The Manchurian Incident Badge by Tom Hanley
Japan was late entering the modern world. Until
Commodore Matthew C. Perry
of the U.S. Navy went into Uragon Bay on July 14 1853 the country was living in
medieval times. Japan had been closed to foreigners for two and a half centuries and
death was threatened to any Japanese who left the country.
However after Perry's visit other ships entered Japan and that country realised it
must enter the modern world. In 1871 a large contingent of Embassy Officials left
Japan to visit the USA and Europe. They were supposed to examine the various
treaties they had negotiated but also wanted to examine the political, industrial,
commercial and financial systems in those countries. On their return they could see, if
their country did not change it could end up as a dependency of Britain like China and
After Japan's victory over Russia on both land and sea in 1905 they considered
they were in with the first class of other countries. She sided with the Allies in WW I
but her army was confined to German possessions in China and the Pacific.
Japan lacked fertile land and mineral wealth and had to look overseas for food
and minerals and China had both. So it's eyes turned towards Manchuria and invaded
that area in the early 1930's. They occupied the three provinces and changed the name
to Manchukuo and installed an heir to the Manchu Dynasty Henry Pu Yi as a puppet
ruler. The area remained in Japanese hands until the end of WW II in 1945.
The purpose of this short story is to reveal an Australian connection. The
Chinese are very nationalistic and with the takeover of the provinces by the Japanese,
local patriotic Chinese had G.A. Miller & Sons of Sydney manufacture a celluloid
badge featuring a map in the centre with the three lost provinces outlined in black.
The Chinese inscription surrounding the map literally reads
"Remember China's Day of Shame".
The Remember China's Day of Shame Badge.
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