Date of letter:1993-08-05
Address of author:Beijing City
Date of event:1944
Location of event:Hunan Province
Name of author:Liu Yuzhi, Liu Yifang
Name(s) of victim(s):Liu Yugan, Zhang Lihuang, Liu Yuzhi’s brother and grandmother
Type of atrocity:Murders, Others(MU, OT）
Other details:In 1944, the Japanese soldiers pressed people into service and raped women everywhere in Hunan Province. My father was caught unfortunately. My mother went to prevent, but was hacked in the head by the Japanese soldiers and my father was also hacked to death. My grandmother holding my six-year-old younger brother was discovered by the Japanese soldiers. My brother was torn in half by the Japanese soldiers and died immediately. In order to save her grandson, my grandmother was stabbed twice by them. Our belongings were also destroyed by the Japanese soldiers. I claim for compensation from Japan.
Mr. Song Hang,
You must be busy, how about the progress of your company setup? Since the conference on June 16, I didn’t make any call or write you any letter, sorry about that. Today I send you a copy of the letter from Liu Yuzhi in my hometown, which demanded compensation from the Japanese government for the deaths of his parents and younger brother brutally killed by Japanese soldiers, please forward it to Mr. Tong Zeng. I had written a number of letters to my hometown, on the same day of my father’s death, several others also died in the local area, among which the deaths of Liu Yuzhi’s parents and his younger brother were the biggest tragedy. They will sent letters to me in due time, then I will forward them to you.
I have also enclosed a name card. I hope to hear from you soon, and look forward to receiving your generous instructions.
Wish you and Mr. Tong Zeng all the best
September 16, 1993
Japanese Government c/a Japanese Embassy in China:
The brother and sister of both of us today write this letter to your government, because 49 years ago my grandmother was injured, our father, our mother, and our younger brother were brutally killed by the Japanese Invasion Army, we hereby solemnly demand damage compensation.
I. How our parents were killed
My father is Liu Yugan, my mother is Zhang Lihuang, they are natives of Zhangmutang, Huaping Town, Xiangxiang County (now Xiangxiang City), in Hunan Province. My father worked as teacher in hometown for three years, at 10 o’clock on April 30 (June 20) in the 23rd year of the Republic of China (1944) on the lunar calendar, a large Japanese Army troop passed our hometown to occupy Xiangxiang county seat, they conscripted slave labors everywhere, raped and looted, killed and burned, implemented ‘Burn All, Kill All and Loot All’ policy in our town, my father was collecting refugee permit at the Village Town Office, and was unfortunately captured, our neighbors notified my mother; hearing that my father was captured, my mother cast caution to the winds, rushed to the river bank where my father was detained, she pleaded mercy and tried everything to obstruct, without concern for her own safety, in order to save my father, but Japanese soldiers held bayonets to prevent her from moving any closer, one Japanese soldier holding a sword barbarously slashed it down toward my mother’s head, another one wielded a knife to decapitate my father, our parents instantly died on the spot, with head and body split on the river bank, blood formed rivulets, it was a horrible scene
II. How my grandmother was injured, how my younger brother was killed brutally
Hearing that son and daughter-in-law were captured, my grandmother took six year old grandson to look for daughter-in-law, just then the Japanese troops passed the river bank, there they again met killers, who without provocation tore my younger brother into half, who instantly died, my grandmother worked fiercely to save her grandson, one inhuman Japanese soldier even brandished a dagger to stab grandmother below the breast twice, and in the head for five times, she collapsed on the river bank, the previously clean river water became stained with blood, on the bank a Chinese citizen was struggling on the brink of death, tragically died under the butcher’s knife of the invaders, about ten minutes later when the Japanese Army left, fellow villagers passed the river bank, and saw my grandmother was still breathing, so they carried her home.
My father was only 36, and my mother was only 37 at the time of death, and my younger brother was only six, in that evening a flood came to sweep away the bodies, till today no one knew where the bones were, the deaths of our parents and my younger brother marked a huge tragedy in the history of Xiangxiang County, nearly half a century has passed, it’s a pity that the killer still remained at large, the pitiable ones are the victims, for they have nowhere to air the grievances despite deep grievance, throughout the past 49 years we never for an instant forget the hatred for killing of our parents, but we could only shed sorrowful tears to mourn over the tragic death of our parents and my younger brother, especially on the birthdays of our parents, the anniversary day of the disaster and the Tomb-sweeping Day, the deep grief is particularly painful.
III. After tragic death of parents, a series of misfortunes hit our family
After the tragic deaths of our parents and my younger brother, only I, my elder sister and a seven month old younger sister were left, my grandmother narrowly escaped death, with only lingering breath, and blood-stained body; seeing everything in the home were destroyed, my grandmother felt extremely grieved, fainted several times, and shouted to look for her daughter-in-law, we were extremely worried, how could she recover in such state, my neighbors and fellow villagers all wept after witnessing the scene, with our pleading, they gave us alms to treat my grandmother, after more than one year time, she recovered, but my seven month old younger sister had no milk to ease hunger, plus illness in June, with no money in the home, and no medical treatment, we could only see her die, with the death of grandchild due to illness, it was another disaster, my grandmother shed tears all day, and became senile overnight, and before long she passed away. When my father was alive, he depended on salary from teaching to make both ends meet, and sustain the whole family, my mother supported the family by doing household chores and sideline businesses, back then there was no source of income for the family, with no economic support, my grandmother raised two underage children, and struggled in poverty despite indignation and tears, it was really a case of utter helplessness, in order to survive, we could only borrow loans from relatives and friends, and beg for alms from the wealthy, my grandmother endured the biggest sorrow on earth, the Japanese killed her most endeared ones, relentless disease snatched her most loved grandchildren, an otherwise perfect household was broken up, all these are misfortunes brought by the Japanese Invasion Army to our family.
IV. Our solemn demand
When grandmother was still alive, she often admonish us with tears brimming in the eyes that, you two should never forget how your parents and younger brother died, not even a morsel of the body was found after death, and how your grandmother was injured, she would never rest in peace, this debt of blood will have to be settled one day, we two brother and sister are survivors who narrowly escaped death, today we are weak seniors, but we will never forget the brutal deaths of our parents and younger brother, the physical persecution of my grandmother, and my grandmother’s will. The Japanese invaders have persecuted us so severely ——with broken family, the ravage of our soul resulted in profound anguish deeply engraved in our heart even today, meanwhile our family also sustained economic loss amounting to several dozen thousand yuan, we consider this debt of blood and economic loss must be settled, otherwise where is justice. In order to uphold justice, administer justice, and comfort the souls of my dead parents and younger brother, we hereby solemnly demand the Japanese Government to give humanitarian compensation and apology.
The above detail about atrocities and killing are known to all people in my hometown and local government.
Victims of the Japanese Invasion Army
Liu Yugan, Zhang Lihuang
Son Liu Yuzhi
Daughter Liu Yifang
Written by: Liu Yuzhi
August 8, 1993
(Liu Yuzhi and Liu Yifang now live at Zhangmutang, Huaping Town, Xiangxiang City, Hunan Province)