The Nanking Massacre

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SECTION 1:- This investigation will explore the question: To what extent did the intensity of the battle of Shanghai affect the atrocities done in the Nanking Massacre? The years 1894 to 1945 will be the focus of this investigation, to allow for an analysis of Chinese - Japanese relations from the first Sino - Japanese war, foreign relations from early stages as well as the major changes made in the Japanese society. A key source used in this investigation was “The rape of Nanking” written by Iris Chang. This book uncovers the horrors of the massacre and the hell-like life the civilians and POWs had to suffer. The origin of this book is valuable because Iris Chang is an experienced journalist who spend 2 years of her life gathering information…show more content…
The learnings of Bushido focused mainly on the combination of frugality, loyalty, martial arts & honour till death. These teaching were heavily implemented during a soldier’s training in the Imperial Japanese Army. While thr teachings of Shinto encouraged total emperor worship, racism & military aggression. “various games and exercises were set up by the Japanese military to numb its men to the human instinct against killing people who are not attacking.” During the Sino - Japanese war, soldiers were expected to perform brutalities in order to keep their (people above) happy. If a Japanese colonel was displeased with one of his majors, it would not be unusual for the colonel to strike the offending major a blow across the face to reinforce his reprimand. “Some Japanese soldiers admitted it was easy for them to kill because they had been taught that next to the emperor, all individual life ­even their own­ was valueless.” The culture of brutality & killing in the name of the emperor was expected out of all the soldiers, including their Korean and Taiwanese recruits. To an extent that these recruits would usually be given the worst beatings. Their this anger would be taken out on prisoners of war and…show more content…
This assumption was made based on the fact that China was under- equipped and had untrained men to fight against blood-thirsty & well disciplined Japanese soldiers. The casualties were much higher than anticipated and Japanese troops were getting frustrated with this war. “Ever since we came ashore at Shanghai, a deep hatred of the enemy built up inside my troops because we fought so bitterly and paid such a heavy sacrifice.” - General Matsui Iwane (he played a role in the planning of the massacre). Instead of defeating China in 3 months, IJA took 3 months, 1 week and 6 days just to take Shanghai. This made the soldiers fighting even more bitter who developed a strong feeling of avenging their dead comrades. During the offense, IJA was outnumbered 10 to 1 and the Chinese government used their best units to hold of Japanese attacks. About 59,493 Japanese soldiers died and 250000 Chinese soldiers were killed. This victory came with a great cost and huge casualties. The “long, tense battle and the unexpected stubborn resistance of the Chinese troops” was clearly the most dominant reason why angered Japanese soldiers conducted such a hideous massacre. Since the assault on Nanking occurred right after the battle of Shanghai, the timing of the battle, could have acted as a catalyst, reason being most of the Japanese units going to Nanking had to get stopped abruptly and forced to
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