Culture >Museum
Shenyang September 18 Museum of History
The September 18 Museum of History was expanded from September 1997 on the basis of the residual monument and the underground exhibition hall opened in 1991, and was completed and opened on September 18, 1999. It collects a large number of precious historical photos and relics before and after the September 18 Incident. It also collects the stele provided by the Japanese orphans on August 20, 1999 to express their gratitude to their Chinese adoptive parents.
September 18th History Museum

September 18th 1931 is a day that will never be forgotten by the Chinese people, as it was the beginning of the darkest period in China’s modern history. On this day the Japanese army, which had been occupying part of Manchuria (northeastern China) since the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), allegedly bombed a bridge at a Japanese owned and operated railroad crossing. The Japanese then blamed the attack on Chinese rebels. This action, which is now referred to as “the September 18th Incident (九一八事变)” or “the Manchurian Incident” or “the Mukden Incident” (Mukden is the Manchu name for Shenyang), was used as a pretext for the Japanese army to begin its invasion of China. After the railroad crossing was destroyed, the Japanese launched a full-scale, surprise attack on Shenyang, easily conquering the city. Within a week, the Japanese conquered most of Manchuria, pillaging its cities, and taking the food, and resources for use in Japan. For the next 14 years the Chinese people lived in constant fear and suffered unfathomable atrocities at the hands of the Japanese army. Shenyang’s 9-18 Museum sits on the exact site of the “9-18 Incident.” The museum is a large, very impressive building, designed to look like an open book. Some exhibits feature hundreds of photographs and documents from the years before the invasion leading all the way up to the war-crimes tribunals of the 1950s. Other exhibits include Chinese and Japanese firearms and artillery, human skeletons found in Shenyang, wax figurines, Japanese torture devices, and concrete sections of the original railroad bridge. The museum is very well presented, and the dark, somber atmosphere is very suitable to the content of the exhibits. There are some signs in English, but unfortunately most of the information is in Chinese. However, even if you can’t understand the Chinese, the pictures and displays are impressive and moving nonetheless. Those with an interest in modern history or those studying Chinese should definitely not skip the 9-18 Museum. It’s probably the world’s best collection of memorabilia from this important period of history, which is often overlooked in Western history books. The museum also provides excellent insight into the formation of the current ideas and attitudes of Chinese people, as well as the political relationships between the two East Asian countries. Furthermore, as of 2007, entrance to the museum is free.

September 18th History Museum

On September 18, 1931, Japanese forces, who already occupied parts of Manchuria (present day Liaoning, Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces), blamed Chinese dissidents for the bombing of the Japanese-owned railway. Historians are generally in agreement that Japanese militarists staged the bombing and then blamed the Chinese as a pretext for launching the Second Sino-Japanese War. It was an incident that would became forever known as the Manchurian Incident or Mukden Incident. Within the September 18th History Museum (Jiǔ Yī Bā Lìshǐ Bówù Guǎn, 九一八历史博物馆) are photographs and displays depicting the unfathomable atrocities suffered by China at the hands of Japanese soldiers. Much like the Memorial Hall of the Nanjing Massacre, it's a dark and somber atmosphere and not recommended for the faint of heart. Though some signs are in English, most displays are in Chinese, but their vividness and detail are usually more than sufficient to make the context, if not the content, easy to grasp. Those disturbed by graphic images of war may want to give the museum a pass. This is, however, an excellent musuem for those interested in this era of Chinese history that is often overlooked in the West, and for anyone seeking insight into modern concepts of Chinese national identity and foreign relations. A visit through the museum will take a good two hours.

Issues: Museums and Memorials The '9.18' Historical Museum

On September 18, 1931, in what came to be known as the Manchurian Incident, Japanese troops detonated explosives in a section of railway in Liutiaohu, China (near Mukden, known today as Shenyang) and blamed Chinese soldiers for the incident. The Japanese military then used this as a pretext for occupying the city of Mukden. Subsequently, in March 1933, all northeast provinces of China fell under the control of the Japanese military. The '9.18' Historical Museum is located in the city of Shenyang. Sponsored by the Shenyang Municipal Government, it was completed on September 18, 1999 and opened to the public. The museum now occupies 32,000 square meters. With eight exhibit halls, it displays the history of the Japanese occupation and the hardships experienced during this fourteen year period (1931 to 1945). According to the museum’s website, the main purpose of the museum is to educate the people in patriotism and national defense. The '9.18' Historical Museum (Chinese only)

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1 Pupils visit the "918" Historical Museum in Shenyang, capital of Northeast China's Liaoning province, Sept 16, 2015, to mark the 84th anniversary of the "September 18 Incident".

2 A flag-raising ceremony is held during a commemoration activity in "September 18" Historical Museum in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, Sept. 18, 2011.

3 September 18th History Museum is 800 metres from the property. Shenyang Beita Monument is 3.2 km away. Shenyang Taoxian International Airport is 22 km from the property.