On November 9, 2004, the body of an Asian woman was found in a car parked on the roadside in California, USA. It was a pistol suicide.
News of the woman’s death was immediately reported by foreign media around the world. The deceased was 36-year-old Chinese – American Iris Chang .
She was the author of the international bestseller , The Rape of Nanking .
In Korea, it is a book that has been translated and published under the title of ‘Whose side is history on? ‘The Rape of Nanjing’ was controversial when it was published, and eventually led to the death of the author. what kind of book was it?
“The first report of the Nanjing Massacre written in English”Iris Zhang’s parents were survivors of World War II in their hometown of Nanjing, China. Her parents later emigrated to Taiwan to avoid the Chinese Communist Party, and then went to the United States to graduate from Harvard University.
Iris Chang’s parents often told her daughter of the tragedy in Nanjing in December 1937. It was a terrible story that killed hundreds of thousands of people in Nanjing. Iris Zhang searched for Nanjing Massacre in her library. However, the full details of the case were not forthcoming.
After graduating from the University of Illinois, Iris Chang became a reporter for Associated Press and the Chicago Tribune . He begins to collect Nanjing Massacre materials and specific testimonies. “If there is a book you want to read, but the book is not yet available, then you must write that book” (Toni Morrison, 1993 Nobel Prize winner in Literature), a famous saying that goes well with Iris Chang at the time.
The result is the book ‘The Rape of Nanjing’ .
This book was evaluated as ‘the first English report on the atrocities of the Nanjing Massacre committed by the Japanese Imperial Army’ . Upon publication, it became a New York Times bestseller.
322 km if the body is laid side by sideThe Nanjing Massacre refers to the urban tragedy in December 1937 when Nanjing, China, was captured by imperial Japan at the time.
According to Chinese official statistics, the number of deaths is 300,000 . Iris Zhang writes that if the slain were laid side by side and held hands, the distance from Nanjing to Hangzhou would be 322 km, if the train was filled with all the bodies of the deceased, it would be 2500 cars, and the total amount of blood shed would be calculated as 1200 tons by volume 메이저놀이터.
It was the result of the massacre carried out by the Japanese forces stationed in Nanjing shortly after the capture of Nanjing. Iris Chang writes the following, referring to articles by Japanese war correspondents, records by foreign correspondents in the English-speaking countries, and diaries left by individual Japanese soldiers .
(※Please note that the content quoted below is shocking and disgusting.)
The Japanese Imperial Army, which entered Nanjing, China, runs out of food. So, he decides to exterminate the Chinese prisoners of war . Orders are given to line up 50 people and shoot them.
They were shot, but there was no oil fuel to burn the bodies. That’s why tens of thousands of corpses are abandoned in the Yangtze River . Humans were not human.
When bullets to kill people are running out, Japanese soldiers bury Chinese prisoners alive in the ground . The soldier with the shovel was not a Japanese soldier. There were other prisoners in the back row (soon to meet the same fate).
The book records.
◎ “People are dragging corpses down and throwing them into the Yangtze River. The corpses were drenched in blood, and some were moaning and twisting their limbs. The people who throw the bodies into the river don’t say a word. As if it were a pantomime . . .” (Page 97, article by Masatake Imai, Japanese War Correspondent)
◎ “The only living things were dogs that gained weight by digging up and eating corpses.” (Page 86, recorded by a British correspondent)
◎ “The Japanese military poured gasoline on the corpse and tried to burn it, but the fuel used to run out before the flames reduced the body to ashes. The charred corpses were on the verge of forming a mountain.”(Page 95, Records of Sergeant Nakajima of the Imperial Japanese Army)
80,000 women in Nanjing were rapedThe book ‘The Rape of Nanjing’ is based on ‘The Chrysanthemum and the Knife’, an analysis of Japanese consciousness by anthropologist Ruth Benedict . Ruth Benedict writes. “The moral missions of Japanese society are local and limited, and easily destroyed elsewhere.” (‘The Rape of Nanjing’, page 106) The book records that the number of women raped at the time was 80,000 (at least 20,000) . Women taken from private homes are assigned to 15 to 20 soldiers and subjected to rape. There was no distinction between old people and young girls. Wherever the soldiers were gathered, gang rapes like beasts, no beasts, took place. The tragedy didn’t stop at the sexual assault. Even then, rape was taboo under military law, so soldiers killed rape victims on the spot . The purpose was to destroy evidence. Unbelievable facts are pouring in, such as the statement that they cut open the belly of a pregnant woman simply for fun. In this book, the witnesses of the Nanjing Massacre are not only Chinese. The book contains even the records of former Japanese soldiers who participated in the war.
Iris Zhang later recorded the facts by handling all the records of the Nanjing War Crimes Tribunal and the Far East Military Tribunal .
In fact, the Nanjing Massacre in China was a tragedy that was largely ignored until the late 20th century. Why?
The city of Nanjing was the capital of the Chinese Nationalist Party. In 1949, the Chinese Communist Party overthrew the Chinese Nationalist Party and took control of the continent. The expelled Kuomintang moved to an island country, which is now Taiwan. ① Instead of demanding responsibility for the Nanjing Massacre from Japan, Taiwan hoped to be recognized as an ‘official country’ by Japan and trade with it . ② From the point of view of the Chinese Communist Party , the Nanjing Massacre was closer to the shame experienced by the Chinese Nationalist Party, which was a competitor, rather than their own. ③ The United States did not hold the Nanjing Massacre accountable for stability after the war.
In the meantime, Japan spreads the Nanjing Massacre and comfort women fictional theory from the 1970s. The tragedy of Nanjing was forgotten just like that.
In the meantime, a 30-year-old American woman from an Asian immigrant who was only 30 years old published a masterpiece non-fiction criticizing the atrocities of the Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese Communist Party’s oblivion, and even the disregard of the United States.
One person’s efforts regurgitated memories of forgotten tragedies.
Man’s demonic nature shocked even the NazisIris Chang did not fill this book with sensational descriptions accusing the brutality of the Japanese Imperial Army.
Iris Chang discovers the good human nature that resists human evil .
The representative figure mentioned in the book was the late German John Rabe (1882-1950) . He is revered in China as ‘The Living Buddha of Nanjing’ and ‘China’s Oskar Schindler’ .
What kind of person was John Rabe?
Jon Rabe was a German who had lived in Nanjing for 30 years. Yon Rabe witnesses an indescribable tragedy in Nanjing. Jon Rabe builds a ‘Nanjing Safe Zone’ to protect Chinese citizens, including his factory workers and engineers . “There are 250,000 Chinese who have flocked to the safety zone,” writes Iris Chang.
There were hundreds of thousands of humans saved by Jon Rabe.
But here’s an interesting fact. John Rabe was a member of Hitler’s Nazi Party. What does this mean?
Looking at it through the eyes of a Nazi party member, wouldn’t it mean that the evil deeds of the Japanese Imperial Army at the time were beyond imagination?
Jon Rabe couldn’t stand it and wrote a letter directly to Adolf Hitler, asking “The Fuhrer (Hitler) to help us build a neutral zone for civilians who did not participate in the Battle of Nanjing” (November 25, 1937 ). I did. However, it is said that Hitler did not know that he sent the letter.
Jon Rabe also distributes whistles to Chinese women. When a whistle is heard in the refugee camp in the middle of the night, Yon Rabe immediately rushes in and uses his special status as a ‘Nazi’ to drive away any Japanese soldiers who try to rape her naked girl. Jon Rabe said to the Japanese commander, “Please have mercy. He appeals to humanely treat civilians according to international practice.”
Iris Chang actively informed the world of Jon Rabe’s past. After the publication of the book, John Rabe’s life is also made into a movie.
Japanese publisher threatened to cancel book contractThis book, which records the tragedy of the Nanjing Massacre, emerges as a controversial work.
First of all, in the United States, praises such as “the first extensive study of the horrific events in Nanjing, the former capital of China” (Wall Street Journal) and “a masterpiece of government education in a horrifying massacre” (New York Times) are pouring in.
On the other hand, Japanese right-wing groups took the position that “the Nanjing Massacre was a fabrication”. First of all, the figure of 300,000 is a fiction, and the book citation is also attacked as poor. In particular, the book specifically mentions the fact that Chinese women and Korean women were comfort women, but Japan does not even acknowledge the evidence that women were raped over this book.
The American broadcaster even aired a lullaby with Iris Chang and the Japanese ambassador to the United States.
‘The Rape of Nanjing’ was planned to be published in Japan. However, upon receiving the threatening phone call, the Japanese publishing house terminated the contract with Iris Chang . In Japan, the Korean version of this book records that there was a strange phenomenon in which books produced to refute the unpublished ‘Rape of Nanjing’ became bestsellers .
Why did Iris Chang commit suicide? Asian academics believe that the afterimage of civilian massacre research may have been the cause of her depression . In a study on the death of Iris Chang, the recorder of the Nanjing Massacre, published in KCI
in December 2015, Professor Yu Kang-ha of Kangwon National University analyzed the cause of Iris Chang’s death. “Iris Zhang’s time researching and immersing herself in the incident brought her closer to the nature of the Nanjing Massacre, but the afterimages of her tragedy slowly distanced her from her victims . was breaking down Pain and depression were slowly growing under the shadow of empathy. What she was seeking was genuine empathy for her victims, but as the distance between her subjects collapsed, the contagion of her emotions was going on unwittingly.” (Yoo Kang-Ha thesis, page 286)
The pain of others must have been transplanted like a seed and germinated into the pain inside the iris field.
The name of the end that the seed grew up was ‘death’.
Rebuttal to the absurd remark that “Korean comfort women are certified prostitutes”‘The Rape of Nanjing’ also represents Koreans who suffered under Japanese rule at the time. “Korean women brought to their senses were ‘certified prostitutes’
, not sexual slaves, and Japan had no choice but to go to war because it was on the verge of collapse” (Shigeto Nagano, right after appointment as Minister of Justice),
“Japan’s occupation of the Korean Peninsula is partly due to Joseon’s fault. Joseon willingly became a colony ” (Japanese Minister of Education Masayuki Fujio),
Iris Chang refutes this assertion by detailing statements such as “Women who were comfort women or raped by the Japanese military were not coerced sexual slaves, but only voluntary prostitutes . ”
When China builds the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall, it also erects a statue of Iris Zhang here. It is a statue holding the book ‘The Rape of Nanjing’ in its hand.
While on a business trip to Nanjing in 2019, she briefly visited the memorial hall.
What kind of character should Iris Chang be remembered by us?
I did not prepare this article to spread anti-Japanese sentiment. East Asia, Korea, China, and Japan crossed the 20th century with feelings of mutual hatred for each other, and even now, we live trapped in the gaze of anti-Japanese, anti-Chinese, and anti-Korean views. I think that reading the book ‘The Rape of Nanjing’ as a chronicle of the evil deeds of mankind
(as the author wrote in the first sentence of the book) rather than a reproduction of a terrible record of an imperial era would be a more hopeful reading method. Wouldn’t ‘The Rape of Nanjing’ be a warning against evil that mankind should never repeat or reproduce again, and a book of condolences to the victims that mankind intentionally forgot because of the function of reality ? The death of Iris Chang, who tried to resist oblivion, is also gradually being forgotten. How many people in the world remember her name now? She pulled the trigger of her pistol, leaving her young son and her husband behind. Can this article remain as another letter of condolence to commemorate the ‘great writer’ Iris Chang, who briefly appeared at the end of the 20th century and then disappeared?