The Making of the Rape of Nanking: History and Memory in Japan, China, and the United States / Edition 1

The Making of the Rape of Nanking: History and Memory in Japan, China, and the United States / Edition 1

by Takashi Yoshida
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195180968

ISBN-13: 9780195180961

Pub. Date: 03/23/2006

Publisher: Oxford University Press

On December 13, 1937, the Japanese army attacked and captured the Chinese capital city of Nanjing, planting the rising-sun flag atop the city's outer walls. What occurred in the ensuing weeks and months has been the source of a tempestuous debate ever since.

It is well known that the Japanese military committed wholesale atrocities after the fall of the city,

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Overview

On December 13, 1937, the Japanese army attacked and captured the Chinese capital city of Nanjing, planting the rising-sun flag atop the city's outer walls. What occurred in the ensuing weeks and months has been the source of a tempestuous debate ever since.

It is well known that the Japanese military committed wholesale atrocities after the fall of the city, massacring large numbers of Chinese during the both the Battle of Nanjing and in its aftermath. Yet the exact details of the war crimes—how many people were killed during the battle? How many after? How many women were raped? Were prisoners executed? How unspeakable were the acts committed?—are the source of controversy among Japanese, Chinese, and American historians to this day.

In The Making of the "Rape of Nanking" Takashi Yoshida examines how views of the Nanjing Massacre have evolved in history writing and public memory in Japan, China, and the United States. For these nations, the question of how to treat the legacy of Nanjing—whether to deplore it, sanitize it, rationalize it, or even ignore it—has aroused passions revolving around ethics, nationality, and historical identity. Drawing on a rich analysis of Chinese, Japanese, and American history textbooks and newspapers, Yoshida traces the evolving—and often conflicting—understandings of the Nanjing Massacre, revealing how changing social and political environments have influenced the debate. Yoshida suggests that, from the 1970s on, the dispute over Nanjing has become more lively, more globalized, and immeasurably more intense, due in part to Japanese revisionist history and a renewed emphasis on patriotic education in China.

While today it is easy to assume that the Nanjing Massacre has always been viewed as an emblem of Japan's wartime aggression in China, the image of the "Rape of Nanking" is a much more recent icon in public consciousness. Takashi Yoshida analyzes the process by which the Nanjing Massacre has become an international symbol, and provides a fair and respectful treatment of the politically charged and controversial debate over its history.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195180961
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
03/23/2006
Series:
Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
278
Product dimensions:
9.40(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Greater East Asian War 3

Part I Allies and Enemies in the Asia-Pacific War (1937-45)

1 Japan: Mobilizing the Nation, Sanitizing Aggression 11

2 China: Intolerable Atrocities 27

3 United States: The "Rape of Nanking." 37

Part II The Storm of Postwar and Cold War Politics (1945-71)

4 Japan: Confronting the Nanjing Massacre 45

5 China: In Times of Civil and Cold War 62

6 United States: Rebuilding Japan 71

Part III Bringing the Nanjing Massacre into Print (1971-89)

7 Japan: From "Victim Consciousness" to "Victimizer Consciousness." 81

8 China: Nationalizing Memory of the Nanjing Massacre 102

9 United States: Focus on Japanese Denials of the Past 114

Part IV The Internationalization of the Nanjing Massacre (1989 to Present)

10 Japan: A War over History and Memory 129

11 China: The Nanjing Massacre and Patriotic Education 154

12 United States: Rediscovery of the Nanjing Massacre 165

Conclusion 180

Notes 185

Bibliography 237

Index 259

Studies of the Weatherhead Institute, Columbia University 267

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