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Your view on Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang

Jayern

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I jsut recently finished reading it. I thought it was pretty good. But it was also part bias. Sort of accusing the Japanese without any more argument and was just stating it without explaining in details.

Do you guys think the book is sort of bias? Any opinions? If so, please explain which part of it is.


I'm not siding with neither side if you guys are wondering. I'm Caucasian born in Canada. I just recently picked it up in a local library cause the book cover caught my eyes.
 

The7thSamurai

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Haven't read it myself, but I've heard that a lot of Chinese, as well as liberal types in Japan don't like it because of alleged exagerations which only end up weakening the overall case.
 

sabro

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I read it and though that the work she put into it was phenomenal. I don't think it is exagerrated at all and she makes a rather strong case. It was a good piece of writing... and she was a good author. She is missed.
 

Jayern

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I think it was phenomenal as well but there are some out of place criticism of the Japanese people. And I wouldn't think that the book is entirely historical accurate also. The book is probably mainly based on Iris' point of view only with some facts tacked onto it. But one thing I liked about it was the whole account of John Rabe's after life when he left Nan King.
 

YAPONLUQ

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I believe it happend, but not in the way Chinese media and lobbists appeal.

Search this article.... Im not allowed to add URLs.
Wars of Memory
When Iris Chang wrote "The Rape of Nanking,'' to memorialize one of the bloodiest massacres of civilians in modern times, she wasn't prepared for the firestorm she started
 

Lovelynice

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There are a lot of problems with the claims of hundreds of thousands, etc....

I've read a fair bit about it, but the number appear exaggerated by a factor of ten at least.
 

gaijinalways

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Chang has also been criticized for using some photos identified as Nanjing which were mistakenly from another area in her book 'Wild Swans'. This led to Japanese accusations that all of her depictions of Japanese atrocities in Nanjing and other areas of China were lies. Hardly.

As to actual numbers, yes there are some problems with the calculations used, but mistakenly many Japanese right wingers don't focus on trying to clarify the number killed, they often just try to dismiss the whole 'incident' as fabricated (look at the comfort women issue playing out now for comparison).
I would imagine her account would be better than most of what passes as truth in Japan.
 

Lovelynice

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Chang has also been criticized for using some photos identified as Nanjing which were mistakenly from another area in her book 'Wild Swans'. This led to Japanese accusations that all of her depictions of Japanese atrocities in Nanjing and other areas of China were lies. Hardly.
As to actual numbers, yes there are some problems with the calculations used, but mistakenly many Japanese right wingers don't focus on trying to clarify the number killed, they often just try to dismiss the whole 'incident' as fabricated (look at the comfort women issue playing out now for comparison).
Well, Iris Chang left herself open to those accusations when she didn't do her homework properly and didn't double-check many of the claims. It's not just the photos, it was the storytelling of some her "witnesses" too.
The extreme rightwingers are simply taking an opportunity that was laid before them to discredit everything she had her book.
I would imagine her account would be better than most of what passes as truth in Japan.
This part I can't agree with, because in my experience it's not true.
 

leonmarino

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Chang has also been criticized for using some photos identified as Nanjing which were mistakenly from another area in her book 'Wild Swans'. This led to Japanese accusations that all of her depictions of Japanese atrocities in Nanjing and other areas of China were lies. Hardly.
Um.. I thought Yung Chang was the author of Wild Swans. Iris Chang seems to be a different person altogether.. 😌
 

sabro

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Iris Chang's book has been subjected to a great deal of scholarly scrutiny and has been found to be fairly accurate and verifiable. She isn't around to object to it anymore, and people could try to counter it point by point in stead of just calling it lies. So far, no one has been able to sink her book yet.
 

shiroma

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Well, Iris Chang left herself open to those accusations when she didn't do her homework properly and didn't double-check many of the claims. It's not just the photos, it was the storytelling of some her "witnesses" too.
The Nanjing Incident: Recent Research and Trends says,
Iris Chang's work has clearly dealt the Great Massacre School a severe blow. Members of this school translated her book into Japanese but, through their publisher, the left-wing Kashiwa Shobō, had a public (and embarrassing) falling out with the author when she refused her translators permission to correct the enormous amount of mistakes her book is riddled with or to add translator's footnotes, and also objected to the publisher putting out a sister volume in which the mistakes would have been explained.
 

CBT1979

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I have read it completely and did some research because I also included Iris Chang's book in my exam papers and for comparissson Yoshida's book.
Overall the book is not an exegerated but in some parts you could feel that she sometimes becomes emotional.
While some nationalists in Japan accused her book of displaying Japan as an evil nation, it can be proved that they were wrong. Iris Chang did not only tell the stories of the War atrocities in Nanking, but also explained how many Japanese soldiers could do it and that some Japanese politicians and soldiers were against the brutal doings.
Iris Chang not only displayed General Matsui Iwane as a noble Japanese soldier who really wanted a clean war and finally became a scapegoat for Prince Asaka. Chang also noted, that the war atrocities might have either be ordered by Asaka or some other military leaders.
Chang also mentioned that it is unclear how much Tenno Hirohito knew about the Nanking massacre and he might be told different stories by the military leaders. Chang's book also include the witness of John Rabe, A German who was a high member of the NSDAP and working for Siemens in China back then. He saved many Chinese back then in the safety zone. I personally met his son in our restaurant but by that time I never heard about his father not until I read Chang's book and made researches in the internet.
Chang also say that the most accurate death toll number in Nanking might be around 260.000 (after various years of researching).
Chang also showed an example where a Japanese officer found a Chinese young woman who was raped and still bleeding. He transported her to a foreign hospital and saved her life without his comrades knowing it.
Chang's book also contains witness of Azuma Shiro, the first Japanese soldier who broke his silence and was part of the troops who were in Nanking in december 1937.

my conclusion is, that she overall did a good job but the way of quotation is not done professionally and she was a bit too emotional in some parts.
War atrocities done by soldiers is an old phenomena which still exists (sadly). The war in Iraq is the most recently proof that especially young soldiers sometimes fail to keep a cool head and show inhuman behavior and actions when they have endured the battlefield and were not trained to deal it mentally.
I believe that most soldiers who commited war atrocities (no matter which nation and which war) were normal people in their society during peace times but totally change during war when all the ugly sides of mankind can surface faster than most of us can think of.
Soldiers need not only to be taught in fighting but also how to handle situations without losing their mind and heart. Appropriate education is a very important factor to avoid atrocities within combat troops.
 

sabro

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I stand corrected. There appear to be lapses in scholarship that aren't apparent from reading the work. I would have hoped that she would have corrected them before she died.

I'm wondering if questions of scholarship had anything to do with her depression and suicide...
 
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