Looking at Nanking Massacre(南京大虐殺)as a Japanese

Recently, I was watching a movie channel on my cable TV. The next movie up was the Chinese movie called “The Flowers of War (2011)”.

It is about Nanking Massacre. OK...
Then start watching the film...

An hour later, I was absolutely feeling sick and almost threw up.


Because Japanese soldiers depicted in the film was absolutely horrendous monsters, and it's a same level as Daesh (ISIS) soldiers abducting teenage girls and raping them and killing them, or even worse.
Depicting our fellow ancestors like that simply makes me sick.


At first, I thought it must be a propaganda movie by Chinese communist party. By promoting Japan as a horrible country, they can bring their people together against us, and using it as a political/diplomatic card and bargaining chip. They could easily hire Christian Bale for that propaganda role with their newfound money.

Then, I had another thought as well.
I felt like I had to study about the incident a little deeper.

Looking back, I remember Japanese school's text book says: “there was a Nanking Massacre while Japanese imperial army occupying Nanking (which was capital of China back then), and it was unfortunate what happened….” something like that, and there was no details about it. Textbook went on to another topic.

So basically, we (Japanese) do not know much about it. Even though this incident was viewed by the world as one of the most atrocious war crimes in the history.
Some even compare this to holocaust in Germany.

Why we, Japanese, do not know much about it? Or, why Japanese are not interested in looking into it?

It seems that the horrible massacre actually happened

First of all, I absolutely feel sorry for Chinese victims and people who lost their loved ones in such a horrific fashion.

After I have done some research on the internet and watched documentaries and films both in English and Japanese, I have no doubt that the large scale massacre have happened.

At the same time, I was very surprised that information in Japanese is limited considering we are actually a guilty party.
So without English understanding, it is understandable that many Japanese are quite ignorant about this incident.

Even though the War film is just an entertainment at the end of the day, here is the list of films I watched.

  • City of Life and Death (Nanking! Nanking!)
  • John Rabe
  • Nanking (2007)
and other documentaries and panel discussions.

And I would definitely like to watch "Nanking Hikisakareta Kioku” or English title: Torn Memories of Nanging"(南京 引き裂かれた記憶), by Tomokazu Takeda and Tamaki Matsuoka.
Because this film consists of interviews of Japanese imperial army veterans and surviving victims of the massacre in Nanking, China.
But it is very difficult to find and watch this documentary. Maybe because the film causes strong threat from Japanese nationalists.

Japanese media doesn't have guts to tackle with Nanking Massacre

I will put it plain and simple. Japanese journalism absolutely suck. Ever and forever. Especially large media companies.

By the way, none of above Nanking films are released in Japan. I thought Japan was decent democratic country with a freedom of expression. Seems not, in this case.

Nanking Massacre is kind of taboo topic somehow in Japan.
Above mentioned Ms. Tamaki Matsuoka is known activist who is actually a school teacher, not a journalist.

Now the most liberal and powerful newspaper, Asahi Shimbun, completely lost their credibility by fabricating the details of Comfort women issue, there seems no credible mass media to assess the facts of Nanking incident from Japan side.

Japanese politicians and bureaucrats have no balls to look at this issue for decades

Not surprising at all honesty...

I always hate some of Japanese politicians say "Nanking massacre victim of 300,000 that claimed by Chinese government is false statement".
OK. I don’t believe the communist China. Heck, Chinese people do not believe their government.
But come on, the issue is not there. If you kill 20 civilians, that is a massacre.

And I can’t believe there are handful of Japanese politicians who claim there is no such incident. Who vote for those axxholes?

And the Ministry of Foreign affairs of Japan...

Members of Ministry are consists of the graduates of Tokyo university which is most prestigious and top university in Japan. They are elite on the desk, but absolutely horrendous on negotiations.

Look at comfort woman issue with South Korea.

It was horrible incident that young girls sold by their parents because of poverty, and became prostitutes when they grow up, then end up working in brothels (indirectly) managed by Japanese imperial army.
But how can you possibly allow this incident become ‘Sex Slave’ issue??? I absolutely blame the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, and of course Asahi Shimbun.

There is a common proverb in Japan: "Putting cover on something smells”(臭いものには蓋をする). Well, which means in Japan "if you find the issue, just pretend not to see it".
Recent Toshiba and Olympus accounting scandals very well shows this mentality.

Japanese leaders are all this mentality for more than 70 years. They should have interviewed army personnel while they are alive, and they should have documented what really had happened.

Since they do not act quicker, issue become larger and also complicated, because of the propaganda from the opposite government, and also fabricated facts from various sources are all mixed up.

Same goes for comfort woman issue as well.

Now generations later, we, who do not know the war, feel like we are blamed for what may or may not happened in the long past.

Japanese veterans will bring their memory to their tombs with them

And there is another thoughts on Japanese mentality.
Japanese usually bring their secrets to their tombs with them. That’s our culture.

There is no salvation by confession of sin. That makes more difficult for later generations to find the truth.

Recently, maybe just a little bit of success by Abenomics and the fact that more foreigners visiting Japan, Japanese are more confident overall lately.

But to show some leaderships in the world, we Japanese have to have the guts to look at the inconvenient truth as well.

・フォローして頂けますと嬉しいです。(フォローバック100%): @hiroshiyamaoka