The Nanking Massacre: Before and After

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by AniHarriott
Last updated 7 years ago

Social Studies
World War II

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The Nanking Massacre: Before and After


THE JAPANESE ATTACKOn December 9th, 1937 the massive attack on Nanking was launched after the Chinese troops refused to surrender to the Japanese. By the 12th the Chinese troops had retreated to the Yangtze River, and on the 13th the Japanese Army first invaded the city with troops from every gate and two navy fleets on either side of the Yangtze. ("Basic" 26 May)

NANKING FALLSDecember 13th, 1937, Nanking fell to the Japanese. Over the course of the next six weeks, the Japanese committed the infamous Nanking Massacre, or the Rape of Nanking. It is estimated that 300,000 Chinese died, and 20,000 women were raped. ("Basic" 26 May)


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works cited


IMMEDIATE DENIALDuring the War, and immediately after the Nanking Massacre occurred, the Japanese Government had a tight control over the media in Japan. As a result, Japanese citizens did not initially know what happened in Nanking, and continued to believe the Japanese soldiers were heroes. The truth of Nanking was finally revealed to the Japanese public during the Tokyo War Crimes Trials. ("Basic" 26 May)


POST WAR TO 1970'SBefore 1970, there was no open denial to the Nanking Massacre. Many books were released during this time containing Japanese soldiers’ diary entries and confessions to their actions in the Rape of Nanking. Complete denial of the Massacre began at the end of 1971. Politically right-wing Japanese heavily disputed the evidence that proved the crimes committed in Nanking. Between 1973 and 1984, several books were published denying the existence of the Massacre, or claiming the Chinese government was truly responsible for the Sino-Japanese War. ("Basic" 26 May)


There were two major events that contributed to the resolution of the Massacre.(1) THE TOKYO WAR CRIMES TRIALS These lasted from 1946 to 1948. During this time 28 of 80 detained, suspected war criminals from the Second Sino-Japanese War were brought on trial. Two of the 28 died during the trials, one had a psychotic break, seven were sentenced to death, 16 to life imprisonment, and two to lesser terms. Thirteen of the sixteen imprisoned were paroled in under eight years. ("Basic" 26 May)(2) THE NANKING MASSACRE MEMORIAL HALLThis was erected in 1985 by the Nanjing (what Nanking is now called) Municipal Government to honor the victims of the attack. In 1995 the memorial was enlarged and renovated. The memorial has historical objects and a garden (donated by members of a Japanese–Chinese friendship group), remains of victims, historical documents, a list of the victims names, statues, sculptures, carvings, tablets as well as survivors footprints. ("Nanjing" 26 May)

If you want to know more about the Nanking Massacre you can visit the following sites: AnnaVinnedge's Glog Basic Facts: Massacre and TrialCase Study: The Nanjing Massacre 1937-38Germans in Nanking

“Basic facts on the Nanking Massacre and the Tokyo War Crimes Trial.” New Jersey Hong Kong Network. 1990. Web. 26 May 2014. “The Nanjing Memorial.” Nanjing Massacre. Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall. 2005. Web. 26 May 2014.

the horrors of nanking told by a survivor

Knowing the details of what happened regarding the Nanking Massacre gives a better understanding of the book Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. There is a lot of tension between the Chinese and the Japanese in the book, and knowing what was actually happening between the two warring countries and how they were treating one another allows the reader to comprehend the dynamics that are given in the book. The Nanking Massacre is just one example of what was driving the Chinese and Japanese in America to make a distinction between themeslves, and the reason behind their deep seeded hatred for each other.

photo of statue at nanking memorial, a citizen struggling for survival

1970'S TO PRESENTBesides out right denial, it has also been stated that the Chinese exaggerated the massacred and raped numbers by hundreds of thousands, and that killing surrendered or captured soldiers is not a massacre. The book Nanking Incident by Hata Ikuhiko was considered an official history text stating these arguments. In 1982 the Japan Ministry of Education began revising history texts on Nanking to minimize the importance and brutality of the Nanking Massacre. In the present day, there are still Japanese citizens and leaders who dispute the Nanking Massacre, but truth of what occurred at Nanking is becoming more credited and wide known. ("Basic" 26 May)

the horrors of nanking told by a survivor

By Ani Harriott Noji P3


  • cldavenport 7 years ago

    cldavenport's avatar

    Nice layout, very informative.