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Rape of Nanking.

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Presentation on theme: "Rape of Nanking."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rape of Nanking

2 Slides (Some of) the following images are graphic due to their violent nature: Your warning has been given.

3 Rape of Nanking Goal of Today
Today we will be looking at the atrocities committed during the Rape of Nanking by the Japanese army. We will attempt to understand why they could commit these crimes against humanity. Why did Japan want to invade China.

4 The Background WWII began in Asia. Japan's military dictators had long viewed China as the main outlet for their imperial and expansionist ambitions. Japanese forces invaded and occupied Manchuria in northeast China in 1931, setting up the puppet state of Manchukuo.

5 The military government decided to conquer other areas to obtain raw materials.

6 In July 1937, the Japanese launched a full scale invasion of China, capturing Shanghai on 12 November and the imperial capital, Nanking, on 13 December. Numerous atrocities were committed en route to Nanking, but they did not compare with the epic carnage and destruction the Japanese unleashed on the defenseless city after Chinese forces abandoned it to the enemy.

7 The Rape of Nanking : Iris Chang

8 What Happened: To Women/ Sexual Abuse
Women were killed in indiscriminate acts of terror, but the large majority died after extended and excruciating gang-rape. "Surviving Japanese veterans claim that the army had officially outlawed the rape of enemy women," writes Iris Chang. But "the military policy forbidding rape only encouraged soldiers to kill their victims afterwards."


10 " Chang cites one soldier's recollection that "It would be all right if we only raped them. I shouldn't say all right. But we always stabbed and killed them. Because dead bodies don't talk ... Perhaps when we were raping her, we looked at her as a woman, but when we killed her, we just thought of her as something like a pig." (Chang, The Rape of Nanking, pp ).

11 John Rabe, a German (and Nazi) businessman who set up a "Nanking Safety Zone" in the city's international settlement saving thousands of Chinese lives, described in his diary the weeks of terror endured by the women of Nanjing. Though young and conventionally attractive women were most at risk, no woman was safe from vicious rape and exploitation (often filmed as souvenirs) and probable murder thereafter. "Groups of 3 to 10 marauding soldiers would begin by traveling through the city and rob whatever there was to steal. They would continue by raping the women and girls and killing anything and anyone that offered any resistance, attempted to run away from them or simply happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. There were girls under the age of 8 and women over the age of 70 who were raped and then, in the most brutal way possible, knocked down and beat up." (Chang, The Rape of Nanking, p. 119.)


13 "The dried leaves rattling, the moaning of the wind, the cry of women being led out how ashamed the women of Japan would be if they knew these tales of horror."

14 An eyewitness, Reverend James M McCallum, wrote in his diary on December 19: “I know not where to begin nor to end. Never have I heard of such brutality. Rape! Rape! Rape!---We estimate at least 1,000 cases a night, and many by day. ……People are hysterical… Women are being carried off every morning, afternoon, and evening. The whole Japanese army seems to be free to go and come as it pleases, and to do whatever it pleases”

15 Pregnant women were not spared
Pregnant women were not spared. In several instances, they were raped, then had their bellies slit open and the fetuses torn out.

16 Many young women were simply tied to beds as permanent fixtures accessible to any and all comers. When they became too weepy or too diseased to arouse desire, they were disposed of. In alleys and parks lay the corpses of women who had been dishonored even after death by mutilation and stuffing." (Yin and Young, The Rape of Nanking, p. 195.)

17 Not all of the victims of rape were female
Not all of the victims of rape were female. "Chinese men were often forced to perform a variety of repulsive sexual acts in front of laughing Japanese soldiers," writes Chang. "At least one Chinese man was murdered because he refused to commit necrophilia with the corpse of a woman in the snow. The Japanese also delighted in trying to coerce men who had taken lifetime vows of celibacy to engage in sexual intercourse. ... The Japanese drew sadistic pleasure in forcing Chinese men to commit incest -- fathers to rape their own daughters, brothers their sisters, sons their mothers ... those who refused were killed on the spot." (Chang, The Rape of Nanking, p. 95.)

18 What to do with the Chinese Soldiers Who Surrendered
The Japanese armies first concern was to eliminate any threat from the 90,000 Chinese soldiers who surrendered. To the Japanese, surrender was an unthinkable act of cowardice and the ultimate violation of the rigid code of military honor drilled into them from childhood onward. Thus they looked upon Chinese POWs with utter contempt, viewing them as less than human, unworthy of life.


20 According to Iris Chang, "The Japanese would take any men they found as prisoners, neglect to give them water or food for days, but promise them food and work. After days of such treatment, the Japanese would bind the wrists of their victims securely with wire or rope and herd them out to some isolated area. The men, too tired or dehydrated to rebel, went out eagerly, thinking they would be fed. By the time they saw the machine guns, or the bloodied swords and bayonets wielded by waiting soldiers, or the massive graves, heaped and reeking with the bodies of the men who had preceded them, it was already too late to escape." (Chang, The Rape of Nanking, p. 83.)

21 Young Chinese men, their hands bound, are led away for mass execution.

22 "Ten Thousand Corpse Ditch", where bodies of mass execution victims were buried.


24 The Contests The Japanese held grotesque killing contests, including "a competition to determine who could kill the fastest. As one soldier stood sentinel with a machine gun, ready to mow down anyone who tried to bolt, the eight other soldiers split up into pairs to form four separate teams. In each team, one soldier beheaded prisoners with a sword while the other picked up heads and tossed them aside in a pile. The prisoners stood frozen in silence and terror as their countrymen dropped, one by one." (Chang, The Rape of Nanking, p. 85)

25 Two Japanese officers, Toshiaki Mukai and Iwa Noda, held a competition of beheading Chinese. They killed 211 Chinese in total; one killed 106, the other 105 in their contest. The results of the contest were reported back to Japanese newspapers.

26 Hiroki Kawano, former military photographer gave a more detailed account of the beheading of Chinese victims: “I’ve seen all kinds of horrible scenes……headless corpses of children lying on the ground. They even made the prisoners dig a hole and kneel in front of it before being beheaded. Some soldiers were so skillful that they took care of the business in a way that severed the head completely but left it hanging by a thin layer of skin on the victim’s chest, so that the weight pulled the body down to the ditch. I captured that blink of a moment with my camera”


28 "The Japanese not only disemboweled, decapitated, and dismembered victims but performed more excruciating varieties of torture. Throughout the city they nailed prisoners to wooden boards and ran over them with tanks, crucified them to trees and electrical posts, carved long strips of flesh from them, and used them for bayonet practice. At least one hundred men reportedly had their eyes gouged out and their noses and ears hacked off before being set on fire. Another group of two hundred Chinese soldiers and civilians were stripped naked, tied to columns and doors of a school, and then stabbed by zhuizi -- special needles with handles on them -- in hundreds of points along their bodies, including their mouths, throats, and eyes. ... The Japanese subjected large crowds of victims to mass incineration. In Hsiakwan [along the Yangtze] a Japanese soldier bound Chinese captives together, ten at a time, and pushed them into a pit, where they were sprayed with gasoline and ignited." (Chang, The Rape of Nanking, pp )

29 In his Three Months of Nanking's Ordeal, author Jiang Gong-gu wrote: “On December 13….[people] were bayoneted, split by swords, or burned. Nothing was more ruthless, however than burial alive. Those miserable howls, that desperate screaming scattered in the trembling air. We could even hear them seven miles away





34 How many died? After the war, the International Military Tribunal of the Far East cited "indications that the total number of civilians and prisoners-of-war murdered in Nanking and its immediate vicinity during the first six weeks of the Japanese occupation was over 200,000. The rapes and rape-murders of women were also of staggering proportions. "Certainly it was one of the greatest mass rapes in world history," writes Iris Chang. She notes that "it is impossible to determine the exact number of women raped in Nanking. Estimates range from as low as twenty thousand to as high as eighty thousand." (Chang, The Rape of Nanking, p. 89)

35 One of the earlier images of the war to come out from China, this photo appeared in LIFE magazine. (Nanking, China, 1937)

36 In 1946-47, war-crimes trials were held in Nanking
In , war-crimes trials were held in Nanking. "Only a handful of Japanese war criminals were tried in Nanking," notes Chang, "but they gave the local Chinese citizens a chance to air their grievances" (Chang, The Rape of Nanking, p. 170.) The International Military Tribunal for the Far East tried nearly 30 key Japanese commanders. Seven "class A" war criminals were killed. The Japanese imperial family, including Emperor Hirohito and Prince Asaka, received immunity.

37 A conscious attempt has been made by "revisionists" in Japan to deny or downplay the involvement of the Japanese military in massive atrocities during World War II. In September 1986, the Japanese education minister, Fujio Masayuki, referred to the Rape of Nanking as "just a part of war."

38 Until the recent resurgence of interest in the Nanking Massacre, the atrocities and their survivors had been largely forgotten. "After the war some of the survivors had clung to the hope that their government would vindicate them by pushing for Japanese reparations and an official apology. This hope, however, was swiftly shattered when the People's Republic of China (PRC), eager to forge an alliance with the Japanese to gain international legitimacy, announced at various times that it had forgiven the Japanese."

39 Activity- NY Times 1937 Questions
Did the Japanese care if foreigners saw them committing atrocities? Describe the scene in Nanking in December What were the streets like? What happened to the men in the city? Was the Chinese army well organized? Provide examples. Describe some of the ways Chinese men were killed.


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