Chang, Shiying

Chang Shiying grew up in the Chinese city of Nanjing, where his family held a prominent position in the community. Born in the early 1930s, Mr. Chang was a child of 4 when the War of Japanese Aggression reached his city. Unlike so many others, the Chang family had heard the news of the Japanese advance, and they were able to get out of the city just before the horrific massacre began. They were able to hide in an adjacent village, where conditions were very difficult for the family. Even though they escaped the worst of the Rape of Nanjing, they lost many family members at the hands of the Japanese perpetrators, as well as to disease and starvation.
When the darkest days of the massacre were over, the Chang family moved back to Nanjing. They discovered that their house had been ransacked, so they did what they could, and they endured the taunts of the Japanese occupiers. Mr. Chang grew up against the backdrop of war, and he remembers well the abuses the people of Nanjing suffered, including the “comfort women” he saw in his old neighbourhood. With the end of the war, China fell into civil conflict, and much of Mr. Chang’s family fled to Taiwan. He remained though, playing a role in the revolutionary army and studying to become a doctor, which became his career.
He made the decision to emigrate to Canada much later, following family connections. Mr. Chang was interviewed for this project by Crestwood alumnus Daven Siu and his mother June Ong, who shared the video with Mr. Masters. Translation by Sarah Li followed. We thank all for their contributions.