Nanjing massacre
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The Nanjing Massacre
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Japanese author fights against denial of Japan’s wartime aggression in Hong Kong

Japanese author fights against denial of Japan’s wartime aggression in Hong Kong | Nanjing massacre | Scoop.it

Yukio Wani, author and supporter of efforts to continue to make known the truths about Japan’s aggression during World War II, has spent more than 10 years talking and interacting with Hong Kong residents who were eyewitnesses to the Japanese occupation of the famous city. Wani knows that it is in vogue currently to be nationalistic and gloss over Japan’s wartime acts, but he has much to say about the period, especially as he has studied a large number of documents to shed light on Hong Kong’s darkest times for his book “Silent Years”.

Last month, Wani released the Chinese-language edition of the book – an extensively updated version from the one released in 1996 in Japan – at the Hong Kong Book Fair. The book release seemed prescient because of the timing, just a few days before Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) won a comfortable victory in the recent Upper House elections. Abe’s right-leaning party has drawn the ire of Japan’s neighbors, especially when the hawkish premier makes comments alluding to a “vague” definition of Japan’s aggression. “A true patriot should not turn a blind eye to the ugly moments in the nation’s history,” said Wani, grandson of a Japanese colonel stationed in Guangdong during the war. In his book’s Chinese edition, he devotes a full chapter into looking at the right-wing influence on Japan’s school textbooks, a phenomenon rapidly gaining traction that started in 1990s.

Wani said that when he was a history teacher in the 1980s, there were no attempts to sugarcoat Japan’s wartime aggression. The popular history textbook at that time was the book published by Yamakawa, and was used in about 80 percent of Japanese schools. The Ministry of Education, which screens all textbooks for use in schools in Japan, made an addition to the screening mechanism in 1982 known as the “neighboring countries clause”, which explicitly prohibited textbook publishers from replacing the word “aggression” with anything tamer, or from dismissing the Nanking Massacre as the result of anything other than the actions of Japanese soldiers. A year after his book was published, Japanese right-wingers began to criticize the popular Yamakawa textbook, accusing it of being “masochistic”. “They [right-wing history scholars] criticized the textbook for teaching the young generation about the Nanking Massacre and comfort women – the ugliest side of the nation, as they defined it,” Wani said. A group of history scholars, led by the University of Tokyo’s Professor Fujioka Nobukatsu, called for the removal of the allegedly “masochistic” content from the history textbook.

Nobukatsu later established the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, aiming to write a new history textbook inspiring pupils to “revitalize the nation”. The content of this new textbook went as far as to redefine the war not as one of invasion, but of self-defense. Unfortunately, the objections of people like Wani drew little attention from mainstream media. Soon, pressure from the right-wing group forced Tokyo schools to stop using one textbook, published by Jikkyo Shuppan, which was also known for detailing Japan’s wartime activities. But this new textbook published by the right-wing scholars in 2002 ended up with a low market share, as the book was revealed to have so many inaccuracies that the screening council required the authors to make more than 100 corrections. “Half a century had passed and there were fewer and fewer journalists who had experienced the war and understood its cruelty,” Wani wrote as a postscript to his book. He hopes that the media and the country will not turn a blind eye to the phenomenon happening in the country, and that Japan will continue to rise despite of the ugly history, and not hiding it from everybody.


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Politics of Genocide - TamilNet

Politics of GenocideTamilNetWhile the Mu'l'livaaykkaal killings and the on-going cultural destruction in the NorthEast can be argued to constitute "Genocide" within the definition of the Genocide Convention of 1948, a virtual codification of the...
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Collective Amnesia: The 75th Anniversary of the Nanking Massacre - blogTO (blog)

Collective Amnesia: The 75th Anniversary of the Nanking Massacre - blogTO (blog) | Nanjing massacre | Scoop.it
Collective Amnesia: The 75th Anniversary of the Nanking MassacreblogTO (blog)Events. Collective Amnesia: The 75th Anniversary of the Nanking Massacre.
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Amanda Mustard’s Nanking Massacre Portrait Project

Amanda Mustard’s Nanking Massacre Portrait Project | Nanjing massacre | Scoop.it

Just because you didn’t get to go to that awesome photography conference doesn’t mean that you can’t learn something from the pros!

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Twitter / higmorn: November 19, 2012 afternoon ...

November 19, 2012 afternoon three points, shot in Nanjing.
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