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The Rape of Nanking

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by Chiclet, Mar 22, 2002.

  1. Chiclet

    Chiclet TRIBE Promoter

    I'm just starting to read the book by Iris Chang. It was published in 1997 I think.

    Does anyone know more about this?

    The Japanese Emperor publicly apologized a little while ago... but to what extent?

    Are they teaching about it in schools now?

    More info please.



    I think it's awful that such atrocious acts were hidden from the public eye for more than half a century.
  2. Chiclet

    Chiclet TRIBE Promoter

  3. Chiclet

    Chiclet TRIBE Promoter

  4. Chiclet

    Chiclet TRIBE Promoter

    Some of the pics in that gallery are the most sickening things I have ever seen :(

    About 370,000 people were massacred.
  5. Chiclet

    Chiclet TRIBE Promoter

    Why hasn't anyone replied yet?

    I don't get it. How does an infected nosering promote more dialog then a forgotten Holocaust? (no offense Ming.)
  6. kerouacdude

    kerouacdude TRIBE Member


    I totally hear what you're saying and kudos to you for trying to bring something important to light rather than some self-absorbed

    I remember seeing the author interviewed, she's really young - like in her late 20's I believe...I was certainly aware that this happened but must confess I don't know much about it...thanks for that link, i'll read more..
  7. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    Read it and a couple more articles. I'm actually doing a little research before I reply in ernest. It might take a day.

    Fluff deserves fluff this deserves actual thought.
  8. pauly j

    pauly j TRIBE Member

    i actually don't know a whole lot about the whole issue at large.....can anybody maybe bring me up to speed with a brief overview or something?

    pauly j.
  9. Chiclet

    Chiclet TRIBE Promoter

    Thank you guys.

    ^^^ I don't know the accuracy of the above... but that's what I hope to find out.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2002
  10. pauly j

    pauly j TRIBE Member

    wow......thanks for the info chiclet.....i'd like to consider a fairly learned person, but i have really never heard much about this whole series of events.....it's really side what humans are capable of sometimes.

    pauly j.
  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Japanese invasion of Manchuria began in September of 1931 after the "Mukden incident," in which a bomb, actually planted by Japanese secret agents, destroyed a Japanese express train. In July 1937, Japan escalated its attacks, launching an all-out war on mainland China. Japan defended its aggressive militarism on several grounds, including that it was in fact "protecting China from its inner turmoil," that Japan's overpopulation "necessitated" colonization of other lands, that its economy lacked adequate resources of its own and so needed those of China, that the long-term effect would be to strengthen all of East Asia, and finally that all of the world's powerful nations had made similar advances in the past.

    Prior to Japanese military activities in Manchuria, the population of Nanking had been approximately 250 000, but this number had grown to about one million by late 1937. With Beijing under siege, Nanking had been made the capital of China, accounting for some of this increase; but the greater portion had come from refugees who had fled to the city from the dangerous northern countryside. In the autumn of 1937, Japanese war planes began bombing Nanking, concentrating their efforts on the downtown areas, which were most densely populated by civilians.

    As Nanking came under attack, the capital was again moved, this time to Chungking. Knowing that Japanese troops were en route toward the city, the people panicked and tried to flee. On 9 December 1937, Japanese ground forces reached Nanking, where they were met with minimal resistance from overwhelmed and fatigued Chinese military units. By 13 December, with Japanese troops attacking the city from all angles, the Chinese forces were routed. Fearing the consequences of surrender to the Japanese, Chinese military men donned civilian clothing and retreated into the city. It was on this day that the six-week stretch of atrocities against the civilian population of Nanking began.

    The first few weeks of barbaric rampage by Japanese troops were the grisliest. Tens of thousands of Chinese men, women, and children perished as they desperately attempted to flee across the Yangtze River by swimming or using makeshift flotation devices, while Japanese soldiers fired upon and launched grenades at the scurrying masses. On the city streets, soldiers who claimed to be searching for hidden members of the Chinese army were in reality shooting and bayoneting civilians at will. They also set fire to many buildings, looted homes and robbed citizens of their few possessions.

    In the early weeks, there were mass murders with deaths numbering in the thousands. Civilians and suspected soldiers were rounded up and shot until their dead bodies piled atop one another, after which Japanese soldiers haphazardly bayoneted the mounds to make sure to kill any who had survived. On other occasions, crowds of Chinese people were assembled to be doused with gasoline and torched alive; frequently, Japanese soldiers eagerly tossed grenades into such crowds.

    Nanking was certainly not the only Chinese city that suffered at the hands of the invading Japanese forces. Soochow, Wuhsi, Shanghai, Hangchow, many other cities, and countless towns and villages were all savaged as well; but it was at Nanking that this brutality reached its nadir.

    The Japanese authorities were well aware of the horrors being performed by their men, but took no measures to stop them. Their behaviour, especially the attacks on women, was considered an outlet for their animal urges, a boost to the morale of the soldiers. These men made games of torturing their captives and finding new and cruel ways to kill them. In another effort to boost morale and make sport out of murder, the soldiers held contests to see who could rack up the most kills. The most famous example of this was a competition between two sub-lieutenants, Toshiaki Mukai and Takeshi Noda, who decided to race each other to one hundred kills. They had to extend this goal because it was unclear which one had committed his hundredth murder first, and then they eventually lost count

    It is for the crimes against the women of Nanking that this tragedy is most notorious. Over the six weeks of the massacre, in addition to the murder of about 300,000 civilians, the Japanese troops raped over 20,000 women, most of whom were murdered thereafter. In recognition of these horrifying acts, the massacre is also commonly referred to as 'the rape of Nanking.'

    Women of all ages (including children as young as seven and elderly women in their seventies) were violated, many of them being gangraped or attacked on multiple occasions. Some women were held captive so that the could be repeatedly abused. Rapes were committed in broad daylight, in front of spouses, children, or other family members, and with appalling frequency. The soldiers' usual practice, officially condoned by high-ranking officials so as to "avoid difficulties," was to murder the women when they were finished with them. This was most often done by cutting off their breasts and/or disemboweling them with a bayonet to the abdomen. Senior officers were not only aware of these acts, but participated in them as well.

    Particularly disturbing is that the Japanese perpetrators derived great pleasure from these heinous crimes, while their superiors condoned and even supported them. One outstandingly revolting account is of several soldiers who, after raping and killing a pregnant woman, presented her fetus on a bayonet to their commanding officer, who replied with laughter. There were innumerable gruesome occurrences like this ...
    acts of cruelty seemingly beyond human capacity ...
    but commonplace, in the massacre of Nanking.

    Twenty-eight men, including former foreign ministers and high-ranking military officials, were tried in Tokyo by an international jury for their part in the leadership behind the Nanking Massacre. It became clear that Tokyo had known about the atrocities and ignored them, considering them wartime policies. Of the twenty-eight men, two died during the trials, one broke down and was admitted to a mental institution, and the remaining twenty-five were all found guilty on one or more charges. All were sentenced in 1948 either to death by hanging or life imprisonment, but by 1956 every one of them had been paroled.

    Decades after the massacre, Japan began to deny much of the history of Nanking. Books were written which offered very different perspectives on the incident, some of which categorically denied that it had ever taken place. Even as late as 1990, there were top officials in the Japanese government who claimed that the massacre was fabricated. While there has since been official acknowledgement of the barbarity of Japanese forces during the war, largely due to international outrage at the Japanese cover-up attempts, apologies and efforts of compensation have not been forthcoming. To this date, Ikuhiko Hata's "Nanking Incident" is considered by the Japanese Ministry of Education to be the definitive historical text on the subject. This book puts the official death count between 38 000 and 42 000, and argues that the killing of enemy soldiers who have surrendered or been captured cannot be considered a massacre.
  12. mystique0217

    mystique0217 TRIBE Member

    oh wow.

    i am very speechless.
    to be honest, as a person who claims to be Japanese, it hurts for me to read things like this..
    thanks for the link, marcia. i will read them, and ask myself what all these things mean to me.

    soo many things to think about..really..
    but the bottom line is that a hurtful feeling that i gain shall not avoid me from educating myself on what has happened..

  13. Balzz

    Balzz TRIBE Member

    They commited similar acts on the island of Penang in Malaysia. When I was a kid, my grandmother used to show me where they used to display decapitated heads to the public... :(
  14. KillaLadY

    KillaLadY TRIBE Member

    Reading all this makes me angry at the people that could do such thing. It's not an usual anger, it comes from deep within. Just to read the number of people that were killed... it gives me goosebumps and it lets me speechless.
  15. Etkulte

    Etkulte TRIBE Member

    I WAS THERE!!!

    2 summers ago on my trip to China we visited the memmorial site. It was so distrubing because basically the entire site was a dead body dump. It was just one masive cemetry with the ground exposing skeletons and stuff. This memmorial was more like a museum that show all the atrocities that happened there. They had a film of this beheading and it took like 4 whacks too.

    I felt scared in there, like a creepy lost souls feeling trying to get revenge for their aweful deaths. It was creepy since you could look out the window onto this mound and this whole side were just skeletons mangled together.

    Wrorst were stories about survivors how like women were ganged raped and this one was they broke her ribs, raped her, and were pulling off her pubic hair.

    :mad: :mad: :mad:
  16. jus me

    jus me TRIBE Member


    I've never really done any formal reading on this subject. Altough I've known about it since childhood. It started when I was little and didn't want to finish my dinner, my dad would say, "All I had to eat when I was your age was watered down rice and ketchup! Now EAT!". Later on, I found out that he was referring to the rations during wartime. My mom doesn't have much memories except for her mom carrying her into the fields and sticking something inside her mouth so she wouldn't cry out. They were very young at that time.

    However, they lived in south east Asia. Not in China. The war spread all over east asia and the japanese tried to conquer and colonize whatever piece of land they could get their hands on.

    When I got a bit older, there was an exhibit at the Consulate of China where they showed horrifying photos as you posted above. I was probably 8 or 10, and even though they had a big sign saying "Children not allowed to look" or something of that sort. I did anyways, and had nightmares and visions.
    My parents also took me a documentary about the war, which made me realize even more that the tragedies occured were real.

    From what I know, educational textbooks in japan either disregard the massacre all together or skim over it slightly. It's a shame that some citizens don't even know their country's political history.

    The emperor of Japan did apologize but most chinese do not think it is sincere.

    There are alot of movies that deal with this subject (the massacre and the japanese invasion), whether it be directly or indirectly. Check out the foreign film section at your local video store!
  17. Cheer Bear

    Cheer Bear TRIBE Member

    there was something on tv about this. I wish I could remember what it was.
    so disturbing.
  18. jus me

    jus me TRIBE Member


    thank you Marcia for bringing a worthy piece of historic information to enlighten those who don't know and want to know more. :)
  19. Chiclet

    Chiclet TRIBE Promoter

    Thanks Angie.

    I first heard about it when I was a little girl as well. I remember my Dad seeing old News footage of the Japanese Emperor... My Dad was so angry and I didn't really understand why.

    He told me of baby killing contests and live burials. At that point I didn't really know what violence was... except for brawls with my brother. I didn't know why my Dad could be so upset from seeing something on TV.

    Growing up, I never heard a word about it in school. It's not until now that I'm getting an idea of just how awful things were. It enrages me in a way that feels unresolvable and helpless.
  20. Chiclet

    Chiclet TRIBE Promoter

    Kumi, I guess this should teach us about the volatility of human nature in general. It could have been any group of people who did this to another group of people. Any country to another.

    Please don't feel guilty for being Japanese. You were in no way responsible.

    I guess the only thing we can do now is educate ourselves.

    Thanks Kumi.
  21. redeyes

    redeyes TRIBE Member

    this is the first time i've heard of this and it one of most disturbing things i've ever heard. interesting but not surprising on how the states kept this hush-hush in exchange for the japanese innovation of germ warfare (if that part is true.) i have to more about this.

  22. deep

    deep TRIBE Member

    Wow. I never knew about this. Thanks for the heads up Marcia, it seems like a whole other holocaust but one that no one knows about :(
  23. Par- T

    Par- T TRIBE Member

    I have heard a little of the brutality committed in China and specifically Nanking, during the war but had no idea of the details or the awful extent.
    This is incredibly tragic and it is hard to understand how people can posibly do such things to others, unfortunately history shows numerous incidents of this type. One can hope that people would learn from the past but that doesn't seem to happen. Covering up such events and denying that they happened or to what extent only makes it worse.

    How does someone respond to a past holocaust, genocide or massacre?
  24. Zenmaster Chi

    Zenmaster Chi TRIBE Promoter

    The Nanking Massacre was (believe it or not) an internationally recognized incident.

    Most states, including Germany (some irony here), stated that the behaviour of the Imperial Japanese was deplorable.

    The stories that came out of Nanking are really sick. They mirror a lot of the stories that came out of Eastern Europe during the application of the Nazi Final Solution. The Imperial Japanese were pretty aggressive...this type of behaviour, although not to the same extent as in Nanking, occurred over much of southeast Asia.

    A lot of the gross acts of violence in World War 2 were overshadowed by the Holocaust. That's not to say that the Holocaust was not just as significant, but it did polarize attention to be focussed on the European conflict.

    One of the major issues with knowledge about this issue is the nature of Japanese culture. While in transition now, during the Imperial age and the decades after the war, the Japanese were characterized as being essentially forward looking in regards to education. What this really meant was that they had an interesting spin on history. From my experience with my japanese folks, it's simply not much of a concern.

    Anyhow, to make a long story short, the Japanese have not attempted to redress most of its acts during the war. While arguably the Americans and Soviets weren't saints, one would accept some sort of strong explicit response to such acts in the past.

    It's really nice to see that people are reading about Nanking though. Chang's book is supposed to be a good read.

    Now...if only people would look at the Internment of Japanese Canadians and why THEY have yet to receive a "reasonable" settlement and apology from the Canadian Government.


    oh...and just so people know in case they think I trashing Japanese culture, I'm half-Japanese, half-Chinese...mainland Chinese.

    My grandparents were on opposing sides of the bayonets.....you can believe that my folks' wedding was an interesting one.
  25. Klubmasta Will

    Klubmasta Will TRIBE Member

    respect, marcia

    i've written about this a bunch of times in many different forums (including this very message board actually).

    if any of you want more information, search terms like "rape of nanking", "rape of nanjing", "sino japanese war", "japanese imperial army" and "japanese war crimes".

    in china, korea and other asian countries, the events of the sino-japanese war are more well-known than the jewish holocaust and the japanese imperial army are thought of as being more evil than nazi germany.

    japanese war crimes are not given any attention in north america and they have been specifically written OUT of japanese history text books. there was a huge uproar in chinese and korean communities about a year ago when the new japanese highschool textbooks were released.

    to be completely blunt, the japanese imperial army is one of the only forces in the history of the world that attempted genocide on such a grand scale. for that reason, they are known in other asian countries as the truest representation of human evil in history.

    it is not a numbers game, but the japanese imperial army killed 2-3 times more chinese civilians than the nazis killed jews in the holocaust.


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