Military Review

Amur Khatyn: how Japanese soldiers burned down a Russian village


Village Ivanovka, Amur region

“When people burned in the barn, the roof rose from the screams,” the surviving residents of Ivanovka told about that terrible tragedy. On March 22, 1919, the Japanese invaders burned alive over 200 people, including children, women, old people ...

"Red Village

Now Ivanovka is the largest village in the Amur Region of Russia, located 35 km east of Blagoveshchensk. Like many villages in the Far East, Ivanovka appeared soon after the abolition of serfdom - in 1864. It was settled by the peasants of the Voronezh, Oryol, Astrakhan provinces.

By the beginning of the Civil War, Ivanovka was considered one of the “reddest” villages in the region: one of the first village councils appeared here, 13 companies of red partisans were formed, and in February 1919 it was from Ivanovka that the Bolsheviks were preparing an attack on Blagoveshchensk itself.

As you know, Japan played the main role in the intervention against Soviet Russia in the Far East. It was Blagoveshchensk that became the center for the deployment of the Japanese interventionists: a Japanese brigade was stationed here under the command of General Otozo Yamada, who later commanded the Kwantung Army. From Blagoveshchensk, the Japanese sent detachments to suppress the actions of the Red partisans throughout the region. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Bolsheviks sought to take Blagoveshchensk first.

Japanese troops shell Ivanovka

In turn, the Japanese command, having learned that an attack on the city was planned from the "red" village of Ivanovka, sent several units there. The Japanese approached the village from the direction of Blagoveshchensk, Annovka and Konstantinogradovka. First, the Japanese military opened cannon and machine-gun fire on the village, and then, lining up in chains, moved on to "clean up".

Shot from machine guns and burned alive

As the few surviving eyewitnesses recalled, Japanese soldiers shot and stabbed everyone who got in the way with bayonets. They ran into houses and killed everyone who was there. Men were killed immediately, women and children were herded into barns and locked up. When the students of the local craft school left the classroom, they also opened fire on them. Soon the entire center of the village turned into one big bonfire: the Japanese set fire to houses, a school, a hospital, and shops.

In one of the barns, the interventionists locked 36 people, surrounded the building with straw, poured fuel on it and set it on fire. All the unfortunate villagers were burned to death. Another 186 people were shot with machine guns on the outskirts of the village. The infantry with bayonets then punctured each body so that no one survived.

Nevertheless, some villagers managed to escape from this hell. The reason for this was the case: the Japanese detachment, following from the direction of Andreevka, was delayed on the way, and the residents of Ivanovka took advantage of this, who fled to where there were no Japanese soldiers yet. In addition to killing civilians, the Japanese also burned all the grain supplies in the village, which caused very big food problems after they left.

The Soviet Special Commission, investigating the consequences of the Japanese raid on Ivanovka, concluded that 208 men, 9 women and 4 children were killed in the village. In addition, 7 Chinese citizens living in Ivanovka also became victims of the Japanese.

The memory of the tragedy

In 1994, the Ivanovka administration received a letter from a certain Saito Rakuro, chairman of the Japanese Association of Former Prisoners of War, which united soldiers and officers of the Imperial Japanese Army who had been in Soviet captivity after World War II. Saito Rakuro dealt with the memory of Japanese prisoners of war who died in the USSR, but upon learning of the tragedy in Ivanovka, he decided to contact the village authorities.

Amur Khatyn: how Japanese soldiers burned down a Russian village
Monument of repentance of the Japanese people in Ivanovka

Soon the Japanese delegation arrived in the village. We met the Japanese, as befits, hospitably: bread and salt. And after some time, a monument appeared in Ivanovka - a high white stele with an Orthodox cross and a chasing depicting a grieving Japanese woman. On the monument there is a plate with the inscription: "With a feeling of deep repentance and deep sorrow to the inhabitants of Ivanovka from the people of Japan."

Now, when they talk in Japan about the "northern occupied territories", we must not forget about the harm the Japanese invaders did to our country and our people during the intervention. No one called the soldiers of the Japanese emperor here, but they, under the guise of political confusion in Russia, established their own order in the Far East, cracking down on innocent civilians.
Photos used:
Wikipedia / State Archives of the Amur Region,
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  1. Ham
    Ham 13 August 2020 13: 11
    it seems to me alone that it's time for samurai to kneel down and kiss the shoes of the Russian people?
    1. wow
      wow 13 August 2020 13: 21
      No, not only you think so! You cannot forgive everything and everyone to infinity ....
      1. Uncle lee
        Uncle lee 13 August 2020 13: 34
        what harm did the Japanese invaders inflict on our country and our people

        "Armed with axes, the Japanese methodically killed 28 ethnic Korean fellow villagers, including three women and six children, including a six-month-old baby." Sakhalin, (Karafuto), August 22, 1945.
    2. stalki
      stalki 13 August 2020 13: 46
      it seems to me alone that it's time for samurai to kneel down and kiss the shoes of the Russian people?
      We don’t need their kisses. It is much more correct and more productive not to believe the words of the Japanese, and to remember their duplicity. And also keep the powder dry, reminding in every possible way what will happen to them, if at least once more.
    3. Free wind
      Free wind 13 August 2020 16: 22
      I agree, we must kneel with the White Guard carrion, destroying the Russian people.
    4. Bersaglieri
      Bersaglieri 13 August 2020 17: 19
      And Russians, and Chinese, and Koreans, and ..... The Japanese committed atrocities even more purely than the SS ..
  2. Peaceful Basmach
    Peaceful Basmach 13 August 2020 13: 22
    Samurai need to get up from their knees, straighten up, button their pants and drive the inu home. This is what we need.
  3. rocket757
    rocket757 13 August 2020 13: 25
    What was, what was ... you cannot forget, but now there is no one to reproach, everything has become dust.
    1. The leader of the Redskins
      The leader of the Redskins 13 August 2020 15: 16
      There is no excuse for cruelty, but at least these have repented.
      1. rocket757
        rocket757 13 August 2020 16: 31
        Repented. Who is there to present the bill to now?
        If such a need arises, we will remind and remember the reason!
        We are not vindictive, we just have a good memory .... and circumstances, usually from outside, can make us angry!
        Do not wake the sleeping honey! This must be conveyed to all the zealous ... and then, let's just say that they were all WARNED!
      2. VORON538
        VORON538 23 October 2020 15: 10
        And who did not repent, what is the hint? To whom? Again, the Russians do not want to pay and repent? There is a small village near Belogorsk in our Amurka, the old people are those who fought in the Second World War, there is also a house that is over 100 years old and which was partially destroyed by Japanese shelling, there are also stories of how men "froze" the Japanese in the White Mountain area. My great-grandmother survived the occupation of the Germans in the Bryansk region, she was 14 years old. So why should the Russians repent? Probably for not erased the land of the states that attacked Russia-USSR, for the fact that Khrushchev pardoned your fellow countrymen who were hiding in caches and served the Germans. Then, yes, the flaw came out. It's a pity.
  4. VVK
    VVK 13 August 2020 13: 41
    Thank you for the article! We must remember the atrocities of the Japanese invaders. And what were they doing in China and Korea before and during the Second World War! Asian barbarians!
  5. Avior
    Avior 13 August 2020 14: 10
    Ivanovka was a very large village.
    From Ivanovka, 13 companies of the rebels joined the army, which was commanded by Dragoshevsky. The company commanders were I.G. Bezrodny, A.S. Pokatilov, I. G. Vakulin, P.M. Grankin, R.I. Rudometov, I.I. Pasyukov, S.I. Ivanov, Ya.S. Kovalev, I. T. Sidelnikov, I.A. Nezhekskaya, A. Ya. Vivdych, N.M. Grankin, A. Ya. Zakharchenko. Horse reconnaissance was commanded by G. Savenov.
    On February 4, 1919, the partisan army under the command of Dragoshevsky gave the first battle to the Japanese interventionists and White Guards at Vinogradovskaya Zayimka. In this battle, 400 Japanese and 40 Cossacks were destroyed. Two Japanese officers were killed.
    All 13 companies of the Ivanovo rebels participated in all battles until April 6, 1919.

    The history of the village at that time is full of bloody events.
    The bodies of those who were shot and burned lay for several days at the place of execution, then their relatives were buried in the old cemetery near the stadium. In addition to the Ivanovo residents, 25 foreign villagers who had come to Ivanovka on business were shot. The Chinese were gathered to shoot up to 200 people, but the intervening Chinese police did not allow this. Up to 15 people were killed outside the village along the city road, driving from the city, and the Solovyov brothers, carrying the forest, were also beaten and killed by their horses.
    On March 25, a Japanese garrison and a White Guard militia settle in the village. The number of White Guard militia is increasing.

    the history of the village in detail
    It was a terrible time ...
  6. Free wind
    Free wind 13 August 2020 14: 35
    The Japanese supplied the hares with weapons and ammunition. the Japanese, together with the Whites, participated in the destruction of the Russians in the Far East. The Bolsheviks destroyed and threw this one out of the Soviet Union, from Russia.
  7. mat-vey
    mat-vey 13 August 2020 15: 38
    I have a grandfather from this Ivanovka ... from that time and an orphan ...
  8. Ryaruav
    Ryaruav 13 August 2020 19: 57
    I have never understood any lovers of netsuke, bushido, karate. taekwando is no worse, just as a good boxer will put snotty karatekas even from a sliding blow, but it's not about the fight, but how they were wild, so the essence and they remained polite and their heads were cut as it was in the Middle Ages, so in their brains and froze
  9. GTYCBJYTH2021
    GTYCBJYTH2021 14 August 2020 12: 30
    With such an attitude ... the Kremlin to Siberia, the Far East, about Kamchatka and Chukotka and I do not say, Khatyney will not be there, the people themselves will become citizens of foreigners ... In the last century, they lived and worked in Kamchatka ... . -88 + "dry" law, cards for food, clothes, soap and tobacco ...... The Koryaks rebelled, you won't return us vodka and tobacco, in winter we will go to our relatives in Alaska and we will take the deer ... ..And after all, they returned the sale of vodka to the natives ..... And the rest - a bottle of vodka and two wines for a month, 10 packs of cigarettes .......