This is a pictorial source taken during the Japanese Occupation, which features 2 students experiencing the Japanese system of education. I chose this source as it is a true visual experience to observe the Japanese style of teaching during the Japanese Occupation. The picture shows 2 Malay boys learning to write Japanese characters on a blackboard, using a chalk piece. A young man who appears to be their Japanese teacher, corrects what one of the boys has written, by adjusting his hand. The teacher has a serious expression on his face. I think that the teacher is doing this action so as to improvise on the way the student has written this particular Japanese character. From this, I can understand that the Japanese give utmost importance to the simplest of things, such as the way someone holds a chalk piece or the way one writes a Japanese character. They aim to carry out everything with perfection. I can observe that the Japanese were also very serious when it came to teaching their language as they wanted everyone to learn their language well and master it. This way, they wanted everyone to show that they give importance to Japanese, by mastering it. I can also tell that despite whatever race you belonged to, you were made to learn Japanese.
This source is about Lim Bee Khim's mother's memories of her education years during the Japanese Occupation. When her mother was 6 years old, she was enrolled into Fair Field Methodist Girls' School. Although she had just enrolled into the school for a month, when the Japanese Occupation started, she had to stop school. After that, she changed schools and went to a Japanese school to learn Japanese for the three years of the Japanese Occupation, but after that, she could not remember what she had learnt. This source tells me that when the Japanese took over Singapore, students were forced to leave their former schools and enroll in a Japanese school, where they were made to learn Japanese. I can also understand, that the writer's mother forgot what she had learnt in her Japanese school after the Japanese Occupation, as she had unwillingly and reluctantly learnt it previously, which explains why she forgot it afterwards. This proves that students' education lives were disrupted when the Japanese Occupation started as they could not continue their normal education system. They were forced to learn Japanese, whether it was their wish or not. It was something they could not go against.
This is a video based source, which shows the social changes during the Japanese Occupation, mainly emphasizing on education. The video shows that much importance and priority was given to Japanese, now that they were the new rulers. In schools, only the Japanese language was taught and all students regardless of their race, had to learn, write and speak in Japanese. P.V. Lingham, an occupation witness in the video, shared that the students had to follow a fixed routine everyday. The students were supposed to assemble in the field, and sing Kimigayo, the Japanese national anthem every morning. The students also had to go through morning exercises and carry out a drill, called 'Radio Taiso'. Through this video, I understand that the Japanese has been carrying out propaganda. Due to the Japanese Occupation, normal school life routine was changed. The Japanese got the students to adapt themselves to follow their culture and traditions, by learning the Japanese language, carrying out physical exercises and singing the Japanese national anthem. Thus during the Japanese Occupation, the students went through a big change where they learnt a new culture and followed a new system. The Japanese wanted the students to acquire the Japanese spirit, be disciplined and also be faithful and loyal to the Emperor so that they would not change their minds or be influenced by another culture.
This source is an oral transcript, from an interview with Mr. George Edwin, who was a teenager during the Japanese Occupation. The transcript is about Mr. Edwin's school experiences, in that period of time. I chose this source as the interview provides information on how the Japanese Occupation affected his life deeply. It also mentions how the Japanese Occupation changed his attitude, and the changes in his character during the war as compared to before the Japanese Occupation. The transcript tells me that he had to return to school as a slightly over aged person, as there were some problems his family faced which did not allow him to go to work earlier. The transcript also tells me about how the war developed Mr. Edwin into becoming more matured and he developed a greater appreciation for essential items such as food, water and clothing. The Japanese teachers were also described to have a friendly attitude and were very closely bonded with the students. Together with the teachers' enthusiasm in teaching and his interest to study harder, Mr. Edwin wanted to excel in his studies. One could say that the war changed him in a positive aspect.