Sunday, March 13, 2016

The March Of Imperial Army (日军的操步)

According to my late grandpa who was a rubber tapper in Kuala Kangsar, my former primary school was the head quarter of Japanese Imperial Army during WWII. Grandpa was about 25 years old when the Japanese invaded Malaya. He was once being asked to stand in front of the army head quarter for one whole day because he forgot to bowl to the military MPs in front of the building. Of course, grandpa was one of few lucky ones who return home in one piece.

During my 6 years of primary education in that school, I have heard of many ghost stories of the said school at night. This story is told by a teacher who had apparently stayed in the school building longer than she should…

When I was with the school, there was one basketball field and one athletic field a few steps lower. You see, the school is built on a slope. The teacher’s room was situated on the ground floor facing the basketball field. It was said that the current basketball field was where the Imperial Army congregated every morning and evening for marching practices; while the below field was used for torturing prisoners.

On that day, it was about 9pm and all of the teachers had gone back except Madam Ang who was still at her desk marking her student’s workbooks. She had to complete the task that night before the parents and teachers meeting.

As Madam Ang was marking her last portion of the workbooks, she suddenly heard some rhythmical pilling sounds came from the basketball field. She raised her head and wonder who on earth would work in the dead of the night.

So Madam Ang put down her pen and walked towards the direction of the pilling sound. The more she got close to the source of the sound, the sound sounded as if some people were marching. “Ah, it must be the scouts who were practising for the coming sports day! But the boys should knock off and rest early.” She thought.

At that point, Madam Ang’s mind sort of contented with the answer and she returned to her desk to work. But just as she was finishing her last workbook, the marching sound was heard again. This time the sound seemed to be closer to the teacher’s room or perhaps the marching group has reached the front door of the teacher’s room.

Just as Madam Ang was about to get up to approach the thought to be scouts to ask them to return home for the night, the marching sound suddenly moved towards the left and slowly fading towards the left side of the classroom blocks.

Since she was to call it a day anyway, Madam Ang walked out of the teacher’s room and locked the main door. She was able to catch a glimpse of the marching group… and they were in uniform alright. Though the surrounding was dim, through full moon light, Madam Ang could roughly tell that the weird group was wearing Japanese Imperial Army uniforms.

As recalled by Madam Ang later during a reunion gathering:

“I couldn’t imagine what would happen if the group of ‘thing’ suddenly took an about turn and came to catch me!”

Coincidentally, a few years after Madam Ang’s encounter, the authority renovated the basketball court and it was said that the contractors excavated some Imperial Army items such as rusted samurai sword, pieces of helmets and some Japanese coins. After the items were removed, no strange happenings were heard until now. Maybe the spirits have decided to RIP or perhaps they just wait for a suitable timing…

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