The Rape Of Nanking Essay Research Paper

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The Rape Of Nanking Essay, Research Paper The Rape of Nanking The more one tries to accurately understand the general events of a vast subject, like the second world war, the further one must back up from individual incidences and focus on a larger picture. The acts of depravity committed by soldiers during war do not give a complete understanding of the origins of any war. The Rape of Nanking is a picture of one aspect of the Japanese occupation of Northern China which depicts the horrors of war. Iris Chang is not trying to give a complete account of the war. Chang is arguing that it is inconsistent to demand reparations for atrocities committed by the Germans and not to demand the same from the Japanese. She is confronting the world with the fact that it is ignoring the

suffering of people by not demanding justice for the brutality of war at our own peril. If we do not punish those that commit acts of terror in war then they will occur again. We do ignore these acts and they do occur again and again. Chang s focus on the occupation of Nanking may not give a complete account of the war but it does help one understand the method of war employed by the Japanese in World War Two. By recounting the horrible acts and showing the pictures of the atrocities she is weakening our capacity to live in denial of the cost of war. Chang argues that the history of the atrocities committed in Nanking were exploited by the Chinese government after the revolution to implicate the imperialist western powers; ignored by a post war United States, which was more

concerned with building up the Japanese to fight communism; and excused by the Japanese as things that happen during war. The characterization of historical events are always subject to the perspective of the authors of history. Change too, has put her prejudices into her history. By using the methods she learned from Rashamon to recount the events, she is openly stating that the whole story is not even known by the participants in history. She unabashedly is including her opinion and denying that an objective view can exist. Chang forces one to question her account and studied the issues in more depth. Chang has presented a tale all to common in the annals of human history. The argument that the Japanese atrocities in China were worse then atrocities committed by other peoples

in other places is not however a sound one. Comparing one act of barbarism to another serves little purpose. I will do it to however as Chang has done it to condemn the Japanese as more barbarous then other cultures. The Japanese took six weeks to kill 350,000 people with machine guns while Genghis Kahn reportedly killed that many in a day with bow and arrows and swords. The bushido way is not responsible for creating at type of people who do evil deeds. The acts of atrocities Chang exposes are acts that predate written history. The methods of modern warfare are clearly expressed by Caral Von Clausewitz Now, philanthropist may easily imagine there is a skillful method of disarming and overcoming an enemy without causing great bloodshed, and that this is the proper tendency of the

art of war. However plausible this may appear, still it is in error. . .he who uses force unsparingly , without reference to the bloodshed involved, must obtain a superiority if his advisary uses less vigor (Clausewitz,102). Clausewitz only codified the practices in war which proved most effective. The Japanese had modernized using the Germans as the model for their modernization. The German s war philosophy was that of Clausewitz s absolute war. That meant the total mobilization of the society and expectation that one s enemy would do the same. War had been rationalized and industrialized. The only thing that remained of the feudal bushido way was the use of the name in Japanese propaganda. By World War II armies all over the world had redefined military targets as any person,