Monday, October 17, 2011

Chaotian Palace
Finally got to do some sight seeing. I went to the Chaotian Palace to see a gong ceremony, but there was no ceremony. The palace was a palace during one of the dynasties, and it contains a temple, which is 1000 years old, and a museum with some of the history of Nanjing. Then it rained, so I couldn't go to the lake.

Confucius Statue

Then Friday morning before work I went to the Memorial for the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre by the Japanese Invaders. Not a happy way to start the day, but it's right down the street from my center, and I didn't have to be in until the afternoon, so it was very convenient. It is a brutally disturbing place. The Nanjing Massacre occurred early in WWII (December 1937-January 1938), when the Japanese were trying to expand their empire. 300,000 people were killed in 6 weeks, and villages were burned and pillaged. There are English captions in the museum, so I was able to read all the information and captions, and it describe the invasion of China before the massacre, as well as what happened afterward. But the images and statues were pretty gut-wrenching throughout, and there were pits with bones from mass graves. There was even a section with reflections from Japanese veterans of the time, which was something I had never seen at a history museum before. Once you get through the main part of the museum, you arrive at a Memorial Garden, which had 17 monuments - one for each of the areas in which a slaughter took place. But it was very peaceful. Then you walk to a meditation area and into a memorial garden with a large peace statue (by which time, of course, my camera battery had died), so you can leave on a more positive and hopeful note, especially since relations between the 2 countries have improved since then.

Entrance to Memorial for the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre

Line of statues outside the memorial
Footprints of survivors
One of 17 monuments to towns in the massacre 

On a more cheerful note, Tina and I have had our first 2 classes together and done a bunch of demos, which have gotten rave reviews. Our class is only supposed to have 2 kids, but both times there have been additional kids sitting in. So the class is growing!

Now starts my weekend, so tomorrow more touring!

Me, Tina, & Mulan

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