Rape of Nanking Essay

Submitted By Ethanfisher1111
Words: 1223
Pages: 5

“The Rape Of Nanking”

Social Studies
Due: 4/22/13
Ethan Fisher

The Rape of Nanking has been described as a forgotten holocaust, it was a truly horrible event in history that never should have happened. Japan and China still disagree on the number of innocent civilians killed and as a result their relationship is still strained today. The number of civilians killed in the massacre has been greatly debated but mostly everyone agrees on a number between 100,000 and 300,000. Stories of extreme suffering and torture were told by those fortunate enough to have survived. High­ranking soldiers in the Japanese army, Matsui and
Hisao, were tried and found guilty or war crimes by the International Military Tribunal for the
Far East.1The casualties in Nanking were directly related to the generals being prejudice towards the Chinese. Soldiers carried out mass executions and lootings on the direct order of Matsui, this was after Nanking had already been captured and was no longer any danger to the Japanese forces.
Not only did the soldiers show shockingly horrifying behavior ,but everyone in the Japanese army did, even generals.Matsu, one of the generals, personaly participated in acts of rape and murder. There were reports of “killing games” between soldiers in the army and no high­ranking officials intervened. The amount of carnage was incredible, over a third of the buildings in
Nanking were destroyed.2Many of the crimes in Nanking were so incredibly horrifying that survivors tried to forget about them and never mentioned it. Even some of the Japanese soldiers


Encyclopedia Brittanica almanac 2003. London: Encyclopaedia Brittanica, 2002
Chang, Iris, The Rape of Nanking: the Forgotten Holocaust of World War II. New York, NY: BasicBooks,

showed shame when asked about some of the terrible acts they had committed

It is strange that there are countless reports of soldiers committing terrible crimes yet there are no records of disciplinary action taken towards them. It was almost like an angry mob pillaging
Nanking instead of an army taking it over. Soldiers in the Japanese army were openly voicing their desire to rape and kill once they arrived to Nanking and nothing was done to stop them. Leaders in the army were also perpetrating terrible crimes and if they could do it too who was keeping the army under control? General Nakajima Kesago was supposed to be keeping order. Kesago had worked as a member of Japanese army intelligence in France and later as chief of the Japanese secret police. Kesago has been described as a “specialist in thought control, intimidation and torture”. Kesago was said to have brought special oil for burning bodies with him on the trip to Nanking.3 Soldiers should have been punished and stopped from committing the crimes by higher ranking officials, but who would stop them when even generals are participating. A soldier would feel like he could do anything he wanted and thats just what the all the soldiers did, looking back on it years later soldiers even felt ashamed of the acts they had committed, particularly the thousands of rapes.4 It appears the Japanese government is even ashamed of the acts it’s army committed so many years ago because the events of Nanking are told very differently in their school textbooks today.5 The Japanese spared no one in their “rape” of Nanking, even pregnant women and children were not safe. A newspaper reported “Foreigners who traveled widely through the city


Chang, The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II. New york, NY: BasicBooks, 1997. pg 37

Cummins, Joseph. The World’s Bloodiest History: Massacre, Genocide, and the Scars they left on
Civilization. Beverly, Mass. : Fair Winds Press 2010

Barnard, Christopher. Isolating Knowledge of the