Summary Of Iris Chang's The Rape Of Nanking

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In Iris Chang’s The Rape of Nanking, Mrs. Chang gives light into a subject not very commonly known that occured in December of 1937 and extended to January of the following year, the event was around four to six weeks in length, and claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands and thousands more were mutilated, raped, tortured and killed. Mrs. Chang’s purpose of writing this text is to expose to the world an event not very well known, a Holocaust preceding that of the Jews. She does this by stating the issue of what caused this tragic and horrific event, in this case, the cause of why the Japanese did this is extreme nationalism. Mrs. Chang not only talks about the events that happened during those six weeks, but also of the safe zone created …show more content…

Since the times of Samurai’s, in Japan it has always been an honor to die for the land, feudal lord/emperor, in fact to them it was dishonor to be defeated. If they were ever defeated they performed a ritual called Harakiri, or Seppuku, which is suicide by disembowelment. This was done to either restore one’s or the family’s honor, or to not suffer the shame of defeat. This was back from around 1100-1860 A.D thus giving a background to the strong sense of nationalism to the country. Also after the Nanjing Massacre/Rape of Nanking, this form of extreme nationalism is seen with the Japanese kamikaze, who would fly their aircrafts into carriers taking themselves and the entire battleship down with them. Therefore, with these ideals in mind, to either come back victorious or not to come back at all, the Japanese being at conflict with the Republic of China (Sino-Japanese War) turn their attention to Nanjing, and that is when the six weeks of horror begin. Those six weeks are like a miniature version of the Holocaust which was from 1939-1945. The Japanese soldiers would starve the people to death, use the women as sex slaves then kill them afterwards, mutilate them, torture them, and shoot civilians on the spot. Although no one really knows, it is estimated that around three hundred thousand civilians and prisoners of war were murdered. Thus, Mrs. Chang blames the main cause of this conflict not on any particular

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