The Massacre At Nanjing

Decent Essays
Historical Idea: The Japanese were particularly brutal because they saw the Chinese as an inferior race.

A topic of debate in recent history is the reasoning behind the Japanese’ overly-brutal violence towards the Chinese during the massacre at Nanjing. The prevailing theory is that the Japanese saw the Chinese as an inferior race, or ‘Chancorro’ (sub-human)- thus, killing Chinese held no great significance. Chinese soldiers were not the only targets for the brutality, innocent Chinese citizens were treated with the same violence. Chinese men were used for bayonet practice, as well as in ‘decapitation contests’, and an estimated 20,000 - 80,000 Chinese women were raped. Other examples of brutality include live burials, castration and nailing
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There are two sides to the denial of the massacre, there are Japanese revisionists who believe the death toll of 300,000+ claimed by China is false, and there are revisionists and nationalists who believe the massacre was fabricated by the Chinese government for the purpose of propaganda. Shūdō Higashinakano is a Japanese historian who strongly believes that the massacre is a hoax- his reasoning for believing this is that there was “no witness of illegal executions or murders (at Nanjing)”. Higashinakano argues that the “activities of the Japanese military in Nanjing were in accordance with international law and were humane.”

Masaaki Tanaka is a Japanese author who wrote in his book ‘The Fabrication of the Nanjing Massacre’ there was no killing at Nanjing at all, and that it was fabricated not only by the Chinese government, but also by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (also known as the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal). Many other prominent Japanese officials also believe in the propaganda theory. A group that advocates this view is ‘Nippon Kaigi’, the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzō Abe, is part of this
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Frank Tillman Durdin was a foreign correspondent for the New York Times, he was in Nanjing when it fell to the Imperial Japanese Army. Durdin left Nanjing on December 15th, two days after the initial invasion- he made a tour of Nanjing before his departure. In his report for the NYT, he stated that he heard “waves of machine-gun fire and witnessed the Japanese soldiers gun down some two hundred Chinese within ten minutes.” Durdin's report was one of the first printed accounts of the Nanjing Massacre. The report has been called "one of the best journalistic accounts of the fall of Nanjing". He covered all the major issues at Nanjing- including the murder of civilians, the execution of Chinese soldiers, conscription, looting and rape. But his report, along with the few others that were published was met with scepticism from the American public, because the stories seemed almost ‘too fantastic to be
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