Whitewashing history ? ---- truth of alleged Nanjing massacre
Let's see how Japanese get rightish.
It is known that Nanjing (Nanking) massacre was caused in 1937 with 200,000-300,000 victims in Nanjing by Japanese imperial military. But do you know that it has still been seriously discussed in Japan? These days, there published increasing number of books claiming that Chinese communism party made up most of the pics to make the incident to look brutal.
Those books seem to come up recently. Up until ten years ago, rarely did I see those books. Only did I see some books, which are written in Japanese, describing just how tragic Nanjing massacre was. Most of the books simply investigated brutality of the Japanese crime.
I ran a search in amazon.co.jp for the books published about Nanjing massacre, finding 176 kinds of copies obtainable online. It's an enormous number.
*Don't judge me. Don't judge people. Don't prohibit discussion.*
Surprisingly, only one book out of best sold 10 books considers it positive about the existence, while the rest of 9 are likely to be negative or trivializing it. One of the nine is even titled , "We investigated Iris Chang's book and found the manipulation of information by Chinese communism." (More search on 30 copies revealed that: 5 copies favor the claim by Chinese communists and the other 25 copies cast doubt about it.)
May be Chinese communism made up pics. May be not. I don't know. But we'll keep an eye on whether Japanese people just want to whitewash the history. Anyway, what I can say about it is that Japan is a democratic country. Let them publish whatever they want, and they'll know what should be believed. Whichever the Japanese conclusion is going to be, I'll respect the general opinions after open discussions rather than the conclusion by a dictated country. There's a scholar who strongly protests Chinese claims and you'll see his book later on in this article. I searched web pages with his name, and what I found at the top in google was a critic site, written in Japanese, about his methodology. Criticism exist everywhere even against revisionists. Japanese ultra-rightwingers are of course subject to being under inspection.
Just as Japan, China must give citizens the right of speech and make them dispute. Otherwise, people lose chance to correct their wrong idea. They were taught that Chinese communism made Japan surrender. Huh? Not China. America did! And the people still believe that. (Recently I got news about CCP admit to accepting the fact, though.) How can they know if they can't access some webpages because of strict censorship.
The big difference is the freedom of speech. Notice that those rightists in Japan finally emerged after 50-year open discussion!
I've got the controversial book!
Look what I got! This is the best seller in Japan on the Nanjing's investigation. Since I'm living far from Japan, I ordered one copy from amazon. The book examines 143 pictures that are supposed to be the evidence of Nanjing Massacre, and explains how those pics are made up by Chinese Communists. The title says "Analyzing the photographic evidence of Nanking massacre."
I'll spend several weeks to read and introduce some of them to you.
I already read some of this, and found it interesting, although I don't think all of his claims are acceptable.
The main point I want to emphasize in this section is the gap of emotions between American and Japanese. Look at the picture below.
This pic was taken just after Nanjing was captured by Japan in Dec. 24th 1937. Tokyo Asahi Newspaper highly publicized the victory of Japan with this pic in which kids are flocking to pick up sweets from Japanese military. The author sets out his investigation of pics with this "TRUE" pic, saying "why would they come out and pick up? Weren't they too intimidated to do it by brutal Japanese military?"
Another pic above is from Dec.17th, so several days after fall of Nanjing. The civilains look very happy together with Japanese soldiers. How can it be possible? I thought that this is totally propaganda from Japanese side. They may have hided dark side of Nanjing and propagated exclusively those superfacial joyous scenes. However, I came to another fact after investigation that Japanese troops were well acquainted with how Kuomintang (Chinese) had been snooping aroud to propagate Japan's brutality. The picture was taken to let the world acknowledge that Japan behaved well. Believe it or not, it was information war taken place already 70 years ago!
I refrain from stating what Japan really did in Nanjing in 1937, but let me tell you something. These are the pics Japanese people saw in 1937, believing that Japanese troops behaved well. On the other hand, Americans saw whole other pics from LIFE with brutal scenes possibly caused by Japan. I think this is what we have to regret very much: looking at history in such different ways. Wars are created that way.
Here's a link to my second article on Nanjing: (2)