Nanjing Massacre memorial sees record visitors on Tomb-Sweeping Day

 

 

 

A resident lays a flower as she mourns the Nanjing Massacre victims at the Memorial Hall

of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders on the Qingming Festival in Nanjing,

capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province, on April 5, 2015. Japanese troops captured Nanjing,

then China’s capital, on December 13 of 1937 and started a 40-odd-day slaughter. More than

300,000 Chinese soldiers who had laid down their arms and civilians were murdered, and

over 20,000 women were raped.   Photo by Sun Can

 

 

 

 

NANJING  |   2015-04-06 20:30:48

 

Nanjing Massacre memorial

sees record visitors

on Tomb-Sweeping Day

 

By Wang Ruoyao, Jiang Fang and Cai Yugao

 

 

China’s Memorial Hall of the Victims in the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders received a record 112,000 visitors during Tomb Sweeping Day on Sunday of April 5, the hall’s curator said. .

It marked the highest ever single-day record of visitors since the hall’s establishment in 1985, curator Zhu Chengshan said. Statistics showed that the number of visitors to the memorial hall in the first six days of April hit 300,000.

Zhu attributed the surge in visitors to the establishment of the National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims, designated in February 2014 by China’s top legislature. On Dec. 13, the country observed the first national memorial day with a solemn ceremony held at the memorial to commemorate innocent victims in the massacre, compatriots killed by Japanese aggressors, as well as revolutionary martyrs and heroes who devoted their lives to victory in the war against Japanese aggression.

“The national initiative attracted increasing attention at home and abroad to the history of the Nanjing Massacre,” Zhu said.

In 2014, the memorial hall, in Nanjing City of east China’s Jiangsu Province, saw 8 million visits, up 30 percent year-on-year, making it the second largest recipient of visitors among all museums in the world, following the Palace Museum.

During the first three months this year, 1.47 million people visited the memorial hall, up from less than 600,000 in the same period a year ago.

Over the past week, a Xinhua reporters observed long queues at the gate of the hall beginning at 7 a.m. everyday, more than an hour before its opening. Guides fell short of demand. Flowers offered at the hall’s wailing wall were cleared every two hours in case they became overwhelming.

According to statistics from the memorial hall, since the first national memorial day was observed, at least 4,210 foreign travelers from 52 countries have toured there. Among them were nine groups from Japan.

On Dec. 13, 1937, Japanese troops began six weeks of destruction, pillage, rape and slaughter in Nanjing. Historical records show that more than 300,000 Chinese, including unarmed soldiers and innocent civilians, were murdered.

“China’s national memorial day made many Japanese young people know about the Nanjing Massacre for the first time,” said a 17-year-old Japanese high school student touring the hall.

“I saw historical evidence here, and felt deep pain,” he said.

 

 

 

 

Residents mourn the Nanjing Massacre victims at the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing

Massacre by Japanese Invaders on the Qingming Festival in Nanjing, capital of east China’s

Jiangsu Province, on April 5, 2015.   Photo by Sun Can

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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