This is not the museum to visit if you're in search of something warm and uplifting. It derives its name from September ... More
This is not the museum to visit if you're in search of something warm and uplifting. It derives its name from September 18, 1931 the day Japanese forces invaded China and subsequently occupied Shenyang and the surrounding peninsula. The museum (it is definitely slanted towards a Chinese perspective) displays photos depicting the carnage of war, many of which are visually disturbing.
The architecture reminds of the Holocaust Memorials in Eastern Europe. Very well done, but a depressive atmosphere. Historically important but no "fun-place". Good for a plan B for rainy days. Good overall experience.
When we told staff at the hotel that we had visited this museum, we learned that for people of this area the museum is a very emotional and special place. Further, it is a nationally recognized museum and is in a long, handsome building dating back only to 1999. The 9.18 in the Museum name is the date in 1931 when the Japanese blew up a railroad bridge on the outskirts of Shenyang, thereby manufacturing an excuse the Japanese used to justify invading China. The museum commemorates the brutal Japanese occupation of this area, then called Manchuria. The museum is a record of the atrocities the Japanese perpetrated against the people of Northeast China during the 1930s until their surrender in 1945. It also documents in detail the resistance movement, organized by the Communists. Even now the Japanese are not liked in Shenyang for what happened between 1931 and 1945, although at conclusion of the tour there is a plea that China must be friends with Japan. While much of the material presented is solely in Chinese, there are enough explanations in English to make the visit worthwhile even if you don't have a Chinese guide with you. We didn't use a museum guide, so we can't comment on that aspect of the museum. We think it's a must visit if you are in Shenyang.
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