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

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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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Important historical evidence!

Contents

The Greater East Asian War
3
Part I Allies and Enemies in the AsiaPacific War 193745
9
Part II The Storm of Postwar and Cold War Politics 194571
43
Part III Bringing the Nanjing Massacre into Print 197189
79
Part IV The Internationalization of the Nanjing Massacre 1989 to Present
127
Conclusion
180
Notes
185
Bibliography
237
Index
259
Studies of the Weatherhead Institute Columbia University
267
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About the author (2006)

Takashi Yoshida was educated in both Japan and the United States and is an Assistant Professor of History at Western Michigan University.

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