Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Sufferers of bad luck have best life stories: Chi Pang-yuan

Sufferers of bad luck have best life stories: Chi Pang-yuan

Taipei, May 22 (CNA) People who have suffered from bad luck have the best life stories to tell, said writer Chi Pang-yuan (???) on Friday, and she hoped more people will write the hard-luck stories of those who retreated to Taiwan after the Chinese civil war. At a forum marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the second Sino-Japanese War in 1945, Chi said the best parts of the "Records of the Grand Historian of China" (??) by Ssu-Ma Chien (???), a literary master and historian of the West Han dynasty, are the records of those with poor luck. "Those who have bad luck have the best stories, because people can only reach the pinnacles of their lives after suffering bad luck and disappointment and having their values seen by others," Chi said. She noted that many famous generals such as Li Mi (??) and Pai Chung-hsi (???) made great contributions and sacrifices during the Republic of China's eight-year war (1937-1945) against Japanese aggression but had little to show for it later in their lives. "They fought numerous battles and suffered multiple injuries, but they ended their lives in gloom after retreating to Taiwan.
These people should not only be remembered in small boxes (ash urns), but should have their stories recorded for posterity," she said. She called on history or literature majors to "write about these hard-luck figures because they are truly amazing." The 91-year-old writer, whose major work "The River of Big Torrents" (???) features the anti-Japanese war and life after retreating to Taiwan, also spoke emotionally about the eight years China resisted Japan's invasion. During that period of time, she said, she was 13 to 21 "when a girl is at her most beautiful" but only faced hunger and fear every day. She said she could not be as calm as young people today when looking at the eight-year war against Japanese aggression, because "my heart was riddled with bullet wounds." Chi remembered she was constantly running from danger at a time when every basic necessity was in short supply, and she always felt hungry, having access to only a small amount of rice and a few vegetables. There was also fear. In Nanjing, she experienced bombing attacks by Japanese forces day and night, and she prayed for rain every day so that "the planes wouldn't be able to come." Having survived years of those attacks, she said it was something that cannot be forgotten as long as one still has even a shred of human consciousness in them. "I find it hard to accept if I hear someone speak impolitely about that period of time," she said. She felt exasperated when the ROC government had to retreat to Taiwan after losing to Communist forces in the Chinese civil war despite having scored victory in the war against Japan in 1945. As one of the countries among the victorious allied forces in World War II, the Republic of China was forgotten by the world, while Japan rose rapidly from the ashes, something she finds utterly incomprehensible. "Is there really no justice in the world? I ask that question to this very day," Chi said.
The writer also spoke of the dire situation that existed as the ROC government retreated to Taiwan. Battle-worn troops were dressed in tatters, in sharp contrast to the neatly dressed Japanese troops who usually appeared before the Taiwanese people. These people were regarded as exiles and called mainlanders, and many famous generals from the war of resistance died in Taiwan depressed and still feeling hatred. British scholar Rana Mitter's recent book titled "Forgotten Ally: China's world War II 1937-1945" expresses the injustice of China fighting a hard battle against Japanese aggression but ending up forgotten soon after by Western countries. Chi believes China was ignored because of the civil war, with the Nationalist and Communists troops strangling each other to death with no recognition of the other side's contributions to the war, and ultimately losing the opportunity to be heard in the international community. "We forgot ourselves first. How can we blame the world for forgetting us?" she said. She hoped the public can address the contributions of those who fought in the battle and not see them as losers who fled to Taiwan. "Without the battle, Taiwan would still be a colony of Japan, speak Japanese and adopt Japanese names. Present day Taiwan would not be possible," she said.
(By Chen Chi-chung and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-17 08:27 GMT+08:00