Location scouting in archive footage from “Japan’s War in Colour” (2005)

Film Title: Japan’s War in Colour
Year: 2005
Produced and directed by David Batty
Narrated by Brian Cox
Produced by TWI
Country of Production: United Kingdom


Using only colour archive film woven with the diaries and letters of ordinary Japanese people, this documentary is an examination of the Second World War as seen through Japanese eyes.

This documentary covers the entire period of Japan’s involvement in the Second World War, so the section on Singapore is relatively short but every archive footage in that brief section is worth representing here. Places and faces as shot by the visiting or the resident Japanese in pre-war Singapore.

The Film Locations:

The seaview from Singapore Harbour. Behind barbwires.


A view of the Singapore Harbour from a Marine Police Patrol Boat.


The quintessential shot of the civic district from the top of the Fullerton Building.
From left: Victoria Memorial Hall, The Supreme Court, Singapore Cricket Club, The Municipal Building, and the Cathay Building in the distance.


Chinatown, South Bridge Road?
The chinese characters painted on the building side (top right of the film-still) are “余仁和”, “余仁生” and four other indecipherable characters. The two rightmost characters bear a resemblance to “药材”.
Both 余仁和 (Eu Yan Ho) and 余仁生 (Eu Yan Sang) are Chinese medicine and herbal shops owned by prominent businessman 余东旋 (Eu Tong Sen). One of the major thoroughfares in Chinatown today is named after him.
Eu Yan Sang has since developed into a household brand for traditional chinese medicine and one of its main clinics is still located along South Bridge Road.


Shophouse five-foot-way. Patrons of a street hawker in Chinatown.


Street junction. Traffic marshal giving directions.

Exchanging Gazes, Those Uncanny Faces:


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