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The maternal love that reaches out beyond national borders

07-08-2010 09:41 BJT

BEIJING, July 7 (Xinhua) -- There were tears in the eyes of 81-year-old Li Shulan after she watched the anti-war movie "Department of Dance." She said the movie reminded her of her Japanese daughter.

Based on the true story of Li and her adopted daughter, the film, "Department of Dance", was previewed just days before the anniversary of the Chinese People' s War Against Japanese Aggression in China's Northeast Normal University, and struck deep into the hearts of older people who lived through the war, as well as the younger generation born decades after the war.

Sixty-five years ago, Li Shulan witnessed the cruelty of her daughter being slaughtered by Japanese invaders in her hometown. A few months later, she adopted a Japanese girl left behind by the invading troops.

Li gave the girl a Chinese name, 'Tian Lihua,' and also a nickname, 'Laishun', which means "all things go well." She raised the child as her own daughter until 1981 when Laishun returned to her birth country, Japan.

"When I first met Laishun, she was at a refugee camp. She was very skinny and there were lice all over her," Li said. "More than 60 years have passed but I can still recall the scene."

Li brought Laishun home and raised her. Li recalled, "My husband and I later had our own children, but we never treated Laishun as an outsider. When the other kids had three cookies, I would give Laishun ten."

Laishun grew up and was married in China. She later returned to Japan with her husband and four childen. "I heard she got sick and had a rough time in Japan. It is my biggest wish in my life to see her again," Li said, with tears in her eyes.

Just like Li, there are a group of Chinese mothers who adopted Japanese children when Japanese troops retreated in 1945. Many parents gave up the hope of having their own children to better raise their adopted children.

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