The Nanking Massacre Essay

1342 words - 5 pages

The Rape of Nanking, also known as the Nanking Massacre was a six week period when mass numbers of Chinese men and woman were killed by the Japanese. Embarrassed by the lack of effort in the war with China in Shanghai, the Japanese looked for revenge and finally were able to win the battle. The Japanese moved toward the city of Nanjing also known as Nanking and invaded it for approximately six months. Even though the people of Nanjing outnumbered the 50,000 Japanese, they were not as masterful in warfare as their opponents. Chinese soldiers were forced to surrender to the Japanese and the massacre began in which around 300,000 people died and 20,000 women were raped. The Japanese leaders had different methods of killing that were instructed to the soldiers. However, the prisoners of this “City of Blood” soon found their liberation and their justice was served.
The Japanese saw China as the place to spread their imperial and expansionist objectives. A rough estimate of 300,000 Chinese men and women died in the six weeks after December 13, 1937 (Jones). Around 20,000 women from ages 8 to 70 were raped by Japanese soldiers (Scarred). The Japanese leaders of these tragedies included Emperor Hirohito, who gave several military orders such as taking over China; Prince Asaka, who developed brutal ways to kill captives; General Yanagawa Heisuke, who received the orders and enforced them; and lastly, General Nakajima Kesago, who inaugurated the killings in Nanking by beheading two prisoners of war to test his sword (Jones). The motives of these people were to kill soldiers that were seen as a threat by any means necessary (Chang). “Many were shot down like the hunting of rabbits in the streets” (Scarred).
The soldiers smiled when they beheaded someone, they laughed when they killed masses at a time, and they slept through the night dreaming about doing it all over again the next day. The Nanjing Massacre had the most killings in the fewer amounts of weeks than other genocides (Chang). The soldiers used different methods for killing: gun firing, piercing, cutting body parts such as the heart and the abdomen, beheading and decapitation, drowning, beating with an awl in the most sensitive areas, burning and castrating. The streets became known as “streets of blood” because they were filled with corpses. Soldiers gathered all the people they believed were Chinese soldiers and starved them, promising them a new life, they took them to the fields, but it was already too late for the Chinese to defend themselves; the massacre began (Chang). On this day, 90,000 men floated on the Yangtze River while Japanese soldiers smiled, finished their killing contests, and took pictures of the scene.
After defeating the soldiers and those they found as threats, soldiers turned their attention to the women of Nanjing (The Rape). Chang states, “Certainly it was one of the greatest mass rapes in world history. It is impossible to determine the exact number of women...

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