Analysis Of The Rape Of Nanking By Iris Chang

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In her book, The Rape of Nanking, Iris Chang wrote about the atrocities that happened within a few weeks in 1937. Her own grandparents escaped the massacre and sparked her interest in the sparsely covered events. In December 1937, the Japanese took control of Nanking, the capital of China at the time. The Japanese army quickly marched into the city and not only looted and burned the buildings of the city, but also systematically raped, tortured, and murdered over 300,000 Chinese civilians. The cruel treatment of the Chinese by Japanese soldiers represents the brutality behind the militaristic culture and their values of human lives. The first part of the story is from the perspective of the Japanese soldiers responsible for the crimes. The Japanese followed a series of beliefs that promoted the idea in which a soldier must die for his emperor, called bushido. These values ultimately led to the draconian treatment of the civilians; a level at which most historians can not even begin to understand. After the soldiers of Nanking were murdered protecting the civilians, no one was left to protect them. Knowing this, the Japanese poured into the city walls and began to kill every Chinese civilian in site while occupying the city’s buildings. The military policy forbade the rape of civilians; but since rape was so apparent in the Japanese military culture, the policy only encouraged soldiers to kill the victims afterwards. The raping and killing of innocent civilians continued

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