"9.18"Historical Museum
"9.18"Historical Museum
4.5
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This museum commemorates September 18, 1935, the day Japanese forces invaded China and subsequently occupied Shenyang and the surrounding peninsula. It displays disturbing photos depicting the carnage of war.
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4.5
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bladdamasta
Manly, Australia1,009 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2017 • Family
I am not a museum frequenter, but the 9 18 museum is terrific. Whilst the actual incident to the museum is devoted was comparatively minor, it is regarded by the Chinese as the Princeps/Prince Ferdinand moment that kicked off 14 years of conflict between the Japanese and Chinese. You get the Chinese perspective laid on with a trowel and understand the depth and origins of the enmity the Chinese have towards the Japanese.

You really need to get a cab to the museum and we didn't struggle to pick one up at the end of our visit. The museum has enough English signage to make the visit worthwhile, but the collection of photos, dioramas and artefacts add to the whole experience. We were offered a guide but felt we got enough from the English signage.
Written 8 January 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gary T
Xinzheng, China525 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • Solo
Warning: This is an historically significant museum, but it is not for the faint-hearted. Many of its depictions are quite graphic. The museum commemorates a minor explosion on the South Manchuria Railway on 9-18-1931 which the Japanese used as a pretext to invade north China, annex its four northern provinces, and create the puppet state of Manchukuo. War crimes and atrocities figure prominently in the displays, including a diorama of Unit 731 operating on victims stacked like cordwood awaiting a painful death in the name of "science." A similar museum in China is the Nanjing Massacre Museum, as well as the Unit 731 Headquarters in Harbin. "9-18" might compare with Dachau or other Nazi concentration camps now open to the public, or the various Holocaust Museums such as the one in Washington, D.C., or the International Museum of Torture which I saw in Mexico City, or the several museums in Vietnam displaying the torture devices used by the French and, yes, the Americans. It's hard to visit any one of these museums, let alone all of them, without coming away with a profound sense of human depravity. So I recommend avoiding this one unless you have a strong stomach. But the message it sends is one which all human beings need to hear, so I give it a high rating for its importance.
Written 14 October 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pengilld
Crows Nest, Australia213 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Very powerful and moving display dedicated to "guarding against the rebirth of Japanese imperialist militarism" (the Japanese invasion in 1931).

Well worth 2-3 hours. A must visit if you want understand more about the Chinese dislike of the Japanese, the spirit of the "Dong Bei" (north east) Chinese and how the Chinese communist party built such strong support.

Before you enter there are a few displays. On the right, there are a number of memorials. There is a big bell on the left.

The mayor rings the bell out the front every 18 Sept. It serves as a reminder to all in shenyang of the events - a sort of Chinese 'lest we forget'.

Spend time looking at the sculpture on the face of the main building. If you look closely you'll make out shapes of bodies and buildings. The first room is also has a powerful sculpture taking all the room. There is a full translation in English.

The rest of the exhibition involves very detailed displays and descriptions of the 14 years of the Japanese occupation and Chinese resistance. Unfortunately, very little of this detail is in English - you just get general biased opinions rather than any factual material. However, there is a wealth of visual material so you can work out the main points for yourself . If all else fails start talking English and you may find a student approaches you who will be keen to practice his English (as happened on our visit).

The 9.18 incident was the result of a decades-long Japanese imperialist policy aimed at expanding its influence politically and militarily in order to secure access to raw material reserves and other economic resources in the area, particularly food and labour.

Generally, the exhibition shows the degree of organised Japanese pre-planning, including encouraging destabilization of the local political environment and garnering support of the locals before any military action was taken (remember china was in the middle of a civil war between chiang kai shek and Maoc at the time - but the Japanese invasion brought them together to fight the common enemy) . Then in the morning of 18 Sept the Japanese assassinated the Chinese north east ruler by blowing up the bridge his train was on. Every year shenyang residents are reminded by the alarms ringing through the city for 3 minutes.

The first few rooms document the systematic terrorisation of the local population (people with small kids should be warned of the graphic photos of beheadings and heads that were hung from posts) .

Even prisoners were encouraged to rat on each other with a caste system - the display with a prison bowl and wooden cylinders with Chinese numbers actually shows how much food a class 1 got compared to a class 7 (which had a lot more wood talking up space in the food bowl).

The germ experiments are also documented and make Dr gobles look like an amateur. But you should really go to Harbin to see unit 731 if you are into that. A comment was made that the Japanese pharmaceutical industry would not be what it is today without those live experiments on many prisoners.

There is also a room which documents the 'traitor' last emporer who was instated as a puppet head of state, and his personal assistant who negotiated the arrangements with the Japanese.

There are a few rooms which show the Chinese resistance and a few of the heros - e. G. the general who starved for days in the winter forest and the woman who was tortured to death but never gave away any information.

The league of nation's inspection of the North East is also displayed, the turning point of the war in 1939 as well as the ultimate Japanese surrender and trials. Interestingly, there is also some material on why the Korean War was started (to rid the Peninsula of the Japanese kanto army).

The final rooms show the communist party's plug - basically 'without the party this could all happen again'.

Make sure you check out the gift shop for communist and war related souvenirs.

Interestingly, even though there are photos of the post - war Chinese and Japanese leadership meeting and smiling, the Japanese donated sculpture to the museum is placed outside next to what looks like the sewer outlet (although I was assured it's a manhole to an electricity conduit).
Written 2 March 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Heather M
Beijing, China2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2013 • Couples
We were planing to see this museum on Monday (yesterday), and everything we had seen both on the Internet and our 2013 LonelynPlanet guidebook said that it was open everyday. Well, the sign said it is closed on Mondays (not any other day). We asked several locals (in Chinese) to make sure there wasn't a separate entrance we were missing and then gave up and came up with a plan B for the day. If you are planning on going, try to confirm that it will be open and/or consider not going on a Monday.
Written 5 August 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Red_Chinese
Shenyang68 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2013 • Friends
A very interesting Museum with lots of details (ok some details are very hard and disturbing) but if you go to some Museum in Europe where they show the crimes and massacres of the Nazi-Army against all the different groups, you will find similar pictures.

Hard time in North of China under the Japanese Invaders, with violence and terror. But it's a historical museum and they show the facts from the Chinese point of view and for sure the Japanese Soldiers are only dark and evil. You get a picture why the the Chinese people, especially in North China are not so "positive" about Japanese.

This is a place you must have seen if you go to Shenyang.
Written 5 May 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

WorldTraxx
Florida161 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2012 • Business
Few people are aware of the atrocities committed against Chinese during the second world war. This museum tells a vivid story.

Written 7 January 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

do_be_kind
Singapore, Singapore104 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019 • Friends
A huge museum which takes one through the history and significance of the date. I didn't know what 18sep signified till visiting the museum.. lotsa effort put to replicate what it was like in those days with many wax statues.
Written 11 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stump_fiddle
Madison, WI179 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Business
We did not study this in school, and one has to wonder why not. 20th century atrocities, many of which added to the animosity that exists yet today between Japan and China, despite efforts on Japan's part to make some amends. The exhibits end with references that there are still those in Japan who would bring animus and violence toward China, leaving a feeling that this chapter is calm now, but not closed. The exhibits reminded me of the WWI Museum in Kansas City and the Holocaust memorial in Washington, D.C.
Written 27 March 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

howardxp1
New York City, NY422 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2015 • Business
This was like visiting Yad Vashem in Israel or similar museums in NYC, Toronto or other big cities. Its a well-put together museum detailing the terrible history between Japan and China when Japan occupied China for around 14 years. It details and very explicitly shows the many horrors that the Japanese army inflicted on the Chinese people over so many years.
The exhibits are well done and no expense was spared in creating the scenes. No wonder there is still a lot of animosity against the Japanese.
Anyway, it's surely a good educational Museum to visit and get out of the cold!
Written 14 December 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bob F
21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014 • Couples
The invasion of the Japanese into Shenyang state is remembered in this large hall it is the most revered day in China and the past is seen as hugely important. Pictures include guillotine before and after so a dose of reality but still well worth the time and not to be missed.
Written 10 August 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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"9.18"HISTORICAL MUSEUM (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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