A shophouse is a vernacular architectural building type, seen in urban Southeast Asia and southern China. Shophouses are two or three stories high, with a shop on the ground floor for mercantile activity and a residence above the shop; this mixed-use building form characterises the historical centres of most towns and cities in the Southeast Asia region. Shophouses consist of shops on the ground floor which open up to a public arcade or "five-foot way", which have residential accommodation upstairs. Shophouses, like terraced houses in England and townhouses in the U. S. abut each other to form rows with regular facade, with fire walls between them and adherence to street alignment. As its name suggests, a shophouse contains a shop with separate residential spaces. More space occupied by the former contains a semi-public function. While this is, usually was, a shop, it could just as be a food and beverage outlet, a service provider, an industrial activity or a community space. Residential spaces are meant to accommodate one or more families, or serve as a dormitory for single workers.
Popular belief holds that shophouses were occupied by single families, with their private living areas in one space and the more public family business in another. However, it is possible that the two spaces were always used by unrelated persons or groups, who may be tenants or resident owners; the position of the shop and residential space depends on the number of floors of the shophouse: A single storey shophouse tends to include residential space behind the shop, while residential spaces in shophouses of two or more storeys are located above the shop. Due to constraints in building technology, early shophouses in the 19th and early 20th centuries were low rise buildings with numbers of floors averaging between one and three, with two storey variations being the most abundant. Three storey shophouses are most common in central cores of towns and cities with higher levels of prosperity and population density, pre-war shophouses with up to four storeys existed in the first half of the 20th century with the advent of modern construction materials like reinforced concrete.
Shophouses have narrow street frontages, but may extend backwards to great depths, in some cases extending all the way to the rear street. A number of reasons have been given for the narrow widths of these buildings. One reason relates to taxes, i.e. the idea that buildings were taxed according to street frontage rather than total area, thereby creating an economic motivation to build narrow and deeply. Another reason is building technology: the timber beams that carried the roof and floor loads of these structures were supported by masonry party walls; the extent of frontage was therefore affected by the structural span of the timber used. While all shophouses appear, visually, to have narrow widths, these are not uniform and minor variations are the rule when comparing buildings built at different times, by different owners and with different materials or technologies. In Singapore, many Chinese immigrants moved with their businesses into shophouses, as the majority of these immigrants came from the southeastern coastal provinces of China, the architecture of early Niucheshui shophouses was influenced by that of southern China.
Shophouses are urban terraced buildings, i.e. standing right next to each other along a street, with no gap or space in between buildings. A single wall separates the shophouses on either side of it; the covered walkway along the road is within the shophouse property line but is for public use, providing pedestrians shade from sun and rain. This practice can be traced to antecedents in the Royal Ordinances by Philip II of Spain of 1573 that requires arcades within urban grid plan. In early Manila two-storey houses were built in rows with arcades on the ground floor. A key development was the Raffles Ordinances for Singapore which stipulated that “all houses constructed of brick or tiles have a common type of front each having an arcade of a certain depth, open to all sides as a continuous and open passage on each side of the street”; this practice spread to other States in British Malaya and by-laws with requirements for "verandah-ways of... at least seven feet measuring from the boundary of the road...and the footway within any verandah-way must be at least five feet in the clear."The by-laws were an important element in the evolution of the shophouse building form.
They were not easy to implement: builders wanted to build on and use as much of their land as possible. To this day municipal authorities have to make sure that the arcades are kept free from shopkeepers blocking the path with their goods. In other parts of Southeast Asia, shophouses lack this distinction but, if an area's by-laws are observed, are a useful feature that protects pedestrians from the sun and frequent torrential rain. Older shophouses in Bangkok, for example, may have a plain ledge without gutters jutting out over the pavement, while newer ones may do without this element altogether. One of the most important features of the shophouse is the use of a variety of open-to-sky spaces to admit natural daylight as well as natural air; these open-to-sky spaces may be back yards, small airwells and most internal courtyards. Depending on their size, these courtyards may be landscaped spaces for quiet reflection, places to dry laundry, vents for cooking fumes or toilet odours or spaces for any number of household activities.
The party walls that sepa
Reuse of excreta
Reuse of excreta refers to the safe, beneficial use of animal or human excreta, i.e. feces and urine. Such beneficial use involves the nutrient, organic matter and energy contained in excreta, rather than the water content. Reuse of excreta can involve using it as soil conditioner or fertilizer in agriculture, aquaculture or horticultural activities. Excreta can be used as a fuel source or as a building material. Excreta contains resources that can be recovered: plant-available nutrients nitrogen, potassium as well as micronutrients such as sulphur and organic matter; these resources which are contained in excreta or in domestic wastewater have traditionally been used in agriculture in many countries. They are still being used in agriculture to this day, but the practice is carried out in an unregulated and unsafe manner in developing countries; the WHO Guidelines from 2006 have set up a framework how this reuse can be done safely by following a "multiple barrier approach". There are a number of "excreta-derived fertilizers" which vary in their properties and fertilizing characteristics: urine, dried feces, composted feces, fecal sludge, sewage sludge and animal manure.
Reuse of excreta is the final step of the sanitation chain which starts with collection of excreta and continues with transport and treatment all the way to either disposal or reuse. Sanitation systems that are designed for safe, effective recovery of resources can play an important role in a community’s overall resource management. Various technologies and practices, ranging in scale from a single rural household to a city, can be used to capture valuable resources and make them available for safe, productive uses that support human well-being and broader sustainability; the resources available in wastewater and excreta include water, plant nutrients, organic matter and energy content. Reuse of excreta focuses on the nutrient and organic matter content of excreta unlike reuse of wastewater which focuses on the water content; the most common type of reuse of excreta is as soil conditioner in agriculture. This is called a "closing the loop" approach for sanitation with agriculture, it is a central aspect of the ecological sanitation approach.
An alternative term is "use of excreta" rather than "reuse" as speaking it is the first use of excreta, not the second time that it is used. It can be efficient to combine wastewater and excreta with other organic waste such as manure and crop waste for the purposes of resource recovery; the most common types of excreta reuse, including excreta on their own or mixed with water in the case of domestic wastewater, are: Fertilizer and irrigation water in agriculture and horticulture: for example using recovered and treated water for irrigation. Energy: for example digesting feces and other organic waste to produce biogas. Other: other emerging excreta reuse options include producing protein feeds for livestock using black soldier fly larvae, recovering organic matter for use as building material or in paper production. Research into how to make reuse of urine and feces safe in agriculture was carried out in Sweden since the 1990s. In 2006 the World Health Organization provided guidelines on safe reuse of wastewater and greywater.
The multiple barrier concept to reuse, the key cornerstone of this publication, has led to a clear understanding on how excreta reuse can be done safely. The concept is used in water supply and food production and is understood as a series of treatment steps and other safety precautions to prevent the spread of pathogens; the degree of treatment required for excreta-based fertilizers before they can safely be used in agriculture depends on a number of factors. It depends on which other barriers will be put in place according to the multiple barrier concept; such barriers might be selecting a suitable crop, farming methods, methods of applying the fertilizer, education and so forth. For example, in the case of urine-diverting dry toilets secondary treatment of dried feces can be performed at community level rather than at household level and can include thermophilic composting where fecal material is composted at over 50 °C, prolonged storage with the duration of 1.5 to two years, chemical treatment with ammonia from urine to inactivate the pathogens, solar sanitation for further drying or heat treatment to eliminate pathogens.
There is an untapped fertilizer resource in human excreta. In Africa, for example, the theoretical quantities of nutrients that can be recovered from human excreta are comparable with all current fertilizer use on the continent. Reuse can therefore support increased food production and provide an alternative to chemical fertilizers, unaffordable to small-holder farmers. Mineral fertilizers can contain heavy metals. Phosphate ores contain heavy metals such as cadmium and uranium, which can reach the food chain via mineral phosphate fertilizer; this does not apply to excreta-based fertilizers, an advantage. In intensive agricultural land use, animal manure is not used as targeted as mineral fertilizers and thus the nitrogen utilization efficiency is poor. Animal manure can become a problem in terms of excessive use in areas of intensive agriculture with high numbers of livestock and too little available farmland. Fertilizing elements of organic fertilizers are bound in
Compost is organic matter, decomposed in a process called composting. This process recycles various organic materials otherwise regarded as waste products and produces a soil conditioner. Compost is rich in nutrients, it is used, for example, in gardens, horticulture, urban agriculture and organic farming. The compost itself is beneficial for the land in many ways, including as a soil conditioner, a fertilizer, addition of vital humus or humic acids, as a natural pesticide for soil. In ecosystems, compost is useful for erosion control and stream reclamation, wetland construction, as landfill cover. At the simplest level, the process of composting requires making a heap of wet organic matter, such as leaves and food scraps, waiting for the materials to break down into humus after a period of months. However, composting can take place as a multi-step monitored process with measured inputs of water and carbon- and nitrogen-rich materials; the decomposition process is aided by shredding the plant matter, adding water and ensuring proper aeration by turning the mixture when open piles or "windrows" are used.
Earthworms and fungi further break up the material. Bacteria requiring oxygen to function and fungi manage the chemical process by converting the inputs into heat, carbon dioxide, ammonium. Composting is an aerobic method of decomposing organic solid wastes, it can therefore be used to recycle organic material. The process involves decomposition of organic material into a humus-like material, known as compost, a good fertilizer for plants. Composting requires the following three components: human management, aerobic conditions, development of internal biological heat. Composting organisms require four important ingredients to work effectively: Carbon — for energy. High carbon materials tend to be dry. Nitrogen — to grow and reproduce more organisms to oxidize the carbon. High nitrogen materials tend to be wet. Oxygen — for oxidizing the carbon, the decomposition process. Water — in the right amounts to maintain activity without causing anaerobic conditions. Certain ratios of these materials will provide microorganisms to work at a rate that will heat up the pile.
Active management of the pile is needed to maintain sufficient supply of oxygen and the right moisture level. The air/water balance is critical to maintaining high temperatures until the materials are broken down; the most efficient composting occurs with an optimal carbon:nitrogen ratio of about 25:1. Hot container composting focuses on retaining the heat to increase decomposition rate and produce compost more quickly. Rapid composting is favored by having a C/N ratio of ~30 or less. Above 30 the substrate is nitrogen starved, below 15 it is to outgas a portion of nitrogen as ammonia. Nearly all plant and animal materials have both carbon and nitrogen, but amounts vary with characteristics noted above. Fresh grass clippings have an average ratio of about 15:1 and dry autumn leaves about 50:1 depending on species. Mixing equal parts by volume approximates the ideal C:N range. Few individual situations will provide the ideal mix of materials at any point. Observation of amounts, consideration of different materials as a pile is built over time, can achieve a workable technique for the individual situation.
With the proper mixture of water, oxygen and nitrogen, micro-organisms are able to break down organic matter to produce compost. The composting process is dependent on micro-organisms to break down organic matter into compost. There are many types of microorganisms found in active compost of which the most common are: Bacteria- The most numerous of all the microorganisms found in compost. Depending on the phase of composting, mesophilic or thermophilic bacteria may predominate. Actinobacteria- Necessary for breaking down paper products such as newspaper, etc. Fungi- molds and yeast help break down materials that bacteria cannot lignin in woody material. Protozoa- Help consume bacteria and micro organic particulates. Rotifers- Rotifers help control populations of bacteria and small protozoans. In addition, earthworms not only ingest composted material, but continually re-create aeration and drainage tunnels as they move through the compost. Under ideal conditions, composting proceeds through three major phases: An initial, mesophilic phase, in which the decomposition is carried out under moderate temperatures by mesophilic microorganisms.
As the temperature rises, a second, thermophilic phase starts, in which the decomposition is carried out by various thermophilic bacteria under high temperatures. As the supply of high-energy compounds dwindles, the temperature starts to decrease, the mesophiles once again predominate in the maturation phase. There are many proponents of rapid composting that attempt to correct some of the perceived problems associated with traditional, slow composting. Many advocate. Many such short processes involve a few changes to traditional methods, including smaller, more homogenized pieces in the compost, controlling carbon-to-nitrogen ratio at 30 to 1 or less, monitoring the moisture level more carefully. However, none of these parameters differ from the early writings of compost researchers, suggesting that in fact modern composting has not made significant advances over the traditional methods that take a f
A pail closet or pail privy was a room used for the disposal of human excreta, under the "pail system" of waste removal. The "closet" was a small outhouse which contained a seat, underneath which a portable receptacle was placed; this bucket, into which the user would defecate, was removed and emptied by the local authority on a regular basis. The contents, known euphemistically as night soil, would either be incinerated or composted into fertiliser. Although the more advanced water closet was popular in wealthy homes, the lack of an adequate water supply and poor sewerage meant that in 19th-century England, in working-class neighbourhoods and cities chose dry conservancy methods of waste disposal; the pail closet was an evolution of the midden closet, an impractical and unsanitary amenity considered a nuisance to public health. The pail system was popular in France and England in the historic Lancashire town of Rochdale, from which the system took its name; the pail closet was not without its own problems.
Some manufacturers lined the pail with absorbent materials, other designs used mixtures of dry earth or ash to disguise the smell. Improved water supplies and sewerage systems in England led directly to the replacement of the pail closet during the early 20th century. Municipal collection of pail toilets continued in Australia into the second half of the twentieth century. In the western world, the pail closet has now been completely replaced by the flush toilet. However, similar systems still exist in poor countries, are discussed at Sanitation. Pail closets were used to dispose of human excreta, dirty water, general household waste such as kitchen refuse and sweepings; the pail closet system was one of several methods of waste disposal in common use in the 19th century, others of which were the privy midden system, the pail system, the dry-earth system. By 1869, Manchester had a population of about 354,000 people who were served by about 10,000 water closets and 38,000 middensteads. An investigation of the condition of the city's sewer network revealed that it was "choked up with an accumulation of solid filth, caused by overflow from the middens."
Such problems forced the city authorities to consider other methods of dealing with human excretion. Although the water closet was used in wealthy homes, concerns over river pollution and available water supplies meant that most towns and cities chose more labour-intensive dry conservancy systems. Manchester was one such city and by 1877 its authorities had replaced about 40,000 middens with pail and midden closets, rising to 60,000 by 1881; the soil surrounding the old middens was cleared out, connections with drains and sewers removed and dry closets erected over each site. A contemporary estimate stated that the installation of about 25,000 pail closets removed as much as 3,000,000 imperial gallons of urine and accompanying faeces from the city's drains and rivers; the midden closet was a development of the privy, which had evolved from the primitive "fosse" ditch. Midden closets were still used in the latter part of the 19th century but were falling out of favour. A Mr Redgrave, in a speech to the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1876, said that the midden closet represented "... the standard of all, utterly wrong, constructed as it is of porous materials, permitting free soakage of filth into the surrounding soil, capable of containing the entire dejections from a house, or from a block of houses, for months and years".
The 1868 Rivers Pollution Commission reported two years later: "privies and ashpits are continually to be seen full to overflowing and as filthy as can be... These middens are cleaned out whenever notice is given that they need it once half-yearly on an average, by a staff of night-men with their attendant carts."Midden closets were, therefore insanitary and were difficult to empty and clean. Improvements, such as a midden closet built in Nottingham, used a brick-raised seat above a concave receptacle to direct excreta toward the centre of the pit—which was lined with cement to prevent leakage into the surrounding soil; this closet was designed with a special opening through which deodorising material could be scattered over the top of the pit. A special ventilation shaft was installed; the design offered a significant improvement over the less advanced midden privy, but the problems of emptying and cleaning such pits remained and thus the pail system, with its removable container, became more popular.
The Rochdale system was first used in 1869. It used a wooden tub, or pail, placed under the closet seat; the pails were circular, were designed to be handled and of a size that encouraged regular collections. The top of the pail carried a cast iron rim about 3 inches deep to receive a tight-fitting inner lid; the pails were collected on a weekly basis during the day. Each pail was secured by its lid and loaded onto a sealed 24-bay wagon to be taken to a depot where they were emptied and returned. While the pail was removed from the closet, a replacement was installed in its place. In 1874, Rochdale Corporation employed five such wagons in full-time service, collecting from 3,354 privies spread across the town. By contrast, with a much larger population, Manchester Corporation employed 73 wagons. By 1875, 4,741 pails were in use, in 1876
Toilets in Japan
Some toilets in Japan are more elaborate than toilets found in other developed nations. The current state of the art for Western-style toilets in Japan is the bidet toilet, which, as of March 2016, is installed in 81% of Japanese households. In Japan, these bidets are called washlets, a brand name of Toto Ltd. and include many advanced features seen outside of Asia. The feature set found on washlets are anal hygiene, bidet washing, seat warming, deodorization. Japanese toilets are well-known in popular culture and parodied in comedic works set in Japan; the word toire is an abbreviated form of the English language word "toilet" and is used both for the toilet itself and for the room where it is located. A common euphemism is otearai; this is similar to the usage in American English of "washroom", which means a room where something is washed, "toilet", which refers to the act of self-cleaning. It is common to see another loan translation, keshōshitsu, on signs in department stores and supermarkets, as well as accompanying the public toilet pictogram.
The plain word for toilet is benjo, from the word ben meaning "convenience" or "excrement", this word is common. It is used in elementary schools, public swimming baths, other such public places, is not impolite, although some may prefer to use a more refined word. In many children's games, a child, tagged "out" is sent to a special place, such as the middle of a circle, called the benjo. Japanese has many other words for places reserved for excretory functions, including kawaya and habakari, but most are rare or archaic; the toilet itself—that is, the bowl or in-floor receptacle, the water tank, et cetera—is called benki. The toilet seat is benza. A potty, either for small children or for the elderly or infirm, is called omaru; the Japan Toilet Association celebrates an unofficial Toilet Day on November 10, because in Japan the numbers 11/10 can be read as ii-to, which means "Good Toilet". Toto, an abbreviation of the company Tōyō Tōki which manufactures toilets, is used in Japanese comics for visually indicating toilets or other things that look like toilets.
There are two styles of toilets found in Japan. After World War II, modern Western-type flush toilets and urinals became common; the traditional Japanese-style toilet is a squat toilet—also known as the'Asian Toilet,' as squat toilets of somewhat similar design are common all over Asia. A squat toilet differs from a Western toilet in both method of employment. A squat toilet looks like a miniature urinal set horizontally into the floor. Most squat toilets in Japan are made of porcelain, although in some cases stainless steel is used instead; the user squats over the toilet, facing the hemispherical hood, i.e. the wall in the back of the toilet in the picture seen on the right. A shallow trough collects the waste, instead of a large water-filled bowl as in a Western toilet. All other fixtures, such as the water tank and flushing mechanism, may be identical to those of a Western toilet. Flushing causes water to push the waste matter from the trough into a collecting reservoir, emptied, with the waste carried off into the sewer system.
The flush is operated in the same manner as a Western toilet, though some have pull handles or pedals instead. Many Japanese toilets have two kinds of flush: "small" and "large"; the difference is in the amount of water used. The former is for the latter for feces; the lever is pushed to the "small" setting to provide a continuous covering noise for privacy, as discussed below. A combination squat/Western toilet exists, where a seat can be flipped down over a squat toilet, the toilet can be used the same way as the Western style; this hybrid seems to be common only in rural areas for the benefit of resident foreigners. Adapters that sit on top of the Japanese toilet to convert it to a functional sit-down toilet are much more common. There are permanently installed extensions available to convert a squat toilet into a Western-style washlet. There is a trend in Japan since the 1960s to replace squat toilets at schools and public places with sitting toilets; this trend is thought to accelerate in the run-up to Paralympics.
A flush toilet which has a pedestal for sitting is known in Japan as a Western-style toilet. Western-style toilets, including high tech toilets, are now more common in Japanese homes than the traditional squat toilets, though some older apartments retain stickers on the toilet or in its room illustrating the proper way to use it for urination and defecation. Many public toilets at schools and train stations are still equipped with only squat toilets. In their own homes, Japanese people prefer being able to sit older or physically disabled individuals for whom prolonged squatting is physically demanding or uncomfortable. Western-style flush toilets in Japan include water-saving features such as the ability to choose between a "big" flush and a "little" flush. Many toilets route the water to fill the tank through a faucet over the tank allowing users to rinse their hands; the modern toilet in Japan, in English sometimes called Super Toilet, known in Japanese as Washlet or as warm-wat
Battle of Singapore
The Battle of Singapore known as the Fall of Singapore, was fought in the South-East Asian theatre of World War II when the Empire of Japan invaded the British stronghold of Singapore—nicknamed the "Gibraltar of the East". Singapore was the major British military base in South-East Asia and was the key to British imperial interwar defence planning for South-East Asia and the South-West Pacific; the fighting in Singapore lasted from 8 to 15 February 1942, after the two months during which Japanese forces had advanced down the Malayan Peninsula. The campaign, including the final battle, was a decisive Japanese victory, resulting in the Japanese capture of Singapore and the largest British surrender in history. About 80,000 British and Australian troops in Singapore became prisoners of war, joining 50,000 taken by the Japanese in the earlier Malayan Campaign; the British prime minister, Winston Churchill, called it the "worst disaster" in British military history. During 1940 and 1941, the Allies had imposed a trade embargo on Japan in response to its continued campaigns in China and its occupation of French Indochina.
The basic plan for taking Singapore was worked out in July 1940. Intelligence gained in late 1940 – early 1941 did not alter the basic plan, but confirmed it in the minds of Japanese decision makers. On 11 November 1940, the German raider Atlantis captured the British steamer Automedon in the Indian Ocean, carrying papers meant for Air Marshal Sir Robert Brooke-Popham, the British commander in the Far East, which included much information about the weakness of the Singapore base. In December 1940, the Germans handed over copies of the papers to the Japanese; the Japanese had broken the British Army's codes and in January 1941, the Second Department of the Imperial Army had interpreted and read a message from Singapore to London complaining in much detail about the weak state of "Fortress Singapore", a message, so frank in its admission of weakness that the Japanese at first suspected it was a British plant, believing that no officer would be so open in admitting weaknesses to his superiors, only believed it was genuine after cross-checking the message with the Automedon papers.
As Japan's oil reserves were depleted by the ongoing military operations in China as well as industrial consumption, in the latter half of 1941, the Japanese began preparing a military response to secure vital resources if diplomatic efforts to resolve the situation failed. As a part of this process, the Japanese planners determined a broad scheme of manoeuvre that incorporated simultaneous attacks on the territories of Britain, The Netherlands and the United States; this would see landings in Malaya and Hong Kong as part of a general move south to secure Singapore, connected to Malaya by the Johor–Singapore Causeway, an invasion of the oil-rich area of Borneo and Java in the Dutch East Indies. In addition, strikes would be made against the United States naval fleet at Pearl Harbor, as well as landings in the Philippines, attacks on Guam, Wake Island and the Gilbert Islands. Following these attacks, a period of consolidation was planned, after which the Japanese planners intended to build up the defences of the territory, captured by establishing a strong perimeter around it stretching from the India–Burma frontier through to Wake Island, traversing Malaya, the Dutch East Indies, New Guinea and New Britain, the Bismarck Archipelago, the Marshall and Gilbert Islands.
This perimeter would be used to block Allied attempts to regain the lost territory and defeat their will to fight. The Japanese 25th Army invaded from Indochina, moving into northern Malaya and Thailand by amphibious assault on 8 December 1941; this was simultaneous with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which precipitated the United States entry into the war. Thailand resisted, but soon had to yield; the Japanese proceeded overland across the Thai–Malayan border to attack Malaya. At this time, the Japanese began bombing strategic sites in Singapore; the Japanese 25th Army was resisted in northern Malaya by III Corps of the British Indian Army. Although the 25th Army was outnumbered by Allied forces in Malaya and Singapore, the Allies did not take the initiative with their forces, while Japanese commanders concentrated their forces; the Japanese were superior in close air support, armour, co-ordination and experience. While conventional British military thinking was that the Japanese forces were inferior, characterised the Malayan jungles as "impassable", the Japanese were able to use it to their advantage to outflank hastily established defensive lines.
Prior to the Battle of Singapore the most resistance was met at the Battle of Muar, which involved the Australian 8th Division and the Indian 45th Brigade, as the British troops left in the city of Singapore were garrison troops. At the start of the campaign, the Allied forces had only 164 first-line aircraft on hand in Malaya and Singapore, the only fighter type was the obsolete Brewster 339E Buffalo; these aircraft were operated by two Royal Australian Air Force, two Royal Air Force, one Royal New Zealand Air Force squadron. Major shortcomings included a slow rate of climb and the aircraft's fuel system which required the pilot to hand pump fuel if flying above 6,000 feet. In contrast, the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force was more numerous and better trained than the second-hand assortment of untrained pilots and inferior allied equipment remaining in Malaya and Singapore, their fighter aircraft were superior to the Allied fighters, which helped the Japanese to gain air supremacy. Although outnumbered and outclassed, the Buffalos were able to provide some resistance
Japanese occupation of Singapore
The Japanese occupation of Singapore or Syonan-to in World War II took place from 1942 to 1945, following the fall of the British colony on 15 February 1942. Military forces of the Empire of Japan occupied it after defeating the combined British, Indian and Malayan garrison in the Battle of Singapore; the occupation was to become a major turning point in the histories of several nations, including those of Japan and the then-colonial state of Singapore. Singapore was renamed Syonan-to, meaning "Light of the South Island" and was included as part of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Singapore was returned to British colonial rule on 12 September 1945, following the formal signing of the surrender instrument at the Municipal Building, now known as City Hall; the Japanese captured all of Malaya during the Malayan Campaign in a little more than two months. The garrison defending Singapore surrendered on 15 February 1942, only a week after the invasion of the island commenced. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the fall of Singapore "the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history".
The Kempeitai, the dominant occupation unit in Singapore, committed numerous atrocities towards the common people. They introduced the system of "Sook Ching", which means "purging through purification" in Chinese, to get rid of those so ethnic Chinese, deemed to be hostile to the Empire of Japan; the Sook Ching Massacre claimed the lives of between 25,000 and 50,000 ethnic Chinese in Singapore as well as in neighboring Malaya. These victims male, were rounded up and taken to deserted spots and locations around the island, such as Changi Beach, Punggol Point, Siglap and killed systematically using machine-guns and rifles. Moreover, the Kempeitai established an island-wide network of local informants to help them identify those they suspected as anti-Japanese; these informers were well-paid by the Kempeitai and had no fear of being arrested for their loyalty was not in question to the occupation forces. Japanese soldiers and Kempeitai officers patrolled the streets and all commoners had to bow to them in respect when they passed by.
Those who failed to do so would be slapped, punished and some people would be taken away to imprisonment or face execution. To discourage Western influence, which Japan sought to eliminate from the start of their invasion, the Japanese set up schools and education institutions and pressured the local people to learn their language. Textbooks and language guidebooks were printed in Japanese and radios and movies were broadcast and screened in Japanese; every morning, school-children had to stand facing the direction of Japan and sing the Japanese national anthem. Basic resources, ranging from food to medication, were scarce during the occupation; the prices of basic necessities increased drastically over the 3 and a half years due to hyperinflation. For example, the price of rice increased from $5 per 100 catties to $5,000 by the end of the occupation between August and September 1945; the Japanese issued ration cards known as "Peace Living Certificates" to limit the amount of resources distributed to the civilian population.
Adults could purchase 5 kg of rice per month and children received 2 kg accordingly. The amount of rice for adults was reduced by 25% as the war progressed, as much of the scarce rice supplies were sent to feed the Japanese military; the Japanese issued "Banana Money" as their main currency during the occupation period since British Straits currency became rarer and was subsequently phased out when the Japanese took over in 1942. They instituted elements of a command economy in which there were restrictions on the demand and supply of resources, thus creating a popular black market from which the locals could obtain key scarce resources such as rice and medicine; the "Banana" currency started to suffer from high inflation and dropped drastically in value because the occupation authorities would print more whenever they needed it. Food availability and quality decreased greatly. Sweet potatoes and yams became the staple food of most diets of many Singaporeans because they were cheaper than rice and could be grown fast and in backyard gardens.
They were turned into a variety of dishes, as both desserts and all three meals of the day. Such foods helped to fend starvation off, with limited success in terms of nutrients gained, new ways of consuming sweet potatoes and yams with other products were invented and created to help stave off the monotony. Both the British colonial and Japanese occupation authorities encouraged their local population to grow their own food if they had the smallest amount of land; the encouragement and production were similar to what occurred with "Victory Gardens" in Western nations during World War II as food supplies grew more scarce. Ipomoea aquatica, which grew easily and flourished well near water sources, became a popular food-crop just as it did the other vegetables. After taking Singapore, the Japanese established the Shonan Japanese School, to educate Malays, Chinese and Eurasians in the Japanese language. Faye Yuan Kleeman, the author of Under an Imperial Sun: Japanese Colonial Literature