Dianxi Anti-Japanese War Memorial Hall Graveyard of National Heroes, Tengchong, Yunnan Province

Located at the southeast end of the Guoshan Cemetery in Tengchong, the Dianxi Anti-Japanese War Memorial Hall is a private museum dedicated to the local and Allied soldiers who fought against the Japanese on the Dianxi battlefields between 1942 and 1945 (Dianxi being a Chinese abbreviation for western Yunnan).

Local curator, Duan Shengkui, began collecting war relics from this period over 30 years ago. His collection now reaches almost 80,000 items from China, Myanmar and India. Exhibiting a large number of these items, including weapons, military uniforms and even the skulls of Chinese soldiers, the museum tends to focus on the year 1942 as this is when China built a connecting road to Myanmar to receive international support from Allied forces.

The fighting that ensued after 1942 however led to massive losses in the area. Shengkui claims that almost 400,000 men died during the Dianxi Anti-Japanese War – many of them buried in the next-door cemetery that was established in 1945. 100,000 of these soldiers have had their names engraved on a large wall outside the museum. Each year commemorative ceremonies are held to honour those who died in the area.

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