040907 - 040907 HIST278 I Nanjing Massacre a Iris Chang...

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040907 HIST278 I. Nanjing Massacre a. Iris Chang – doesn’t know Japanese. b. Gibney’s tone – a little bit of sour grapes? Frustration from a man who lives in Japan, who knows what’s going on in the society, frustrated with those outside (America, China, etc.) pretending to know what’s going on. Those in the government were conservative but since early 1980’s Japanese journalists have repeatedly gone to court forcing coverage – people don’t really realize that. Critical of the book because of the inaccuracies and their long-term impacts. c. Honda – more rigorous work, demonstrates the importance of really careful historical work. Multiple sources, soldier’s diaries – reads extraordinarily carefully, army textbook – it’s okay to kill innocents / people, commander’s log – goal was not to take prisoners, kill civilians and prisoners of war. Honda goes about the debate of numbers – to look at human beings, decisions and responsibility. “Who’s fault is it?” d. Japanese scholars took the lead in the beginning – what everyone has been able to prove so far: large amounts of agreement over what was going on: illegal and systematic violence going on – it was a regular part of strategy from the minute the Japanese soldiers hit the ground in China. Far beyond the older explanations that look at the entire Japanese society as medieval, primitive, samurai-like … which doesn’t explain much. Goes beyond “war is held” argument – places blame where it’s supposed to lie. e. By focusing on very specific aspects of Japanese society, especially in the army – the brutality / severity that they were trained with brought it to their war strategy. Society promoted very large air of superiority – dehumanizing others. Commanders condoned and systematically prepared soldiers for killing prisoners of war and perhaps civilians.
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