I went on a used book buying spree last week, finally blocking off some time to roam the stores near Waseda's campus one afternoon. One book I snapped up was a cheap copy of the normally $60 oral history book ... edited by ... (Matsuoka Tamaki). The book is part of a series of new Japanese books coming out which is methodically publishing vast amounts of primary materials on the Nanjing Massacre. Don't read this posting if you are squeamish. I believe the books are associated with a group of historians who are disgusted by the revisionist nationalist scholars who once completely denied that anything horrible happened at the fall of Nanjing and now still claim that there was nothing out of the ordinary by the standard of modern warfare. While mainstream Japanese historians, along with the rest of the world, recognize that the fall of Nanjing was followed by an unusually horrible amount of slaughter and rape, I think most of them are tired of playing games with the revisionists and thereby sustaining the idea that there is some controversy worth debating. Rather than engaging them in futile debates, this particular group of historians seems focused on getting as much raw data as possible into print. The two newest books that I have seen are a collection of statements by Chinese witnesses of the massacre (which of course, the revisionists dismiss as liars or government stooges) and the volume I purchased collecting the statements of the soldiers themselves.The rest is not pleasant, but really should be read.
26 April 2004
Mining Muninn: 102 Former Soldiers in Nanjing, 1937
Mining some of the historical posts on the Muninn blog I recently discovered, I came across an interesting entry on 19 March, 102 Former Soldiers in Nanjing, 1937: