War is indeed one of the saddest (and irrational!!) things in the world...Very deep take on the theme, ECL. I am not up yet, still thinking and searching for a shot...

  9. ecl,
    Past time=kill the innocents?? Hmm... Actually, at that very moment, did they think that if that's their family member, how would they feel?

  10. Mar,
    I have the saddest entry. :(

    You're always keeping me waiting. hehe....
    *reads the papers*

  11. Kok,
    Yahhhh! The Jap soldiers, to pass time... sometimes it was just a whim or they didn't like the face of the person, they would kill or torture the innocents.

    My grandfather was slapped and beaten up a few times for not bowing deeper or for no reason. After seeing a neighbour's head got sliced off for not greeting a Jap soldier, he avoided going out, so as not to bump into the Japs.

    The Jap soldiers were killing machines, trained to be void of passion, trained to kill. They were not human, they were robots.

  12. Always something good to read here.. War is always sad.. :(

  13. that's really terrible. i know my aunt did tell me about dark period which was when the japanese invaded but she never went into detail. sigh the things that they do during their past time as you described is seriously unthinkable ...

  14. Satkuru,
    My grandparents used to tell us about their sufferings and hardships during the Japanese Occupation. By telling their stories, they wanted their descendants to learn from this historical event, to adapt, to be resilient in times of hardship, and most important to be prepared.

    We were not allowed luxury items nor did we have good food all the time. We were taught to be thrifty, to lead a simple life and never to inflict pain on innocent persons.

    There is a lot to be learnt....

  15. A sad history that sure brings back sad memories of history in bad times.

    psst, the weather today can kill!! *pengsan*

  16. Hi...
    thank for "Happy Idul Fitri"
    If you celebrate Idul Fitri, Iwanna said Happy Idul Fitri too

    sorry for lateness reply :)

  17. sadly, there were many innocent babies who were killed brutally.....heartless soldiers.

  18. There are too much war atrocities. If there is one lesson to be learnt, is that mankind has to consciously choose kindness over many things.

  19. So many have suffered in so many wars. Why can't we simply learn to accept each other and stop hate?

    Great shots...very sad indeed. hey today was my first time to do photohunt.

    I am trying to get the right Mr. Linky...Grrr!!

  20. I didn't realise that there's a museum over there. Is it the one near the train tracks?

    Anyway, the Japanese Occupation was really a blight in history. My mum was actually born in the bottom of a well as my grandma was hiding from pursuing Japanese soldiers.

  21. these atrocities even though in memory still causes my heart to stir in agony for those that have suffered. A lot of our People too were enslaved and maltreated by the former Japanese Militia. It goes to show that we have learned to forgive but it is something that will never be truly forgotten.

  22. The Japanese who perpetuated the immensely atrociously immoral crimes during WWII were really worse than beasts! They were like devils! I read of accounts which were beyond human imagination: how could humans do this to their counterparts?

    Though the bloody WWII has already been in the past, some 50 odd years ago, whenever I see the youth of today lapping up the latest Japanese culture and gadgets readily here in Singapore, it dwell on me one thing: whether the youths of Singapore today has really forgotten the cruel deeds the Japanese have done to their forefathers?

    Do not get me wrong.. I am not an old man, actually I am a young man and do not get me wrong too, I am not anti-Japanese but the point I would like to make is:

    Can History be forgotten? Can History to youths be just buried in textbooks, regurgitated during tests and then forgotten?

    I say to youths today, embrace the world but do not forget the past, do not forget the past hardships your forefathers have gone through to make Singapore the home that you are living in comfortably now.

  23. Soo many men lost their lives and suffered during the wars. It was a sad truth. And what we could do today is to learn from our past. That hopefully it wont happen again.

    Happy Weekend to you! ;-) Mine is posted HERE. Happy PH!~

  24. Great post Eastcoastlife although it is very sobering. Japanese behaviour during WWII was monstrous. The mother of one of my closest friends was interned by the Japanese. Her mother and brother died in the camp

  25. A wonderful post that will remind us of what went on a short time ago.

  26. The Philippines share the same plight, we were under Japanese regime for almost 10 years (until World War II) and it was as you said dark history...but what of 333 years under the Spaniards? Ah I couldn't imagine.

    History builds our nation and though wars are senseless and brings nothing but sadness we learn from them...that hopefully we avoid them.

    I'll leave with the famous quote ""to err is human to forgive divine." - Happy weekend!

  27. truly sad, like hitler, pol pot, today in north korea.

  28. Wow! A very strong sad post! And horrible memories. Unbelievable actually. Humans is beasts sometimes. *not happy at the thought*

  29. By the way, since we are on the topic of WWII, I was trying to find out about Sook CHing, and from this source, "General Yamashita ordered on 18 February 1942 for notices to be posted, recalling Chinese men between the ages of 18 to 50 to congregate at concentration centre"

    So, I was a little in need of sources to verify your claims in this post of yours. It would be helpful if you could point me to the source of your statement that claims that "all male Chinese in Singapore were ordered to concentrate at the assembly points six days after 15 Feb 2008?".

  30. Have to say that the feelings you evoked in me through this blog really are of sadness but also anger. To echo your words: "How could men behave like beasts? It makes me sad to see our own kind treating one another like dirt." For, after all, we all are of a single human race... :(


    this is history as recounted by my dad to me. many atrocities happened during that time. it was a horrible time. i dont like to sound racists but the Chinese in at that time Malaya were the targets for their support to mainland China during the preceeding yrs. My father lived to the age of 68 jus bcoz he wanted to avoid the pain of being shot. In the end he survived

  32. same here in the philippines. the japanese rule was quite painful to remember.

  33. is very sad

    Please stop at my PH post also: in HERE or HERE Thanks

  34. oh ECL! This post reminded me about the stories my grandfather would tell me. Exact ones, how those beasts would throw babies and the air and catch them in the air with their bayonets. Only a beast can do that. And what they have done to our women! Soul-less bastards they are.

    The Japanese occupation was the worst nightmare in our Philippine history.

  35. hullo ECL. such sad memories are difficult to unearth since they also remind us of the pain that accompany them... but yeah, unless we learn from the past, we are bound to repeat it. i admire your love for your country and your desire to increase it among those who visit your blog =] enjoy the weekend ahead!

  36. Hope history does not repeat itself. Let there be peace and no war...

  37. My grandfather was a POW of the Japanese. War is horric. Great post. Peace to you.

  38. It truly sad that we as people are prejudice and want to warm each other.
    We always find something to be prejudice against mainly because we don't want to understand or except others.

  39. ECL, you got an award

    Come when you are free

  40. Yes, the Japanese were the worst ever. They are not just mean (mean is not even the proper word to describe them), they also brought a lot of sufferings to everyone. My immediate neighbour now is about 86 years old and I love listening to her stories about the Japanese. It makes me hate the Japanese more for what their ancestors did to us.

    It's great that Singapore has a museum to keep and treasure the one should forget history.

  41. ECL, thanks for stopping by today! I'm still in busy raya time to drop EC also. Plus so tired from all the entertaining I've been doing. Yest parents came over with younger sis and baby Issy! Today other sis coming over and I'm serving lunch! Busy bumblebee la me! Happy Sunday! :)

  42. Oh but I managed to drop EC at ECL of course! ;)

  43. Is that Singapore?! I think there are so many places in Singapore I haven't been yet (still wanna find that goat farm you blogged about a while back ... lol).

  44. I feel sorry for those poor POW. I feel terrible for what those innocent babies went through. Thanks for sharing this piece of history.

  45. That was a very sad time, nevertheless we need to remember those times in the hope that it won't happen again.

    Thanks for the comments on my holiday - sorry, the wine's all gone. I wonder where? :) :)

  46. I've been there on a school trip last year!

    been too busy to surf blogs. so here I am back again after having finally moved the bulky furniture into my new place. to answer your reply in your prev post.

    I cant cook deh. I told myself to learn after I'd quit teaching 3 years ago by buying a few cookbooks. It never happened of course. Now with tons of money spent on the stove, hub and hob, I have no excuse. Gona join my colleagues in a fruit cake backing session in school next week for a start. Haha. Hopefully that will help me score points with the women. Haha. Been too busy for them or anything else except work, tuition, shifting my stuff and then falling asleep infront of the tv almost daily.

    I do rem you jio-ing for makan in toa payoh. After 1st 2 weeks of Nov k? Got to go manila with the school (self paid volunteer hor!) on a CIP trip to remind myself that there are the poor living in slums while the rest of the world thrived in luxury.

    I still didnt' receive any email from u leh. Haha. Take care. Will comment on rest of your photos when I get the next slack time.

    Take care.