Good Example Of Book Review On The Rape Of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust Of World War II

Published: 2021-06-21 23:41:05
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Category: Literature, Books, Women, China, Japan

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The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II is a bestseller book, authored by Iris Chang. The book is based on the atrocious acts, committed by Japanese army after Nanking was captured by them. The book is a realistic portrayal of massacres and rapes by Japanese in Nanking. The book also presents how Chinese people still remember the horrifying incidents of Nanking. This paper intends to discuss the book and delves deep to examine several other related aspects.
‘The Rape of Nanking’ portrays the rape and massacre in Chinese capital of those days, Nanking. Japanese army captured Nanking on 13th December, 1937 and then they started raping and murdering Chinese women and men. Throughout the book, author describes about the brutality and inhuman acts of Japanese and also appears complaining that government of Japan has not done much to redress the pain of Chinese people till date. The book has been acclaimed for true portrayal of the incidents but also it has been criticized. People, including some eminent academicians raise serious doubts on claims of the author and allege that she is biased and has presented exaggerated figures of incidents and victims.
The rapes, torturing and massacres of Nanking are one of ghastliest atrocities that modern world has witnessed. Author suggests that more than 300,000 people were killed by the Japanese and now scholars believe that the number of people who were killed by Japanese is even more than what author said. International military tribunal that was held in order to probe war criminals of Japan estimated that 260,000 civilians were killed in utmost brutal manner by Japanese.
One main reason, that author suggests behind such brutal atrocities, is the order of emperor of Japan to kill all of them. This led Japanese army to kill more people and they started killing people competitively. There was a competition among Japanese army to kill and rape people and every army man tried to kill and rape more than their companions. Author suggests that people were called to surrender with assurances of reasonable treatment but were shot once they surrendered. Author mentions one Richi Kurihara who gives some details how Japanese army men used to open fire and kill people indiscriminately.
Japanese army used utmost brutality in raping, torturing and killing Chinese women as well as men. They used most possible ways in raping women. Dozens of army men used to rape single women for whole night and after raping women, they used to rip women’s breast and vagina. Japanese used to enter in schools and brutally raped young Chinese girls. They did not even spare the old aged women and raped them in full public view. The whole Nanking became a brothel for Japanese army, where they used to rape every woman, whom they wanted without any resistance.
Nuns from monasteries and hospitals were also not spared and were dragged into Japanese army camps where they were raped brutally. Not only Chinese women but Chinese men in huge numbers were sodomized by the Japanese army and they were forced to perform some horrible sexual acts. It was a complete shame for the Nanking and not an iota of self respect and pride was spared. Women and men were raped, humiliated before they were killed brutally by the Japanese army men. The author portrays some pictures of victims in her book that suggest a bit about the atrocities of Japanese in Nanking. Japanese soldiers, in their stay of Nanking, made Chinese women their sex slaves and spared neither young nor old aged women. After raping women, soldiers also used to take pleasure from cutting their breasts and ripping their vaginas.
After raping and torturing, Chinese were killed brutally in huge numbers. Author tries to corroborate her version of the story by citing Yukio Omata, the military correspondent who corroborates the version of author by saying that thousands of people were murdered daily by the Japanese. Further author presents a version of Japanese Lt General Kesago who writes in his diary that it became difficult for Japanese army to find deep ditches in order to bury corpses of Chinese women and men.
Iris Chang in her book, ‘The Rape of Nanking’ presents the accounts of Nanking rapes, torturing, and murders. Themain source of her account comes from the survivors of these atrocious incidents. Chang’s grandparents were also the survivors who witnessed everything from their own eyes. She portrays all these incidents with utmost humility and anger which is understandable. Chang writes, “many soldiers went beyond rape to disembowel women, slice off their breasts, nail them alive to walls. Fathers were forced to rape their daughters and sons their mothers, as other family members watched . . . . . .more diabolical tortures were practiced, such as hanging people by their tongues on iron hooks or burying people to their waists and watching them torn apart by German shepherds. So sickening was the spectacle that even Nazis in the city were horrified (Chang 6).
Chang also talks about John Rabe, who is Oscar Schindler in her eyes helped Chinese people in his capacity and for all his works, he became known as “The living Buddha of Nanking”. Rabe helped Chinese women and men from atrocities of Japanese by setting up a safe zone where he sheltered thousands of Chinese. Rabe was a businessman who himself witnessed how Japanese tortured, raped and murdered Chinese. He writes in his diary that if he had not witnessed this all from his own eyes it was difficult for him to believe that people can commit such atrocities.
Iris Chang written book has been acclaimed but also it has been alleged to be exaggerating and misrepresenting the facts. People raise questions about her book and ask if any barbarity had taken place at such a large scale, how it went unnoticed for such a long time. Some other questions are asked like why china never raised this issue before Japan and asked for compensations. How it possible is that Japanese army committed such ghastly atrocities in Nanking and there are not much evidences of their rapes and murders. These are some questions about the book which needs to be addressed.
Iris Chang written book, ‘The Rape of Nanking’ narrates the story from different perspectives. It has three main perspectives: first is Chinese perspective, including the author herself, which claims a huge number of people were raped, tortured and murdered by Japanese, second perspective belongs to Japanese who are alleged to committing these crimes and the third perspective is the whole world except Chinese and Japanese.
Chang alleges that the world has perhaps ignored the orgy atrocities of Nanking because they have not suffered. Chang also thinks that Japan is obsessed with self righteousness and Japanese never even repented for what they did in Nanking. Chang has a lot to complain about Japanese in her book and wants to see Japan at knee for what they did. She suggests that mere formal apology cannot heal the wounds of millions of Chinese who are directly or indirectly affected by the rapes, tortures and murders that were strategically committed by Japanese in Nanking.
Having observed the above mentioned, succinct review of the book, The Rape of Nanking, it can be concluded that the author has presented a very realistic portrayal of the atrocities that Japanese committed in the Nanking after capturing it. Author describes the incidents in detail and in a very practical manner. Chang also expects Japan to seriously apologize and compensate millions of Chinese people who suffered directly or indirectly due to atrocious acts of Japanese.
Work Cited
Chang, Iris. The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II. New York: Basic Books, 1997.

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