As a Student at the National Chekiang University During the War of Resistance


As a Student at the National Chekiang University During the War of Resistance
Kan Chia-ming
Chinese Studies in HistoryVolume 14, 1980 – Issue 1
Published Online: 08 Dec 2014 | Views: 1

During the War of Resistance against Japan, I was studying at the National Chekiang University. To mention National Chekiang for many seems to bring to mind the beautiful Western Lake, its lovely hills and clear waters, a paradise tapestry of fishing and rice-growing villages. However, during the terrible War of Resistance, as we moved from place to place, National Chekiang matured, becoming not only one among the best known universities in China so that the eminence of her reputation was known far and wide, but even today when her name is mentioned, people all nod their heads and recall that especially during those years of the War of Resistance, to the accompaniment of cannon fire and bursting bombs National Chekiang was brilliant in many ways.

Across a Thousand Mountains and Ten Thousand Rivers into Kweichow Province

During the War of Resistance against Japan, I was studying at the National Chekiang University. To mention National Chekiang for many seems to bring to mind the beautiful Western Lake, its lovely hills and clear waters, a paradise tapestry of fishing and rice-growing villages. However, during the terrible War of Resistance, as we moved from place to place, National Chekiang matured, becoming not only one among the best known universities in China so that the eminence of her reputation was known far and wide, but even today when her name is mentioned, people all nod their heads and recall that especially during those years of the War of Resistance, to the accompaniment of cannon fire and bursting bombe National
Chekiang was brilliant in many ways. When he visited China the English scholar Joseph Needham observed the painstaking Spirit and conditions of study, and once said that this was the Cambridge of China,
The predecessors of the National Chekiang University were the Search for Truth Institute [Ch’iu-shih shu-yüan 求是書院 and the Chekiang Higher Academy [Che-chiang Kao-teng hsieh-tan 浙江高等學堂]. The Institute was founded in the year 1897, and after a number of later changes, in 1927, that is the 16th year of the Republic, it became the National Chekiang University, with three schools of sciences and arts, engineering, and agriculture, comprising a total of nineteen departments.
In 1937, the military actions of the Resistance brought many kinds of hardship for National Chekiang, among them five migrations, one bombing, a great fire, but from the midst of a thousand disasters and hardships, the school grew to maturity, prospered and became firmly established, till it became a lighthouse in the storm, shining its beacon in all directions across the troubled seas.
In the winter of 1937, the city of Hangchow was invaded by the Japanese, and the students of National Chekiang rose up to join the Resistance, many of them joining with the army. Later as the storm intensified, National Chekiang was ordered to move west. The first-year students went to Hsi-t’ien-mu- shan西天目山 [about 75 km west of Hangchow] and the others went to Chien-te 建德[about 100 km southwest from Hangchow]. A few months later in a major migration, the university moved
from Chien-te to Chi-an 吉安 in Kiangsi Province [about 200 km south-southwest of Nanch’ang on the Kan Riverl, little expecting that within a matter of days the situation would become so tense that we would be forced to move from Chi-an to T’ai-ho 泰和[about 30 km up the Kan River from Chi-anl. At T’ai-ho the situation was stable and peaceful for a while, but before very long we were again forced to move farther west again, to Yi-shan 宜山 in Kwangsi Province [some 180 km southwest of
of Kueilin]. At Yi-shan the school increased in size, adding eral departments, at the Same time setting up an eastern branch the university at Lung-ch’üan 龍泉 in Chekiang Isome 250 km south- southwest of Hangchow]. At this point we thought that we were out of trouble and that we could breathe a sigh of relief.
Who would have guessed that Yi-shan was an area in which both the land and the people were impoverished, so much so that many of our fellow students were not able to find adequate nourishment, and some of the women students because of 2 lack of iodine even developed goiter. The hardships became sO Severe
that among the students a phrase circulated that Yi-shan [“suitable mountain”] was “suitable for mountains and suitable for rivers, but not Suitable for man.” Later, for Some unknown reason, we attracted the attention of the Japanese, who targeted 2 large-scale bombing raid against the main campus of National Chekiang. Fortunately, although the school suffered heavy losses, no one was killed, neither students nor faculty. On the contrary, one of the students who had been suffering from severe mental or emotional shock, because he had been closed inside a room unable to flee at the sound of the alarm, regained full consciousness following the reverberating concussions of the explosions. Everyone dubbed this great bombing raid a “glorious cleansing.”
After more than a year at Yi-shan we moved once more, first sending the first-year students to Ch’ing -yen 青岩 in Kueichow Province 「30 km south of Kueiyang city], while the main part of the university, and the schools of the arts, engineering, and the nor ral school moved to Tsun-yi遵義 [also in Kueichow, some 120 km north of Kueiyangl, while tie agriculture and science schools and the attached middle school
went to Mei-t’an湄潭 [60 km east of Tsun-yi]. A year later the first-year students also move to Yung-hsing-ckh’ang 永兴场 far from Mei-t’an 「20 km northeast of Mei-t’an], and after this we did not move again. In all, beginning in 1937, until a year after the conclusion of the War of Resistance, the university underwent five or six major moves. Not until 1946 did we make the great return to Hangchow, one after the other.
I am afraid that National Chekiang University must be accounted the university that made the most moves and suffered the greatest hardships during the War of Resistance.

The Total Lack of Food, Clothing, Housing, and Transportation

To speak of the food, clothing, housing, and transportation for the students of National Chekiang during the War of Resistance is a joke. Even today, I often think that it was really a miracle that we did not starve to death, or freeze to death, or die from illness Or disease.
As for clothing, forget about styles or fabrics; if we had anything to wrap around our bodies it was considered highly fortunate. Most of the male students usually wore & plain shirt and trousers, and 计 he could wrap an old cotton quilt around
his body i winter he would attract sidelong glances. Most
popular among the women was a straight dress of blue cotton,
long and wide, covering them totally like a water pail. However, it was somewhat easier for the girls because they could
sew and mend, so such phenomena as “raising a sleeve and
seeing an elbow” having a hole in the sleeve of your clothes
your elbow showed through] or “empty in front and torn
in back” (when the front and back of cloth shoes and socks were
worn through) were quite rare. But for some the circumstances
were quite fascinating. After wearing a pair of socks, mending
them and mending them again, they would finally reach the point
where there was no way to mend them again, and then they
would cut off the bottoms of the socks and sew a piece of cloth
for new bottoms which would last for a while longer. For those
who were not so good at sewing there was still another method,
which was to pull your socks forward and just fold them over
SO that there were no longer “holes in front and empty in back.”
But this way your socks or stockings got shorter and shorter
until finally your ankle was nO longer covered and you had to
throw them out. In those days, not only the girls could handle
needle and thread, there were even some of the boys who could
sew, and no one laughed at them for being strange.
As for eating, the girls again had it somewhat easier. At
Tsun-yi, the women students volunteered to Supervise the
meals, while at Mei-t’an and Yung-hsing the men and women
students cooperated together. tt seemed that the only thing of
which there was ever enough was rice; vegetables and meats
were frightfully scarce and there were never enough. Those
who ate more than the others ended up eating rice alone. The women students’ eating manner was comparatively better. They were polite and generally understood in their hearts the portion of food due to each, holding to the rules such as “Like a
dragonfly sipping water,” and “eating six to one.” They managed to consume somewhat equally the vegetables and meats. “Like a dragonfly sipping water” meant that when the vegetables and meats arrived you must not take one big mouthful after the other, that it was only proper to eat like a dragonfly sipping water. For example, when the fermented bean curd was served, you must only take a little bit with the tips of your chopsticks.
“Eating six to one,” meant that you should take six mouthfuls of rice before one of vegetables and meats, and the six mouthfuls of rice must be divided into two sizes of helpings, one large mouthful and five small, only after which could you take a bite
of vegetables and meats. In this way sometimes there would even be a little bit of soup or broth left over, which as soon as the girls at that table had left, would always be stolen clean by
the boys. As for a table of eight male students, how those two
small plates of vegetables and meats were distributed was a
situation beyond the imagination. It was said that once one of
the male students really could not endure it any longer, and at
breakiast while eating soybeans sauteed in oil he finally had the
nerve to start “eating one to one thus provoking the anger of
another of the students at the table who deliberately took the
plate of soybeans and placed it in front of him, at which the two
started to fight so fiercely it was practically a war . One male fellow student once told me that other than the corpse of a dead man or of a fly, he would eat anything, that when he saw a side of pork in the food market he wanted to gO
raw, so pitiful was his situation: From this we can see what
take a bite out of it
the conditions of the “people’s livelihood” were during those
National Chekiang had three locations in northern Kueichow,
and except for a few new dormitories at Mei-t’an, the school
buildings at Tsun-yi and Yung-hsing for the most part were
borrowed temples and shrines and houses of impoverished
families of former high position, the conditions of which were
absurd. As for classrooms and laboratories, some classrooms
were made of boards the backs of which contained the angry
faces and round eyes of the images of fierce gods, while in
others there were two pillars as if there were a volleyball

court in the r00m. In Mei-t’ an two of the classrooms were
next to the street, and across the street lived some poor
ilies. One day just as we were about to start class, two women
from across the street started to shout and curse at each other.
At the time the weather was hot so the doors and windows were
wide open, so their shouting made it impossible for us to start
class, whereupon our teacher, Mr. Liu, who was about to start
lecturing, yelled over at them to stop fighting; but they were at
the peak of their shouting and going at it with a11 their might,
and what did they care whether you
held class or not? They
paid no attention. After a while the fighting had still not stopped,
so Mr . Liu stuck his head out of the window and shouted loudly
at them, “Hey, you two had better stop fighting, if you don’t I 11
call the military police to take you in.”
muzzles of their
At these words, the two women stopped fighting, turned the
guns out their windows, and with a deafening
roar shook their fists and stamped their feet cursing Mr. Liu,
startling him so much that he hurriedly drew his head back in
and slammed the window shut. By this point we could not help
breaking out into laughter, and I immediately took out a piece
next to me saying:
of paper and dashed off a note that T gave to the student sitting
Mr . Liu’s shouts aren’t worth a penny.”

“Women Wang curses the street and disrupts the school, but
When she read my two lines, she immediately covered her
mouth with her hand but still could not help bursting out laughing.
The dormitories were also fun. In order to save
had upper and lower bunks, with wooden plank beds, and plank
Space, all
desks, but we managed to get along. The most annoying thing
at that time was that at night the airplanes, cannons, and tanks
would come to disturb us. The airplanes were the mosquitoes,
the cannons were the fleas, and the tanks were the bedbugs.
Among these, the mosquitoes were the easiest to deal with
since a mosquito net could stop their devastating invasion. The
most annoying were the bedbugs which could hide anywhere and
you could never get rid of them. The most common way of kill-
ing the bedbugs was to carry the bed planks outside to sun, Or else to Soak them with boiling water. Then you could get Some
peace for a few days, but after a little while when you lifted up
your bedding, there on the bedboards would again be a number
of wriggling, crawling, stinking bedbugs. One year Mr. Fei
Kung 龍型 became dean of students and he had three important
injunctions, one of which was to kill bedbugs with boiling water,
from which you can see that although bedbugs are small they
can do a lot of harm, SO much so that they had already come
to the attention of the school authorities. Fleas are also very
annoying. These guys are very alert and quick, unlike the stu-
pid crawling bedbugs, and are thus very hard to catch. In the
middle of the night after you are fast asleep, you feel an itch
on your leg; immediately you sit
up in bed, but there is already
nothing to see. I had a friend who had a real talent for catching
fleas. She could hold the oil lantern in her left hand and swat
at a flea with her right. She would swat the led with her palm,
pull her hand back, and when she lifted it up between her thumb
and her middle finger there was always a flea. In one night ghe
could catch ten or more and would frequently catch them for uS.
Later we all called her “Lady Flea,” at which she got mad,
washed her hands of this task and would not heip us any more.
As for transportation, the female students had the most dif-

fieulty. Tsun-yi was divided between the new city and the old

city. The women’s dormitory was in the old city, while the
classrooms and library were in the new city, and a part of the
laboratory was outside the city. Running back and forth
day was practically impossible unless
the hundred meter dash. The most difficult thing to cope with
you were really good at
was the fact that the classrooms on Ho-chia Street had no
women’s toilet, and in the middle of the winter, to get up in the
morning, put three bowls of thin rice gruel into your belly and
impossible for anyone.
then try to sit through three classes in succession was virtually
Getting around in Mei-t’an seemed even more difficult. The
dining room was next to the men’s dormitory, and when you
walked out from the women’s dor mitory for a meal, you had
to CrOsS & small mountain slope traversed by a narrow winding

trail, then thread your way past the men’s dormitory before
arriving at the dining hall. This whole stretch was a muddy
unkept path which after successive rains became slippery and
treacherous. One careless misstep and you found yourself on
your back, both legs pointing skyward, or else both
and muddy and you
were buried in the mud. In either case your clothes got wet
your hands
had no choice but return to the dormitory.
There were always a few of the male students totally lacking
in sympathy and any sense of decency, who, when the weather
got like that, would stand at the windows watching from a safe
vantage point, and when one of the women students happened to
put on a particularly colorful performance by falling into the
mud, would clap and shout, raising a ruckus in the dormitory,
as a way of response. At that point you would neither cry nor
curse them.
laugh, but would really want to storm into their dormitory and
All in all, during the War of Resistance, the food, clothing,
shelter, and transportation for the students of National Chekiang
were really miserable, but somehow everyone managed, which
was probably due simply to the victory of mind over matter!
“You’ re All a Bunch of Country Hicks.”
One time when I was at a friend’s house for a dinner party,
one friend who had come out of a Christian school said:
of country hicks! “
“Boy, you National Chekiang students are really all a bunch
At that time, I simply laughed and replied:
“You’re absolutely right. Did you know that I was Once com-
mander of the country hick brigade ?”
In speaking of the students of National Chekiang, you really
Can Say that we possessed the essence of “rusticity,” of which
we were quite proud. Under those conditions, a student with
a so-called foreign air had a hard time maintaining his position.
I remember that there was one student named John x who was
from Shanghai. Two students from my hometown despised hiim
him they would say:
and made a special point of picking on him. Whenever they saw
“Say, John X, how come your hair is black?”
“Hey, John X, here’s a bottle of blue color ink, why don’t
you take it and dye your eyes
with 计?”

Poor John x. He took a lot of insults. T Actually I knew him
quite weil. He was a kind person and a conscientious scholar.
Unfortunately he had a foreign name, and thus was always in-
sulted by others.
Perhaps this was a consequence of the atmosphere of those
times, especially of my generation which was born in worry
and grew up in war, Our heads full of nationalism that created
2 kind of atmosphere at National Chekiang. For example, if
someone should be in a happy mood thinking about something
foreign and seeing you in the morning should call out a cheery
“Good Morning” [in Englishl, that person would be likely to be
greeted with eyes askance, and,
IAi! Eat Chinese rice. Why the foreign farts ?”
In this way, anyone with a “foreign air ” was attacked.
But National Chekiang was not the Boxers. What National
Chekiang students would not tolerate was “reverence for all
things foreign, ” or: “obsequiousness to foreigners.” On the
contrary, the new learning absorbed at National Chekiang was
not less than that at any school. Many of our textbooks were
in English. Among the courses I took, there were two in which
the practice books and experiment books were entirely in En-
glish. In the biology department there were two Indian students
who could not pronounce Chinese, and sometimes one of the stu-
dents would speak to them in English, and if he could not under-
stand them, someone else would try, and at times like this no
one would dare ridicule someone for foreign farts. National
Chekiang also had one Jewish women teacher who taught Ger-
man, and when she took her little dog out for 2 walk along the
river, no one ever said anything about her blond hair and blue
eyes, and everyone greeted her with smiles.
When you say something is “local” or Irustic’ I am afraid
that is only relative, not absolute. During the War of Resis-
tance I expect most of the national universities were like that.
However, National Chekiang had its own quota.
To say that National Chekiang did not stress English is not
necessarily true, but it did place special emphasis On our own
native born, native grown Chinese language. The Geography
and History Department had a student who put out announce-
ments or communications only in four or six character coup-
lets, which everyone really appreciated. One of the female students received two invitation cards to parties; one was written with a fountain pen, giving the date and address, while the
other was written in for mal characters with a brush, at the
very end of which was written, “respectfully await the pleasure
of your arrival.” This student declined the former invitation,
her reason being, “‘Anyone who writes such awfully distorted
characters must be like that himself. Who would want to spend
tiime with them?’ This of course was preiudiced, but it alsol
displayed a charming “rustic” quality.
The ” rustic’ quality of the women students at National
Chekiang had already become a custom. No matter how wealthy
a family she came from, no matter how important her father
was, once she entered the gates of National Chekiang, she put
On a plain blue Chinese dress and became another person from
head to toe. A number of the girls had trunks fulled with beau-
tiful dresses and high heeled shoes, but most of the time they
never wore them, until sometimes, in the evening when there
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was nothing to do, someone would suggest:
“‘Let’s get dressed up.”
At that a few good friends would laugh and giggle, put on red
lipstick and new dresses, and have fun within the confines of
their room.
Once when quite a few of us women students were just pass-
ing time in the dormitory, discussing the problems of life, one
question asked was: “What kind of a person would you like to
marry?” Among all the students, not one said, “I would like
to marry someone with money or position,” Or “I want to marry
2 foreigner .” When 计 came my turn, I said,”T want to marry
someone who is like a knight of old, who can ride a horse and
shoot a bow.” They all stared and laughed wildly, replying,
“Quick, gO
find yourself a nomadic herds man!w (Heaven knows,
my husband, now, cannot even pull a bow, and he jumps when
he sees a snake.
Returning to the male students, they were charmingly “‘rus –
tic. You do not have to gO any further than to ask how many
of them, at that time, could dance? How many could tie a tie?
How many of them would dare cock their heads and whistle?
How many could use a knife and fork?
But none of them cared.
They would reply that these are insignificant. Who wouid deny
that this group of people were “‘country hicks”?
Strolling Along the River’s Edge,
Waiting for Someone in the Lobby Of the three locations of National Chekiang University in northern Kueichow, that at Mei-t’an had the most beautiful
scenery. There the mountains were bright and the water clear,
a landscape fitting for man. This was especially true in the
vicinity of the Mei River Bridge where the landscape was ex-
quisite, the Kiangnan of northern Kueichow. Most of the school
buildings, the dormitories and dining rooms, except for those
which were in older buildings, were newly built two-story build-
ings. In particular, the women’s dormitory, which was built
On the side of the mountain, surrounded by a bamboo fence, had
a certain charm.
The town of Mei-t’an was very small; it was neither a mar-
ket center nor a vital communications line. Ordinarily it was
very quiet and peaceful, SO the students had nowhere to go, and
besides reading, the only form of recreation was walking. Ev-
ery evening after dinner, in groups of three or five, one of boys,
another of girls, they would stroll down to the bankg of the Mei
River. This was an ideal time for everyone to run into each
other. Some of the male students were usually unwilling to
stand around outside the fence of the girls’ dormitory, not
wanting to run the risk of being given a hard time, so they took
advantage of these walks to look the girls over and get ac-
quainted. Usually, when we went out for a walk, once we
reached the Mei River Bridge, we would run into a certain
fellow student, nod and exchange greetings, continue walking
down to the bend in the river, run into that fellow student again,
and again nod and exchange a greeting, and who would believe
it, by the time we had walked around and were circling back toward the dormitory, we would run into that same fellow student yet again, and nod and exchange greetings for the third time. To meet thus three times in one evening, and to nod to
each other each time, the kind of friendship that was mutually
understood without being spoken, had a lingering charm. The
great majority of both the male and female students at National
Chekiang had such sentiments. I have heard it said that some
of the boys who were more shy would use this opportunity to
indulge their fantasy, by making the stroll along the Mei River
Some seven Or eight times in an evening. I don’t know whether
i is true Or not.
The atmosphere at Mei-t’an was comparatively open, which was not true at Tsun-yi. The girls dormitory On Willow Lane had double doors and a deep courtyard, SO you
could not enter directly from the street. When a male student came to visit,
he first had to relay his request to Old Chao, after which Old
Chao would go to the back of the courtyard and yell out:
“Miss so-and-so. You have a guest.”
The windows of the guest room directly faced the dormitory
behind, SO a lot of people soon knew who it was that had come
to visit this time, and he simply had to stiffen his neck until
the reply came back down, which sometimes was the voice of
someone calling down:
“‘So-and -so isn’t in.” Horrors! Hopes dashed, the dejected
victim could only lower his head and walk out.
For a period of time, the office of dean of students apparently
the male students 2 hard time by making those who came
to visit sign their full names on something like a register, then
state whom they were visiting, after which Old Chao would
take the slip of paper to gO look for the person, and thus the
dean’s office would apparently be infor med and there would be
a record. At this point, some of the boys, waiting until Old
Chao had disappeared into the rear building to find the girl be-

ing called, would then reach down on the table and tear off the
file stub they had signed, thinking that after they had talked
and left, there would be no entry in the register and no trace
of their having visited. Little did they know that Old Chao was
a clever old fox, and that after they had left, he would quietly
fill in the two names again. I heard that later, it was too much
bother for Old Chao, and this system was simply eliminated.
Such phenomena as these occurred reaily because there were
too few women students, and since that which is scarce becomes
highly valued, of course they could become arrogant.
There was a female student who because she had had small-
Dox when little, unfortunately one eye had lost its Sight and her
whole face was pockmarked. I do not know who it was who
cleverly gave her the nickname, “the sky studded with stars,
and one round bright moon. (This nickna me was indeed a work
of superb skill: One could say it contained the qualities of
truth, expressivity, and refinement.) While she was at National
Chekiang, she received a love letter, and once someone asked
her for a rendezvous under the moon. Many years later sone-
One brought this up, stating with a Sigh:
“The male students at National Chekiang were really n0 good.
Even such a ‘surplus product’ as “the sky studded with stars,
and one round bright moon, was wanted by Someone’+’

In fact it was not a case of being no good, but simply that the
demand was much greater than the supply, so that the value of
the women students was increased by some ten-fold.
Some of the girls were really lacking in virtue. When they
received a letter from one of the boys, i they were unhappy
for any reason, they would send it back unopened. Others
would parade their reiections in public, and some would even
add comments in red ink, all of which was really unbearable.
One of the boys who considered himself highly talented was
good at writing love letters. He thought he had read a lot of
foreign things, and to show off filled the page with quotes from
Tolstoi, Maupassant, ete. Unfortunately for him he had mis-
calculated his recipient. When this girl received his letter,
she picked up her pen and wrote the following comment: A whole page covered with Maupassant, how sad.
You have not read all the Four Books and the Five Clas –
sics, the “classic’ of Kropotkin is empty madness.
Foreign things are difficult to appreciate, better to read Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu in your leisure.
No matter how great foreign authors are, if you forget your roots and ancestors, you go astray.
would have been better than this.
This tease was really embarrassing and excessive, but demonstrated the general situation of the times.

Shortly after entering
Seek Truth from Facts, Work for the Nation National Chekiang University, the first
time I heard the university president, Cha k’o-chen 竺可桢, give us a talk, I, along with many of the other students, could not really understand what he was talking about. He spoke rapidly and hurriedly with a kind of patter like a hundred birds returning to nest, so that my only impression was that on the stage he continuously lifted his heels off the floor, and he seemed to be always repeating something that sounded like:
“Zots’azay, zots’azay, we’t Chaychang, sezh’e true .. .”
At the time, it was really a mystery. Only much later, after a year and a halt, did 1 realize that “zots’ azay” was President Chu’s Shao-hsing dialect pronunciation of “that is to say, which he must have used some thirty to sixty times each time
he lectured to us. ” Sezh’e true” was also a phrase that never
left his lips, a basic doctrine of National Chekiang, “seek truth
from facts. In this way, after four years at National Chekiang,
there was not a student into whose mind the instruction ”seek
truth from facts”” was not deeply engraved, who was not im-
pressed with the principle that in all things One must seek the
truth, deal with concrete matters, and be earnest and down-to-
earth in work, throughout life.
For those who say that the students of National Chekiang were
rustic, this can be traced to the success of the transforming
spirit of “‘seek truth.” During the War of Resistance, no rich
dandy who was stingy in making a contribution to his eountry,
Or nO fair young lady who could not keep up with her studies,
ever made it at National Chekiang. During my first year, saw one male student, a good talker, and quite dashing, who
frequently wore a brown leather jacket (at the whole school I
probably saw only one or two), black leather shoes, who strutted
2bout all day carrying books lack and forth. By my second
year I seldom ran into him. By the year we graduated his
leather jacket was old and worn, his head was lowered, and you
never saw him in public. It was said that every school term he
failed one or two classes and had to make them up.
As for our classes, hard work always came first at National
Chekiang. The professors were very pressing about our work,
serious in teaching, and strict in giving grades. All these were
seldom found elsewhere. A great many students were weeded
Out between the first and second years. In fact, under the
physical conditions of those times, many students could not
even afford paper and pens, and the demand for perseverence

was really great. In the evening, each student had an oil lamp
and three wicks, by which he could read deep into the night.
五 KarsreArunl Aq papeorunod
It is often said that “filial sons come from poor
families.” I
would say that “times of hardship make great men.” Today,
have not quite a few hardworking persons of superior diligence
both at home and abroad come out of National Chekiang?
While we were at school, we did not know whether our level
of achievement was high or low. Only after graduation did we
make comparisons with others, the results of which made us
feel proud. For example, of those who received government
fellowships to study abroad, if a comparison were made on the
basis of the total numbers of students in the school and in each
department, National Chekiang would take first or second place.
For those who studied abroad the students of National Chekiang
had a real advantage over those from other schools. Nor have
those graduates of Chekiang National who have taken up academic or technical professions at home fallen behind.
It cannot necessarily be said that the students of National
Chekiang University only buried their heads in their books.
During the eight years of the War of Resistance, both teachers
and students of Chekiang National gave their money and energies, their sweat and blood, for who knows how many things
worth Our praise and tears: Not counting those who joined the
years army directly, such activities as fund raising sales for the
army and others took place almost every year. During those
the students had practically nothing of value except their
own bodies, but whenever there was a fund raising sale, every-
one donated without fail. In my fourth year, one time a fellow
student came again to me for a donation to the fund raising sale.
The only things I still had were one precious inkstone handed
down from my ancestors and two sticks of ink. That inkstone
was small and light and very finely engraved. It had been given

to my great grandfather lby the emperor upon passing the chin-
shih degree. This heirloom had followed me over a thousand
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mountains and across ten thousand rivers to Kueichow, but T
had nothing else, so I had no choice but to restrain my feelings
and donate this inkstone. Unfortunately, those running the sale,
not knowing its value, put a low price on it, and it was bought
by another girl student. Even today I stilltell my children proudly,
“During the Second World War, I too made a contribution:M
At Yi-shan, one comic, very interesting little drama occurred.
At that time a group of students followed the army onto a battle-
field, heedless of life or death. Later the Japanese attacked,
forcing this group to scatter, and they had no choice but to flee
back to the school. After 2 count was made, they found that
one student named Tai was missing. Later some were sent
back to the battlefield to look for him. Among the disarray of
corpses they found one youth wearing a yellow uniform (the
school uniform of National Chekiang). The corpse was already
decayed beyond recognition, but everyone judged that Tai had
already become a martyr, and many held their heads and wept.
We had a memorial service for him and everyone came to
mourn a fellow student’s loss. Who could have guessed that
more than a year later someone said that he thought he had
seen Tai on the street. Later someone else said he had seen
him too. At this everyone hastened to report that the ghost of
fellow student Tai had appeared, until finally we discovered
that it was indeed Tai himself, in person. He had not died.
Originally, after being captured by the Japanese, he had been
sent to Shanghai, and later had secretly returned behina the
lines, and thus returned to National Chekiang to resume his
studies. Only then was this comic-tragedy finally concluded.
This too was a small entre’acte of the efforts of the students
of National Chekiang for their country.
In 1944, in response to the call of that time for “one hun-
dred thousand youth to join the army,” several hundred stu-
dents from National Chekiang replied, though later, because
triotic wish.
there were too many, Some were not able to fulfill their pa –
Nothing was more moving than our support for the army that
year. At that time, the Japanese army had maneuvered an in-
vasion of southern Kueichow. The area around Kuei-yang was
very tense, and the Central Government sent a large detach-
ment of troops south. When they passed through Tsun-yi, the
students of National Chekiang organized their greatest welcome

of enthusiastic support, which boosted the morale of the sol-
diers greatly, who then went bravely forward and attacked the
Japanese troops so courageously that the Japanese were forced to
retreat; thus a foundation for the later victory was established.
That really was a very moving event. When carload after
carload of military cars carrying a large number of battle
troops passed through the Tsun-yi bus station, the National
Chekiang students went crazy, Surging like a great flood to the
side of the buses, fighting to give support to the soldiers, shak-
ing their hands, offering flowers and gifts, singing and shouting.
That sight shook the heart of every soldier. You only needed
to see the warm tears i their eyes, and hear their words as
they grasped the hands of the students: “We shall definitely beat down those Japanese devils'”
Once in a heavy downpour of rain, 2 lot of soldiers under the car awning were getting soaked, and when those students who had umbrellas noticed this they pushed forward and gave the soldiers their umbrellas, paying no heed to the fact that they themselves were standing in the rain. At this the soldiers shouted out “Defeat Japanese imperialism.” and on everyone’s faces, who knows how many tears mingled with the raindrops.
After ward one of the high ranking officers said that this had provided a big boost to the morale of the soldiers, and the Japanese could not be underestimated.
merit of the National Chekiang students for the defeat of the Finally the War of Resistance was won: For these eight years, we endured hardship and suffering. From this National Chekiang emerged strong and mature, and that spirit of “seek truth from facts” would remain forever with us.


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