Japan from the inside out

Message from an unknown Chinese mother

Posted by ampontan on Friday, February 26, 2010

THAT’S THE TITLE of a new book by Xinran, which has been reviewed by The Spectator.

There are roughly 120,000 adopted Chinese children living abroad with non-Chinese foster parents.

It is necessary to steel one’s self against three agonising thoughts: how did such children come to be here, why does one never meet an adopted Chinese boy, and what does one reply when the adopted Chinese child asks, ‘Why did my real mother let me go?’

They’re the lucky ones.

She had lived and worked almost her entire life in orphanages, and told Xinran that little girls sometimes arrived there with scars between their legs. Oil lamps or candles had burned them.

The first thing the village midwives did when the baby was born was not to clear its airway but to check [by the light of the lamp or candle] whether it was a boy or girl, because that was what the family wanted to hear. Some of the burns were on the baby’s private parts …


(W)hile the natural male-female gender ratio should be 103 or 104 males for every 100 females, in China, depending on the region, this varies from 110 to at least 130 males for every 100 females. One catastrophic result is a shortage of wives and the kidnapping of girls to be sold as wives in other parts of China. Chinese women also have the highest suicide rate in the world.


Mother love is supposed to be such a great thing, but so many babies are abandoned, and it’s their mothers who do it. They’re ignorant. They feel differently about emotions from the way you do. Where I come from, people talk about smothering a baby girl or just throwing it[!]into a stream … to be eaten by dogs, as if it were a joke.

The content of the article speaks for itself.

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