Braving the Storm: Hong Kong under Japanese Occupation
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About the Collection

Japan’s occupation of the northeast provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang in 1931 following the September 18 Incident formed the prelude to its full-scale invasion of China. After the 7 July Incident in 1937, the Chinese people joined hands to put up fierce resistance. As the Japanese army advanced across the Mainland, Hong Kong’s unique political and geographical position made it an ideal and major channel for the transportation of supplies to Mainland from overseas and a base camp for promoting the anti-Japanese campaign abroad. Throughout the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, the people of Hong Kong supported their compatriots in China with both human and material resources, and this unwavering support bears testimony to how the intimately connected people of Mainland and Hong Kong have stood by one another through thick and thin.

Japanese forces advanced into Hong Kong on 8 December 1941. After 18 days of fierce fighting, the troops defending the territory finally admitted defeat and surrendered on Christmas Day 1941, and the dark days of the Japanese occupation, which was to last three years and eight months, began. It was only when the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 and a second one on Nagasaki three days later that Emperor Hirohito issued the Imperial Rescript on the Termination of the War on 15 August, declaring Japan’s unconditional surrender. The War of Resistance finally came to an end.

In 2016, the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence held the exhibition entitled “Braving the Storm: Hong Kong under Japanese Occupation”, comprising invaluable artefacts and historical images from the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, to shed light on the contribution that the people of Hong Kong made to the anti-Japanese efforts in Mainland, and the city’s days of darkness during the Japanese occupation. The exhibition gave visitors a better understanding of the support Hong Kong provided in the War of Resistance and of how the people of Hong Kong joined hands with other patriots, guerrilla forces and international allies in the fight to defeat Japan’s aggression.

This collection presents the contents and materials of the above exhibition to allow the general public to go over the history of the War of Resistance in Hong Kong again.


  • The garrison defending Sai Wan battery in a drill