Thursday, March 23, 2006

Attitudes toward Nanjin massacre---in case of China

Many critics point out that Nanjing massacare is being used to fuel Chinese nationalism.

many Chinese have come to regard the overall argument to have some measure of political utility, a certain amount of usefulness to the Chinese during yet another period of national change. However uncomfortable recalling the massacre may appear to those who lived through it, revitalizing the memory of such a bloody historical event does indeed serve a purpose, particularly with many Chinese, among whom the Chinese-Japanese polemic has been used to strengthen Chinese nationalism as an element that is crucial to modern-day Chinese identity.

Joshua A. Fogel contends that the event “has been appropriated as an ideological tool for nationalist mobilization” by the Chinese.[1] He argues that overseas Chinese, in particular, have played a vital role in taking the events of Japanese-occupied Nanjing “out of context and [elevating] them to untold heights” in an effort to formulate a unified and cohesive Chinese identity that spans the globe.[2] As the school of thought that saw some usefulness in exploitation of the Nanjing Massacre spread into China, the concept found relevance in a land where the communist government had been promoting Chinese patriotism–trivially opposed to “fascist-styled” nationalism–for decades. Once the Nanjing Massacre was distant enough in the memory of many Chinese and the shame attributed to it–i.e. “How could we Chinese allow ourselves to be raped and slaughtered by Japanese?”–became bearable, the Massacre became a powerful and convenient source in recent history from which the new, popular Chinese nationalism could be

soon thereafter the project of rebuilding China
according to a utopian socialist master narrative outweighed the usefulness of the Nanjing Massacre as a patriotic rallying

Buruma urges them to avoid the tendency, common among some in the Chinese community in the United States to "build their identities around symbols of collective suffering."Herbert P. Bix

Daqing Yang writes, “many Chinese writings tend to emphasize the Nanjing Massacre as an act of Japanese militarism and aggression in sort of a ‘master narrative’” that holistically condemns the Japanese as a historical antagonist of the Chinese people.[3] The “master narrative” of the Chinese history of “victimhood” is unfortunate, but it has appealed to those Chinese in the vast, worldwide diaspora who have come to “search for an identity without the tools necessary to acquire it, often latching onto negative events in their history as elemental to their identity.”[4] The participants in the evolution of Chinese culture–in China and abroad–have come to regard the Nanjing Massacre as a part of the “emplotment history” of Sino-Japanese relations, a seemingly predictable relationship that necessitates heightened scrutiny and suspicion of the Japanese.

When the young generation of new Chinese nationalists recall the events and memory of the Nanjing Massacre, they are citing a powerful part of the complex ideal of present-day Chinese nationalism. In the effort to forge a cohesive ideal of “Chineseness,” common suffering has proved an attractive source from which a modern-day, pan-Chinese identity can be derived. The contempt and envy with which many Chinese regard their island neighbors has been useful in this way, but it is also dangerous. To those who are genuinely concerned with possible aggressive action as Chinese nationalism and power continue to rise,link

Today Beijing still manipulates the memory at times to shame the Japanese government, but it increasingly holds in check the public passions that might damage economic relations with a rich Japanlink

Chinese government even manupulate testiomonies.
these collections ( of various primary sources, including the recollections of many of the Chinese military personnel in Nanjing--edited) show no evidence of any vigorous critical attempt to distinguish between valid and legitimate primary materials and other materials; photographs, for instance, which are known to be fabricated, or from different areas and different times, continue to be used to ‘prove’ Japanese guilt in the winter of 1937-38 in and around Nanjing.[10] Moreover, because of the limitations on free speech in mainland China, much of the secondary material merely parrots the government line of the day, and it would be difficult to describe the situation as a ‘debate’David Askew

It is being used to get what Chinese government wants.
Even the Chinese recounting of history has become hysterical. Take the Rape of Nanjing in 1937, which was so brutal that there‘s no need to exaggerate it. One appalled witness in the thick of the killing, John Rabe, put the death toll at 50,000 to 60,000. Another, Miner Searle Bates, estimated that 12,000 civilians and 28,000 soldiers had been killed. The Chinese delegate to the League of Nations at the time put the civilian toll at 20,000. A Communist Chinese newspaper of the period put it at 42,000.

Yet China proclaims, based on accounts that stand little scrutiny, that 300,000 or more were killed.[1] Such hyperbole abuses history as much as the denial by Japanese rightists that there was any Rape of Nanjing at all. It nurtures nationalism by defining China as a victim state, the world‘s punching bag, that must be more aggressive in defending its interests.

What does this add up to? The rising nationalism warps Chinese decision-making and risks conflicts with Japan over, for example, the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. It also forces the government to be tough in international disputes — particularly in the case of Taiwan, where a miscalculation could conceivably lead to a war with the U.SNicholas Kristof

I guess the following site called "Asian Holocaust" was made by Chinse agents.(But I am not sure, it does not say who is responsible for the site.but it might be by Japanese because the criticisms against Japan it cites comes mostly from Japanese themselves) The site exemplifis how China wants to use the history.
Comparison - Germany vs Japan
Cover-Up against Humanity - Forgotten Asian Holocaust

WMD Drug Warfare against Humanity - Opium, Heroin, Morphia
- Continuation of the International Drug Holocaust -
WMD Chemical Warfare against Humanity - Unit 516
WMD Biological Warfare against Humanity - Unit 731, 100
Unjust Enrichment against Humanity - Extortion & Looting of Asia
Mass Rape Crime against Humanity - Sex Slaves
Slavery Crime against Humanity - PoW, Slave Laborers
Civilian PoW Massacre against Humanity - Nanjing Massacre
Denial against Humanity - Denial, Nanjing Massacre Death Toll

In the end of these titles, it blatantly asks,
Does Japan deserve permanent U.N. Security Council membership ?

If the name of the site is Asian Holocaust, it might have been better to cites the Chinese holocaust.
Democide figures - pre-20th century
pre-20th century democide (see discussion and statistics)
He notes that the number killed by government (by democide) is, throughout history, far larger than the number killed by war.
He ranks the top killers as:
1 Chinese emperors - 34 million.
2 The Mongols - 30 million.
3 Slavery (killing of Africans) - 17 million.
4 The European conquest of the Americas (killing of native North and South Americans) - 14 million.
5 The Thirty Years War - 6 million (this would be 6 million not in combat).

Democide figures - 20th century
20th century democide
The top killers (individuals)
He notes that the number killed by government in the 20th century is far larger than the number killed by war.
He ranks the top killers as:
1 Soviet Union - 62 million.
2 Communist China - 38 million (this includes 3 million before they even got into power).
3 Nazi Germany - 21 million.
4 Nationalist China (Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang) - 10 million.
5 Axis Japan - 6 million.
by Rudolph J. Rummel

But it didn't. The site's intention, I think, is clear.

[1] The number of victims China announced to the public.
In 1945 430,000 Reform Daily
in 1946 200,000 People's Daily
in 1947 300,000 History of China at War
in 1984 406.000 The great nankin Massacre,edited by the Historical References Research Committe, City of Nanking
p70 What really happened in Nanking/sekai syuppan/Tanaka Masaaki

The post war Tokyo war crimes Tribunal accepted an estimate of "over 200,000" civilians and prisoners of war "murdered in Nanking and its vicinicity during the first six week, but in an sentence to Matsui in the same Tribunal, who were hanged dead for Nanking Massacerthe same Tribunal, the judgement was that over 100,000 people were murdered during 6 or 7 weeks. *

So the number of victims, which is debated fiercely now, was in dispute from the start.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now that is some very interesting research. Although it does not do anything to understate nor deny the horrors of the massacre, it does put it into perspective and just goes to show you that you cannot unquestionably accept what you are told - even when it is from experts!

Thank you for your contribution!