February 16, 2017 – 5:59 pm


On February 9, 2017, the $ingapore government through its Library and Culture arm decided to open a permanent gallery about $ingapore during World War II. It was reported in the nation-builder press (click here) that the gallery would now be called “Syonan Gallery”. Syonan is the name the Japanese invaders gave $ingapore when they conquered the British Colony early in 1942. The gallery was previously called Memories at Old Ford Factory.

The always loquacious Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim who toured the facility on Thursday (Feb 9), said the National Archives of $ingapore had produced a “very compelling” story capturing the experience of both civilians and the various military forces at play.

From the nation-builder press report: “The gallery has been divided into four zones. The first sets the scene of pre-war $ingapore and tells the history of Ford Factory when it was the first motorcar assembly in South-east Asia in 1941. It moves on to the fall of $ingapore in the next section and highlights Japanese aggression and the weak British defences. The third is focused on the period when $ingapore was renamed during the Japanese Occupation as Syonan-to or Light of the South. The last zone discusses the aftermath of war.”

Lt Kokubu with SR Nathan circa WW2. More here.

During the war years, two residents of the island worked with the occupying force. One, Lee Kuan Yew, later rose to become prime minister of $ingapore. The other, SR Nathan, would be the island’s president. Both were employed by the Japanese. Lee found work transcribing Allied wire for the Japanese (click here).

PM Abe and Mrs Abe pay their respects.

When Nathan passed away in 2016, none other than the prime minister of Japan flew to $ingapore to pay respects (click here). “He was also fluent in Japanese and a friend of Japan. He was our state guest in 2009, and has played a significant role for furthering the friendship of Japan and $ingapore,” Mr Abe said.

How should citizens of Syonan be addressed as?

Your No B.S. comments will earn you a pass to free music.


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  1. 17 Responses to “THE MORE B.S. CONTEST No. 14”

  2. Syonese. This can translate into African-American as “it’s your knees”. Residients of Syonan could also be referred to as Syonanese, which in turn could translate as “it’s your nannies”.

    Both terms seem to suggest a certain mystery. What about your knees? What about your nannies? Leaves a certain amount to the imagination.

    By Jim Kneubuhl on Feb 17, 2017

  3. Hmmm, that’s a tough question. I like Jim’s idea, it’s got a certain logic.

    By Milner on Feb 17, 2017

  4. The most widespread suffixes to denote origin are, ‘ian’, ‘ese’, ‘I’, ‘ish’ which would make options;
    I guess these options could be ‘in the pot’ for those who are to decide to help with their decision. Perhaps it would be better to ask the people what they would prefer to be called before they adopt whatever name is allocated to them by the likes of us.

    By Daij on Feb 17, 2017

  5. Given the context of the name and competition, I guess there may need to be two generic names to denote compliance or opposition.

    The compliant folk would be known as Buttlickahs, a euphonious term that could be added to one’s given name as a prefix or suffix, as in Buttlickah-Lee or Nathan Buttlickah.

    Those who were considered opponents of the regime would be known as Corpses.

    Chances are there’d be so many of them, names would be difficult to differentiate, so a numbering system would replace personal names. Accordingly, you would end up with Corpse 23,857,209 … etc.

    By the real Tony on Feb 19, 2017

  6. Syaini

    Something like that

    By John on Feb 21, 2017

  7. Syonanis. Singaporeans?

    By steve22 on Mar 3, 2017

  8. Let the people decide what to call themselves.

    By Phil on Mar 5, 2017

  9. Look forward, just glance backwards occasionally and learn from the mistakes of the past

    By Liam NSW on Mar 7, 2017

  10. sayonarian

    By dave hk on Mar 7, 2017

  11. Syonans. Simplicity is the name of the game.

    By Tim Tjernlund on Apr 4, 2017

  12. Synonian

    By Len37 on May 21, 2017

  13. Syonanians would be my choice. My favorite such nomenclature is that people from Liverpool are called Liverpudlians. Sounds like something out of Gulliver’s Travels!

    By Jeremy Shatan on Jun 25, 2017

  14. singular Syo, plural Syons

    By fred on Jun 26, 2017

  15. I opt for Syonanians

    By BGS on Jun 12, 2018

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