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The Rape Of Nanking Essay

1272 words - 5 pages

Throughout The Rape of Nanking, the brutal massacre of thousands of innocent Chinese citizens is brought forth through the invasion of this ancient city taken over by the Imperial Japanese army. Iris Chang illustrates the graphic details of the murder and rape of these victims through the perspectives of different sides of the attack. Chang; furthermore, ties in the mass genocide and destruction displayed throughout the book with the example of the Japanese government’s desperate attempt to cover up the incident and the reluctance of the survivors to discuss it. In addition, the horrifying events of The Rape of Nanking only further motivated an uncontrollable desire for aggression, violence, and imperialism in the Asian community evidently leading to the impending destruction caused by World War II. Due to the brutality of the crimes committed in this time frame, many people still to this day stray away from the discussion of The Rape of Nanking. The book itself, suggests that the biggest factor drifting people away from this topic is the fear of retaliation from those who do not believe it occurred, or those who want it kept from the public eye. Overall, Chang’s depiction of the massacre and genocide associated with the invasion of Nanking discusses the events that took place prior to World War II, and the anger that was triggered towards it, as a result; while also examining the notion that many people, still do not have knowledge of the severity of the Raping, and even refuse to believe it even took place at all.
The six weeks of carnage began in December of 1937 when the Japanese Imperial Army marched into China’s capital city of Nanking and murdered 300,000 out of 600,000 civilians and soldiers in the city. Therefore, the terrifying and horrifying event became known as The Rape of Nanking and represented the single worst atrocity during the World War II era in either the European or Pacific theaters of war. As the reign of terror starts to become abundant, Chang illustrates the events through different perspectives- one of them being the perspective of the Japanese Army. Although it may seem cruel to experience the torture through the eyes of those inflicting pain on victims, Chang feels it is important to understand why the Japanese felt it was necessary to attack Nanking in the first place. For instance, there were extenuating circumstances that led the Japanese to conclude their only choice was war. After the First World War, in the 1920s, the country fell into a great time of depression and despair. They felt the only way to resolve this issue would be that Japan needed to conquer new territories as a way out of the suffering as stated in the novel, “An increasingly popular argument during the depression was that Japan needed to conquer new territory to ward off mass starvation” (Chang 25-26). On the other hand, Chang explains how Chinese victims were relentlessly tortured and raped through the quote, “Chinese witnesses saw Japanese...

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