The following collection of wartime postcards depict the City of Nanking during Japan’s military rule.
Go back to: Table of Contents
The following collection of wartime postcards depict the City of Nanking during Japan’s military rule.
Go back to: Table of Contents
The bibliography for this project is selective because a complete list of all works consulted in the preparation of the website would be almost twenty pages. However, as well as those actually cited, some major works are listed as Other References at the end of the list. No commas are used for Chinese authors.
Books and Journals
Abend, Hallett. Pacific Charter: Our Destiny in Asia. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Dorn and Company, 1943.
American Missionary Eyewitnesses to the Nanking Massacre 1937-1938. Edited by Martha L. Smalley. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale Divinity School Library, 1997.
Bernard, Henri. “Dissenting Judgment.” In The Tokyo Judgment: The International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) 29 April 1946 – 12 November 1948. Edited by B. V. A. Röling and C. F. Rüter. Amsterdam: University Press Amsterdam, 1977.
Brackman, Arnold C. The Other Nuremberg: The Untold Story of the Tokyo War Crimes Trials. New York: William Morrow, 1987.
Brook, Timothy. “Introduction: Documenting the Rape of Nanking.” In Documents on the Rape of Nanking. Edited by Timothy Brook. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1999.
Chushi wo Iku [Conquering the Central China]. Edited by the Public Relation Department of the China Expeditionary Army. 1939.
Daugherty, William E. “China’s Official Publicity in The United States.” Public Opinion Quarterly 6.1 (Spring 1942): 70-86.
Documents of the Nanking Safety Zone. Edited by Hsü Shushi. Shanghai: Kelly & Walsh, 1939.
Documents of the Rape of Nanking. Edited by Timothy Brook. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1999.
Dorn, Frank. The Sino-Japanese War 1937-41: From Marco Polo Bridge to Pearl Harbor. New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1974.
Dower, John W. Embracing the Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. New York: W. N. Norton & Company, 1999.
Eastman, Lloyd. “Nationalist China During the Sino-Japanese War 1937-1945.” In The Cambridge History of China 13. Edited by John K. Fairbank and Denis Twithchett. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Eykholt, Mark. “Aggression, Victimization, and Chinese Historiography of the Nanjing Massacre.” In The Nanjing Massacre in History and Historiography. Edited by Joshua A. Fogel. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.
Fogel, Joshua A. Review of The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II, by Iris Chang. Journal of Asian Studies 57.3 (August 1998): 818-819.
________. “Correspondence: How Bad Was the Nanking Massacre?” Letters to the editor. The Los Agngeles Times, 15 August 1999.
Fujioka, Nobukatsu. Jiyu Shugi Shikan to ha Nani ka: Kyokasho ga Oshienai Rekishi no Mikata [A Liberal View of History: Historical Views Textbooks Do Not Teach]. Tokyo: PHP Bunko, 1997.
________. “Nakamura Akira shi no ‘Nanking Jiken Ichiman Nin Gyakusatsu Setsu’ wo Hihan Suru [Critique of ‘The Death Toll of Ten Thousand in the Nanjing Incident’ by Mr. Akira Nakamura].” Seiron 319 (March 1999): 282-289.
Fujiwara, Akira. Nanking no Nihongun [The Japanese Army in Nanjing]. Tokyo: Otsuki Shoten, 1997.
________. “‘Tokyo Saiban ni yoru Dechiage’ Setsu koso ga Dechiage [The Theory of ‘Fabrication at the Tokyo War Crimes Trial’ Is the Real Fabrication]. In Nanking Jiken Chosa Kenkyukai [The Nanjing Incident Research Group]. Nanking Daigyakusatsu Hiteiron 13 no Uso [Thirteen lies in the Nanjing Massacre Deniers’ Claims]. Tokyo: Kashiwa Shobo, 1999.
Gibney, Frank. “Editor’s Introduction.” In Katsuichi Honda. The Nanjing Massacre: A Japanese Journalist Confronts Japan’s National Shame. Edited by Frank Gibney. Translated by Karen Sandness. Armonk: M. E. Sharpe, 1999.
Hando, Kazutoshi. “Ikiteiru Heitai no Jidai [The Age of ‘Living Soldiers’].” In Tatsuzo Ishikawa, Ikiteiru Heitai [Living Soldiers]. Reprint, Tokyo: Chuko Bunko, 1999.
Hanson, Haldore. “The People Behind the Chinese Guerillas.” Pacific Affairs 11.3 (September 1938): 285-298.
Hata, Ikuhiko. Nanking Jiken [The Nanjing Incident]. Tokyo: Chuo Koron, 1986.
________. Showashi no Nazo wo Ou (Jo) [Chasing Down the Mysteries of Showa History (1)]. Tokyo: Bungei Shunji, 1993.
________. “Nanking Daigyakusatsu: ‘Rabe Koka’ o Sokutei Suru [The Nanjing Massacre: Examining the ‘Rabe Effect’],” Shokun 30.2 (February 1998): 80-89.
________. “The Nanking Atrocities: Facts and Fable.” Japan Echo 25.4 (August 1998): Available from http://www.japanecho.co.jp/docs/html/250413.html.
Hayase, Toshiyuki. Shogun no Shinjitsu [The Truth of Shogun]. Tokyo: Kojin, 1999.
Higashinakano, Shudo (Osamichi). “Nanking Gyakusatsu” no Tettei Kensho [A Through Probe of “The Nanjing Massacre”]. Tokyo: Tendensha, 1998.
History of the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). Compliled by Hsu Long-hsuen and Chang Ming-kai. Translated by Wen Ha-hsiung. Revised by Kao Cing-chen, Hu Pu-yu, Liu Han-mou, Liu Ih-po and Lu Pao-ching. Taipei: Chung Wu Publishing, 1971.
Honda, Katsuichi. Nankin he no Michi [The Road to Nanjing]. Tokyo: Asahi Bunko, 1989.
________. The Nanjing Massacre: A Japanese Journalist Confronts Japan’s National Shame. Translated by Karen Sandness and edited by Frank Gibney. Armonk: M. E. Sharpe, 1999.
Hsü Shuhsi. The War Conduct of the Japanese. Shanghai: Kelly and Walsh, 1938.
________. A New Digest of Japanese War Conduct. Shanghai: Kelly & Walsh, 1941.
Imai, Masatake. “Nanking Shinai no Tairyo Satsujin [Mass Murders in the City of Nanjing].” In Mokugekisha ga Kataru Showashi 5: Nichi Chu Senso [Showa History Told by Witnesses 5: Sino-Japanese War]. Tokyo: Shin Jinbutsu Ourai, 1989.
“In the Propaganda Arena (in Surveys; Professional Services).” Public Opinion Quarterly 2.3 (July 1938): 491-496.
Inoue, Hisashi. “Itai Maisou Kiroku ha Gizou Shiryo de ha Nai [The Burial Records are not fabricated evidence].” In Nanking Jiken Chosa Kenkyukai [The Nanjing Incident Research Group]. Nanking Daigyakusatsu Hiteiron 13 no Uso [Thirteen lies in the Nanjing Massacre Deniers’ Claims]. Tokyo: Kashiwa Shobo, 1999.
Ishii, Itaro. Gaikokan no Issho [A Life of A Diplomat]. Quoted in Shashinshu: Nanking Daigyakusatsu [Photographs: The Nanjing Massacre]. Tokyo: Elpis Publishing, 1995.
Ishikawa, Tatsuzo. Ikiteiru Heitai [Living Soldiers]. Tokyo: Chuo Koron, 1938. Reprint Tokyo: Chuko Bunko, 1999.
Japanese Diplomatic Messages. “Red Machine” (1934-1938). No. 1257 and No. 1263, Box 1, Record Group 457. The National Archives at College Park, MD.
Jaranilla, Delfin. “Concurring Opinion.” In The Tokyo Judgment: The International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) 29 April 1946 – 12 November 1948. Edited by B. V. A. Röling and C. F. Rüter. Amsterdam: University Press Amsterdam, 1977.
Kasahara, Tokushi. Nanking Nanminku no Hyakunichi [One Hundred Days in the Nanking Safety Zone]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1995.
________. Nanking Jiken [The Nanjing Incident]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1997.
Kawata, Fumiko. “Nanking Senryo Chokugo ni Hajimatta Ianjo Setchi [The Establishment of Consolation Houses Started Right After the Capture of Nanjing].” Kinyobi 8.9 (10 March 2000): 39-41.
Kitamura, Minoru. “‘Nanking Daigyakusatsu’ Kenkyu Josetsu (Jo) [An Introduction to the Research on ‘The Nanjing Massacre’ (1)].” Toa 388 (October 1999): 33-42.
Kusamori, Shinichi. “Fukyoka Shashin Ron: Houkoku no Shashin 2 [An Essay on Disapproved Photographs: Journalistic Photos on Japan 2].” In Mainichi Shinbun Hizou Fukyoka Shashin 2 [Stashed Photographs in Mainichi Newspaper: the Disapproved 2]. Tokyo: Mainichi Shinbun, 1999.
Lasker, Bruno and Agnes Roman. Propaganda from China and Japan: A Case Study in Propaganda Analysis. American Council, Institute of Pacific Relations, 1938.
Leo Ou-fan Lee. “Literary Trends: the Road to Revolution 1927-1949.” In The Cambridge History of China 13. Edited by John K. Fairbank and Denis Twithchett. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Matsumoto, Shigeharu. Shanghai Jidai (Ge): Journalist no Kaiso [The Shanghai Age (3): A Journalist’s Memoirs]. Tokyo: Chuo Koron, 1975.
Minear, Richard H. Victor’s Justice: The Tokyo War Crimes Trial. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1971.
Minnie Vautrin Papers. Special Collection, Yale Divinity School Library, Record Group No. 8 and No. 11.
“Missionaries Write Home.” Letter from Arthur D. Berry, The Christian Advocate (6 January 1938): 7. Quoted in Paul A. Varg. Missionaries, Chinese, and Diplomats. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1958.
Mokugekisha ga Kataru Showashi 5: Nichi Chu Senso [Showa History Told by Witnesses 5: Sino-Japanese War]. Tokyo: Shin Jinbutsu Ourai, 1989.
Nakagaki, Hideo. “Nankin Jiken no Kenshou 2 [Verification of the Nanjing Incident 2].” Gouyu (February 2000): 25-30.
Nakamura, Akira. “Nanking de Kangaeta ‘Nanking Jiken’ [Reflecting on ‘The Nanjing Incident’ in Nanjing].” Seiron 329 (January 2000): 86-96.
________. “Nanking Jiken “Nichi Chu Taiwa Ryokou” Watashi ga Nyukoku Kyohi sareta Wake [The Nanjing Incident: Reasons That My Visa Application for A Trip of ‘Dialogue between Japan and China,’ Was Rejected].” Seiron 333 (May 2000): 61-72.
Nanking Daigyakusatsu o Kirokushita Kogun Heishitach [Imperial Army Soldiers Who Recorded the Nanjing Massacre]. Compiled by Kenji Ono, et al. Tokyo, Otsuki Shoten, 1996.
Nanking Jiken Chosa Kenkyukai [The Nanjing Incident Research Group]. Nanking Daigyakusatsu Hiteiron 13 no Uso [Thirteen lies in the Nanjing Massacre Deniers’ Claims]. Tokyo: Kashiwa Shobo, 1999.
Nanking Senshi [History of the Battle of Nanjing]. Tokyo. Kaiko, 1989.
Nanking Senshi Shiryoshu I [Historical Records of the Battle of Nanjing I]. Tokyo: Kaiko, 1989.
Nanking Senshi Shiryoshu II [Historical Records of the Battle of Nanjing II]. Tokyo: Kaiko, 1993.
National Archives and Records Service. Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East.
Okumiya, Masatake. Watashi no Mita Nanking Jiken [The Nanjing Incident That I Saw]. Tokyo: PHP Kenkyujo, 1997.
Ono, Kenji. “Gyakusatsu ka Kaihou ka: Yamada Shitai Horyo Yaku Niman no Yukue” [Massacre or Discharge? Fate of the about 20,000 Prisoners of War Captured by the Yamada Detachment].” In Nanking Jiken Chosa Kenkyukai [The Nanjing Incident Research Group]. Nanking Daigyakusatsu Hiteiron 13 no Uso [Thirteen lies in the Nanjing Massacre Deniers’ Claims]. Tokyo: Kashiwa Shobo, 1999.
Pal, Radhabinod. “Judgment.” In The Tokyo Judgment: The International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) 29 April 1946 – 12 November 1948. Edited by B. V. A. Röling and C. F. Rüter. Amsterdam: University Press Amsterdam, 1977.
Piccigallo, Philip R. The Japanese on Trial: Allied War Crimes Operations in the East, 1945-1951. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1979.
Rabe, John. The Good Man of Nanking: the Diaries of John Rabe. Edited by Erwin Wickert. Translated by John E. Woods. New York: Alfred A. Knope, 1998.
Röling, Bernard V. A. “Opinion.” In The Tokyo Judgment: The International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) 29 April 1946 – 12 November 1948. Edited by B. V. A. Röling and C. F. Rüter. Amsterdam: University Press Amsterdam, 1977.
Selden, Joseph P. Review of Japan: A World Problem, by H. J. Timperley. The Far Eastern Quarterly 2.4 (August 1943): 389-391.
Shogen: Nanking Daigyakusatsu [Evidence: the Nanjing Massacre]. Translated by Kagami Mitsuyuki and Himeta Mitsuyoshi. Tokyo: Aoki Shoten, 1984.
Smythe, Lewis S. C. War Damage in the Nanking Area: December 1937 to March 1938. Shanghai: Shanghai Mercury Press, 1938.
Snow, Edgar. Battle for Asia. New York: Random House, 1941.
Sun Zhaiwei. “Resistance by Citizens and Soldiers of Nanjing in the Nanjing Massacre.” In Nihongun ha Chugoku de Nani wo Shitaka [What the Imperial Army of Japan Did in China]. Edited and translated by Kiyoshi Inoue and Tadashi Hiroshima. Tokyo: Aki Shobo, 1994.
________. “Nanking Daigyakusatsu no Kibo wo Ronjiru [Lecture on the Scale of the Nanjing Massacre].” Speech at the Tokyo International Symposium: 60th Anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre, Tokyo, Japan, 13-14 December 1997. In Nanking Jiken wo Do Miruka: Nichi, Chu, Bei Kenkyusha ni Yoru Kensho [How to perceive the Nanjing Massacre: Verifications by Japanese, Chinese and American Researchers]. Edited by Akira Fujiwara. Tokyo: Aoki Shoten, 1998.
Sun Zhaiwei, et al. Nanjing Datsusha [The Nanjing Massacre]. Beijing, 1997. Quoted in Yang Daqing. “Convergence or Divergence? Recent Historical Writings on the Rape of Nanking.” American Historical Review 104.3 (June 1999): 853.
Taiheiyou Senso Kenkyukai [The Pacific War Research Group]. “Nanking Gyakusatsu de Tairitsu suru Shougenshatachi [Conflicting eye-witness accounts of the Nanjing Massacre].” In Mokugekisha ga Kataru Showashi 5: Nichi Chu Senso [Showa History Told by Witnesses 5: Sino-Japanese War]. Tokyo: Shin Jinbutsu Ourai, 1989.
Tanaka, Masaaki. Nanking Jiken no Sokatsu: Gyakusatsu Hitei 15 no Ronkyo [The Nanjing Incident Overview: Fifteen Reasons To Deny the Massacre]. Tokyo: Kenkosha, 1987.
“The Sack of Nanking.” Readers’ Digest (July 1938): 28-31.
The Tokyo Judgment: The International Military Tribunal for the Far East (I.M.T.F.E.) 29 April 1946 – 12 November 1948. Edited by Röling, B. V. A. and C. F. Rüter. Amsterdam: University Press Amsterdam, 1977.
The Tokyo War Crimes Trial: Proceedings of the Tribunal / Pages 1-2,097. Edited by R. John Pritchard and Sonia Magbanua Zaide. New York: Garland Publishing, 1981.
Timperley, H. J. Japanese Terror in China. New York: Modern Age Books, 1938. Timperley, H. J. Japanese Terror in China. New York: Modern Age Books, 1938.
________. Japan: A World Problem. New York: The John Day Company, 1942.
________. “Yoshida Shoin Martyred Prophet of Japanese Expansionism.” Far Eastern Quarterly 1.4 (August 1942): 337-347.
Varg, Paul A. Missionaries, Chinese, and Diplomats: The American Protestant Missionary Movement in China, 1890-1952. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1958.
“We Were In Nanking,” Readers’ Digest (October 1938): 41-44.
Webb, William. “Separate Opinion.” In The Tokyo Judgment: The International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) 29 April 1946 – 12 November 1948. Edited by B. V. A. Röling and C. F. Rüter. Amsterdam: University Press Amsterdam, 1977.
Whiting, Allen S. China Eyes Japan. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989.
Williams, Frederick Vincent. Behind the News in China. New York: Nelson Hughes, 1938.
Wu Tien-wei. “Preface.” In American Missionary Eyewitnesses to the Nanking Massacre 1937-1938. Edited by Martha L. Smalley. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale Divinity School Library, 1997.
Yang Daqing. “Convergence or Divergence? Recent Historical Writings on the Rape of Nanjing.” American Historical Review 104.3 (June 1999): 842-865.
________. “Challenges of Trans-National History: historians and the Nanjing Atrocity.” SAIS Review 19.2 (Summer-Fall 1999): 133-147.
Yoshida, Takashi. “A Battle Over History: The Nanjing Massacre in Japan.” In The Nanjing Massacre in History and Historiography. Edited by Joshua A. Fogel. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.
Yoshida, Yutaka. Tenno no Guntai to Nanking Jiken [The Emperor’s Military and the Nanjing Incident]. Tokyo: Aoki Shoten, 1986.
________. “Nanking Jiken no Zenyo ga Semaru Rekishi Ninshiki [The Whole Picture of the Nanjing Incident Obliges Us to Recognize the History].” Zenei 695 (January 1998): 58-67.
________. “Honto ni Daremo ga Nanking Jiken no Koto wo Shiranakatta no darouka [Did No One Really Know about the Nanjing Incident?].” In Nanking Jiken Chosa Kenkyukai [The Nanjing Incident Research Group]. Nanking Daigyakusatsu Hiteiron 13 no Uso [Thirteen lies in the Nanjing Massacre Deniers’ Claims]. Tokyo: Kashiwa Shobo, 1999.
Yoshimi, Yoshiaki. Jugun Ianfu [Comfort Women]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1995.
(Following articles were obtained in many different ways. Some articles did not have either bylines or headlines. In such case, only the name of the paper and dates are listed.)
Asahi Shinbun, 24 January 2000.
________, 25 January 2000.
“Chiang Urges China to Fight to Bitter End.” Chicago Daily News, 16 December 1937.
China Youth Daily, 18 January 2000.
________, 24 January 2000.
Durdin, Tillman. “All Captives Slain.” The New York Times, 18 December 1937.
________. “Japanese Atrocities Marked Fall of Nanking After Chinese Command Fled.” The New York Times, 9 January 1938.
Efron, Soni. “Defender of Japan’s War Past.” The Los Angeles Times, 9 May 1997.
“‘No Surrender’ Chiang Kai-shek’s Call to the Nation.” The Times (London), 17 December 1937.
McDaniel, C. Yates. “Nanking Horror Described in Diary of War Reporter.” Chicago Daily Tribune, 18 December 1937.
Reid, T. R. “Japan’s Leader Seeks To Meet With Clinton.” The Washington Post, 11 August 1993.
________. “Japan’s Hata Reprimands Justice Chief: Ex-General Disputed ‘Rape of Nanjing’.” The Washington Post, 5 May 1994.
________. “On Japan’s WWII Resolution, Right Wing Blinks and Prime Minister Wins.” The Washington Post, 8 June 1995.
Renmin Ribao, 18 January 2000
“Retreat Course Changed,” Chicago Daily News, 11 December 1937.
San Francisco News, 27 March 1942
Steele, A. T. “Big Guns Rake Nanking, Defense Is Abandoned.” Chicago Daily News, 13 December 1937.
________. “Nanking Massacre Story: Japanese Troops Kill Thousands.” Chicago Daily News, Red Streak Edition, 15 December 1937.
________. “War’s Death Drama Pictured by Reporter.” Chicago Daily News, 17 December 1937.
Sterngold, James. “Japan’s Leader Vows Action on Political System.” The New York Times, 24 August 1993.
Stokes, Dillard. A series of articles in the Washington Post on 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 19, 20, 26, 27 of May 1942 and 2, 5, 6 of June 1942.
“Terror in Nanking.” The Times (London), 18 Dec. 1937.
The Daily Yomiuri, 11 May 1994.
The New York Times, 4 January 1938.
The San Francisco Chronicle, 28 March 1942.
________, 11 May 1942.
The Straits Times, 4 February 2000.
The Times (London), 29 November 1954.
The Manchester Guardian, 29 November 1954.
China Invaded. Filmed by John Magee. 11 min. 1938. Motion picture film. Collection H. National Archives at College Park, MD.
Nanking. Produced by Keiji Matsusaki. 22 min. 1938. Motion picture film. Record Group 242. National Archives at Collage Park, MD.
Nanking. Produced by Keiji Matsusaki. 56 min. 1938. Nihon Eiga Shinsha. Videocassette.
The Battle of China. Directed by Frank Capra and Anatole Litvak. 67 min. Signal Corps, 1944. Motion picture film. Record Group 111. National Archives at Collage Park, MD.
Shantou University Press
The National Archives at College Park, MD.
Yale Divinity School Library
Interviews by Author
Fujiwara, Akira. Tokyo, 25 February 2000.
Hata, Ikuhiko. Tokyo, 19 February 2000.
Higashinakano, Shudo (Osamichi). Tokyo, 3 March 2000.
Itami, Myoko. Atami (Shizuoka Prefecture), 13 March 2000.
Kasahara, Tokushi. Tokyo, 4 March 2000.
Mizutani, Naoko. Tokyo, 13 February 2000.
Ono, Kenji. Iwaki (Fukushima Prefecture), 11 March 2000.
Sato, Shinju. Fujisawa (Kanagawa Prefecture), 28 February 2000.
Shao Tzuping. New York, 24 January 2000.
Smalley, Martha L. New Haven, Connecticut, 25 January 2000.
Wang Weixing. Nanjing, 30 March 2000.
Yang Daqing. Washington D.C., 21 January 2000.
Yoshida, Takashi. New York, 24 January 2000.
Yoshida, Yutaka. Tokyo, 24 February 2000.
Zhang Lianhong. Nanjing, 24 March 2000.
Zhu Chengshan. Nanjing, 24 March 2000.
Videotaped Interviews by Kenji Ono
Hayashi, Junzo (pseudonym). 26 June 1994.
Kawashima, Noriyasu (pseudonym). 21 August 1994.
Kawata, Senji (pseudonym). 12 June 1994.
Kurosu, Tadanobu (pseudonym). 4 June 1994.
Takayanagi, Shinichi (pseudonym). 11 June 1994.
Taniguchi, Toshimitsu (pseudonym). 5 June 1994.
Yamazaki, Kohei (pseudonym). 11 June 1994.
Jiang Genfu. Speech at the Memorial Hall for Compatriot Victims of the Japanese Military’s Nanjing Massacre. Nanjing, 1 April 2000.
Ni Quiping. Speech at the Memorial Hall for Compatriot Victims of the Japanese Military’s Nanjing Massacre. Nanjing, 1 April 2000.
Awaya, Kentaro. Tokyo Saiban Ron [Discussion on the Tokyo War Crimes Trial]. Tokyo: Otsuki Shoten, 1989.
Azuma, Shiro. Waga Nanking Platoon: Ichi Shoushuhei no Taikenshita Nanking Daigyakusatsu [A Platoon in Nanjing: The Nanjing Massacre Experienced by a Conscripted Soldier]. Tokyo: Aoki Shoten, 1987.
Baker, Kevin. “The Rape of Nanjing.” Contemporary Review 267.1556 (September 1995): 124-128.
Barnard, Christopher. Nanking Gyakusatsu ha “Okotta” Noka: Koko Rekishi Kyoukasho eno Gengogakuteki Hihan [Has the Nanjing Massacre “broken out?”: Critiques of Japanese High School Textbooks in a Functional Grammar Approach]. Tokyo: Chikuma Shobou, 1998.
Bergamini, David. Japan’s Imperial Conspiracy. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1971.
Buruma, Ian. The Wages of Guilt: Memories of War in Germany and Japan. New York: Farrar Strraus Giroux, 1994.
Chang, Iris. The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II. New York: Basic Books, 1997.
Dower, John W. Japan in War and Peace. New York: New Press, 1993.
Fogel, Joshua A. “The Controversy over Iris Chang’s Recent Book, The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II.” Sekai 667(November 1999): 252-257.
Fujiwara, Akira. Tennosei to Guntai [The Emperor System and the Military]. Tokyo: Aoki Shoten, 1978.
Gluck, Carol. “The Rape of Nanking: How ‘the Nazi Buddha’ Resisted the Japanese.” Times Literary Supplement 4917(27 June 1997): 9-10.
Hata, Ikuhiko, Takao Sakamoto, Kazutoshi Handou, and Masayasu Hosaka eds. Showashi no Ronten [Issues in Showa History]. Tokyo: Bungei Shunju, 2000.
Higashinakano, Shudo and Nobukatsu Fujioka. “The Rape of Nanking” no Kenkyu: Chugoku ni Okeru “Jouhousen” no Teguchi to Senryaku [Inquisition of “the Rape of Nanking”: Techniques and Strategies for “Propaganda War” in China]. Tokyo: Shoudensha, 1999.
Hora, Tomio, Akira Fujiwara and Katusichi Honda, et al., eds. Nanking Jiken wo Kangaeru [Probing the Nanjing Incident]. 4th ed. Tokyo: Otsuki Shoten, 1994.
Hotta, Yoshie. Jikan [Time]. Tokyo: Shinchosha, 1955. Reprint in Hotta Yoshie Zenshu 2 [The Complete Works of Yoshie Hotta 2]. Tokyo: Chikuma Shobo, 1993.
________. Shanghai Nite [In Shanghai]. Tokyo: Chikuma Shobo, 1959. Reprint, Tokyo: Chikuma Bunko, 1995.
________. Meguriaishi Hitobito [People I have met]. Tokyo: Shueisha Bunko, 1999.
Hsü Shuhsi. How the Far Eastern War Was Begun. Shanghai: Kelly & Walsh, 1938.
Itakura, Yoshiaki. Honto ha Kodatta Nanking Jiken [The Nanjing Incident: This is what actually happened]. Tokyo: Kindai Bungeisha, 1999.
Kitamura, Minoru. “‘Nanking Daigyakusatsu’ Kenkyu Josetsu (Chu) [An Introduction to the Researches on ‘The Nanjing Massacre’ (2)].” Toa 390(December 1999): 40-50.
________. “‘Nanking Daigyakusatsu’ Kenkyu Josetsu (Ge) [An Introduction to the Researches on ‘The Nanjing Massacre’ (3)].” Toa 391(January 2000): 45-56.
Kodama, Yoshio. Sugamo Diary. Translated by Taro Fukuda. Japan: Radio Press, 1960.
Kojima, Noboru. Ni-Chu Senso (3) [Sino-Japanese War (3)]. Tokyo: Bungei Shunju, 1984.
MacKinnon, Stephan. “Remembering the Nanjing Massacre: ‘In the Name of the Emperor’ (1995).” Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 15.3(August 1995): 431-433.
Matsumura, Toshio. “Nanking Gyakusatsu” heno Daigimon [Queries about “The Nanjing Massacre”]. Tokyo: Tendensha, 1998.
Murakami, Hyoe. Japan: The Years of Trial, 1919-52. Tokyo: Japan Cultural Institute, 1982.
Nakamura, Akira. Daitoa Senso he no Michi [En Route to the Great East Asian War]. Tokyo: Tendensha, 1990.
Nanjing Datsusha Ziliao Bianji Weiyuanhui [Committee for the Compilation of Sources on the Nanjing Massacre]. Qin-Hua Rijun Nanjing Datsusha Shiliao [Historical Materials on the Nanjing Massacre by the Japanese Troops Who Invaded China]. Nanjing: Jiangsu Guji Chubanshe, 1985.
Peattie, Mark, R. Ishiwara Kanji and Japan’s Confrontation with the West. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1975.
Rabe, John. Nanking no Shinjitsu [The Truth of Nanjing: the Diary of John Rabe]. Edited by Erwin Wickert and translated by Hirano Kyouko. Tokyo: Koudansha, 1997.
Shao Tzuping. “John Magee’s Documentary Footage of the Massacre in Nanjing, China, 1937-1938.” Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 15.3(August 1995): 425-429.
Snow, Edgar. “The Political Battle of Asia.” In Smash Hitler’s International: The Strategy of a Political Offensive Against the Axis. New York: The Greystone Press, 1941.
Sugiyama, Eiji. Shanghai yori Nanking wo Tsuku: Sensen Reportage [Thrusting into Nanjing from Shanghai: Reportage on the Battle Front]. Tokyo: Showa Shobo, 1937.
Suzuki, Akira. Shin “Nanking Daigyakusatsu” no Maboroshi [Illusions of “The Nanjing Massacre,” Renewed Edition]. Tokyo: Asukashinsha, 1999.
Tawara, Yoshifumi. Kyokasho Kogeki no Shinso [The Depths of Attacks on School Textbooks]. Tokyo: Gakushu no Tomo Sha, 1997.
Unemoto, Masaki. Shinso Nanking Jiken: Rabe Nikki wo Kensho shite [The Truth about the Nanjing Incident: Scrutiny of John Rabe’s Diary]. Tokyo: Kenpakusha, 1998.
Yang Daqing. “Rekishika e no Chosen: ‘Nanking Atrocities’ o Megutte [The Nanjing Atrocities as Challenges to Historians].” Shiso 890(August 1998): 83-109.
________. “The Challenges of the Nanjing Massacre: Reflections on Historical Inquiry.” In The Nanjing Massacre in History and Historiography. Edited by Joshua A. Fogel. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.
Yoshida, Takashi. “Nanking Gyakusatsu wa Do Katararetekita ka: Nichi, Chu, Bei ni Okeru Hikaku Kosatsu [How has “the Nanjing Massacre” been portrayed?: Comparative Studies between Japan, China and the United States]. Senso Sekinin Kenkyu 24(Summer 1999): 29-37.
Go back to: Table of Contents
Unknown Number of Victims from the Beginning
Without doubt the total number of victims in the Nanking Atrocities per se by no means signifies the cruelty and barbarism of the incident.
No matter what the actual death toll was, the fact that Japanese soldiers were engaged in wanton executions and reckless rapes remains the same.
It is also true, however, that the number has been tinged with politically symbolic meaning and has maintained the emotional controversy for decades.
For Japanese conservatives, the figure of 200,000 connotes “victor’s justice” at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. In their eyes it was an overly inflated estimate based on groundless evidence, and any number in the hundreds of thousands is a pure nonsense.
In China the figure of 300,000, the death toll reckoned at the Nanking War Crimes Tribunal, is the official estimate engraved on the stone wall at the entrance of the Qin-Hua Rijun Nanjing Datsusha Yunan Tongbao Jinianguan, or the Memorial Hall for Compatriot Victims of the Japanese Military’s Nanjing Massacre.
As historian Yang Daqing at George Washington University points out, it denotes the “justice, legality, and authority of the postwar trials” in Nanking. Thus, for many Chinese any question about the death toll is considered motivated by ill will. 
However, as seen below, estimates of the total number of victims have never been definite and consistent, even after the release of the two tribunals’ judgments.
For instance, more than a month after the city fell, Miner Searle Bates, a professor of history at the University of Nanking and a member of the International Committee for the Nanking Safety Zone, wrote on January 25, 1938, “close to forty thousand unarmed persons were killed within and near the walls of Nanking, of whom some 30 percent had never been soldiers.” 
Lewis Smythe, a sociologist at the University of Nanking, initially reported on March 21, “… it is estimated that 10,000 persons were killed inside the walls of Nanking and about 30,000 outside the walls…. These people estimated that of this total about 30 percent were civilians.” 
Then in the spring of 1938, Smythe conducted a field survey to assess the damages and losses at Nanking and its vicinity under the auspices of the International Relief Committee. His research resulted in civilian victims of 6,600 (2,400 massacred and 4,200 abducted (and mostly missing)) within the city and 26,870 in the vicinity. 
Robert Wilson, a surgeon at the American-administered University Hospital in the Safety Zone, wrote in his letter to the family, “a conservative estimate of people slaughtered in cold blood is somewhere about 100,000, including of course thousands of soldiers that had thrown down their arms” on March 7, 1938. 
The chairman of the International Committee, John Rabe, gave a series of lectures in Germany after he came back to Berlin on April 15, 1938, in which he said, “We Europeans put the number [of civilian casualties] at about 50,000 to 60,000.” 
According to reports from the United Press and Reuters, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek announced as early as December 16, 1937, three days after the city fell, in Hankow, “Chinese army casualties on all fronts exceed 300,000. The loss of civilian life and property is beyond computation.” 
This was probably the first time a figure of hundreds of thousands was officially mentioned in the Second Sino-Japanese War, although Chiang’s estimate included all the battlefronts in China since the beginning of hostilities on July 7, 1937.
On January 11, 1938, a correspondent for the Manchester Guardian, Harold Timperley, apparently tried to cable a similar estimate but was censored out by the Japanese authority in Shanghai because in his report it was “not less than 300,000 Chinese civilians” who were slaughtered in cold blood in “Nanking and elsewhere.” His message was relayed from Shanghai to Tokyo to be sent out to the Japanese Embassies in Europe and the United States. 
On January 17, 1938, when Japan’s Foreign Minister, Hirota Koki, sent a message to his contact in Washington D.C., the cable was intercepted by American intelligence and translated into English. According to the translation, which is now available at the National Archives, Timperley also reported about robbery, rape, and other brutal conduct by the Japanese troops that were going on in the walled city.
Another journalist, Edgar Snow, wrote in 1941 that his source in the Nanking International Relief Committee told him “the Japanese murdered no less than 42,000 people in Nanking alone, a large percentage of them women and children.” 
“In one of the bloodiest massacres of recorded history,” annotated Frank Capra’s U.S. war propaganda documentary, The Battle of China, from the Way We Fight series in 1944, “they [Japanese] murdered 40,000 men, women and children.” 
In 1947 at the Nanking War Crimes Tribunal, the verdict of Lieutenant General Tani Hisao, the commander of the 6th Division, quoted the figure of more than 300,000 victims.  Apparently the estimation was made from burial records and eyewitness accounts. It concluded that some 190,000 were illegally executed on a massive scale at various execution sites and 150,000 were individually massacred.
The International Military Tribunal for the Far East estimated in its judgment that “over 200,000” civilians and prisoners of war were murdered during the first six weeks of the Japanese occupation.  That number was based on burial records submitted by two charitable organizations, the Red Swastika Society and the Chung Shan Tang (Tsung Shan Tong), the research done by Smythe and some estimates given by survivors.
However, the tribunal seems not to have been concerned much about the exact number of victims. In the verdict of General Matsui Iwane, the commander-in-chief of the Central China Area Army, the IMTFE contradictorily indicated that, “In this period of six or seven weeks… upwards of 100,000 people were killed.” 
Even years after the two war crimes tribunals announced their estimates, neither of the death tolls took hold as an established figure.
Take, for instance, the Military History Bureau of the Ministry of National Defense of Republic of China (Taiwan) that compiled and published the 100-volume History of the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). In its concise version published in 1971, the researchers claimed, “Their [Japanese] slaughter of more than 100,000 people of Nanking was typically representative of their brutality.” 
In 1986, historian Lloyd Eastman at University of Illinois introduced a figure somewhat close to the early estimates reached by the Western missionaries in respected The Cambridge History of China. “During seven weeks of savagery,” wrote Eastman, “at least 42,000 Chinese were murdered in cold blood, many of them buried alive or set afire with kerosene.” 
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©2000 Masato Kajimoto. All Rights Reserved
Disagreement over the Death Toll
Although the precise death toll has never been historically established as a definite fact, it is evident that a large number of Chinese people were massacred in merciless fashion in Nanking.
In the ongoing controversy, however, one side of the dispute often calls a “denier” anyone who writes off a certain figure as “inflated.”
Conversely if one dismisses a certain estimate as “minimized,” the other side of the polemic tends to place the label “masochistic” for Japanese and “hysteric” or a “political agent” for Chinese.
The notion here is that if the figure of 300,000 (or any higher end of the estimates for that matter) does not stand, it is no longer the Nanking Atrocities (or the Nanjing Massacre or the Rape of Nanking).
Some try to refute the figure of 300,000 (or 200,000) in an attempt to prove that the atrocities did not take place. Others try to enshrine the figure of 300,000 (200,000) in an effort to emphasize the scale of the atrocities.
Caught up in the “mathematical game,” the two extreme sides tend to use the number of people massacred as a benchmark to measure every criminal act such as abduction, rape, looting, and arson. In their arguments, therefore, the more the dead bodies, the more incendiarism, violations of women, and pillage were committed by the Japanese troops. The higher the death toll is, the worse the atrocities are, and vice versa.
Indeed, the focal point of the recent controversy has always been the final death toll. This tendency, unfortunately, has blinded the general public to the current scholarship and how estimates were arrived at.
Ignoring any logical explanation behind the figure, some take up only the final death toll suggested by a researcher and condemn it as either diminishing or exaggerating the scale of the Nanking Atrocities.
Below are the two typical examples of historical evidence that have been pointed to for decades in the emotional polemic despite the efforts of many historians to explain the rationale for their calculations.
Population of Nanjing
The exact population of Nanking when the city fell onto the hands of the Japanese Imperial Army is simply impossible to figure out since no one could possibly record the inflow and outflow of people during wartime.
However, from the day the Japanese troops occupied the city onward, many members of the International Committee for the Nanking Safety Zone repeatedly stated in their official documents, diaries and letters that around 250,000 refugees were living in the camps within the Safety Zone and many fewer people, “probably not more than ten thousands,” as reported by one of the members, Miner Searle Bates, were living outside the refugee camps. 
Considering that they were the ones who arranged food and other supplies for the relief of the refugees, probably their calculation of the population was not far off the mark.
Although this number did not include the Chinese troops, which in foreign journalists’ estimates amounted to about 50,000,  the massacre of 300,000 or even 200,000 people simply looks implausible since those missionaries, who incessantly protested against the orgy of murders, looting, rapes and arson by the Japanese troops, did not record any drastic population drops as a result of the atrocities.
Indeed, Lewis Smythe, a sociologist at the University of Nanking, conducted a survey in the spring of 1938 that showed much smaller number of civilian victims, as did other members of the International Committee.
The second question often raised by many is the credibility of burial records of the Chung Shan Tang (Tsung Shan Tong), a 140-year-old charitable organization in Nanjing. Although their reports that recorded the burial of 112,267 bodies was adduced to the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, they were actually prepared for the tribunal after the war ended because the original manuscripts were allegedly all lost during the eight years of Japanese occupation.
Of course that does not mean that the Chung Shan Tang doctored their reports. The available Chinese documents of that time showed that the organization started burying the dead bodies scattered over certain parts of the city at the beginning of 1938 at the latest. Forty full-time staff and numerous part-timers buried their countrymen and women inside the city walls until March and worked outside of the walls in April.
It should be noted, however, that none of the other documents written by members of the International Committee or the Japanese authorities in Nanjing mentioned that the Tsun Shan Tang was engaged in burial work, while they recorded that another charitable organization, the Red Swastika Society, buried about 40,000 bodies.
Their burial reports also showed a rather disproportionate number of the bodies buried each month. In the first one hundred days from December to March they recorded 7,549 bodies, about 75 per day. In the last three weeks in April when they went outside the city walls, however, they claimed to have buried an additional 104,718, about 5,000 bodies per day. 
The Estimates by Historians and Their Rationale
It is safe to say that today the majority of historians estimate the death toll of the Nanking Atrocities in the range between 200,000 and 300,000 as claimed by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East or the Nanjing War Crimes Tribunal.
However, what is fundamentally different is their reasoning for the figures and their “definition” of the Nanking Atrocities, namely the duration of the incident, the boundaries of Nanjing area, and in some cases the breakdown of the death toll by soldiers killed in action, prisoners of war and innocent civilians.
For instance, historian Kasahara Tokushi at Tsuru University and Fujiwara Akira, a professor emeritus at Hitotsubashi University, take into account that Japanese soldiers continually committed atrocities throughout the march between Shanghai and Nanjing.
They consider that the entire Nanjing Special Municipality, which consisted of the walled city and its neighboring six counties, should be included when discussing the Nanking Atrocities. 
Kasahara researched the damages and losses in those local areas where the Japanese troops swarmed through during the Battle of Nanking and concluded that a greater number of people were slaughtered in rural areas than inside the walled city. Given the fact that the population of the entire Special Municipality was over one million in early December, Kasahara estimated close to 200,000 people were massacred in total. 
In an agreement with Kasahara, Fujiwara defined the duration of the Nanking Atrocities “from the commencement of Japanese attack on the Nanjing Municipality in early December 1937 until [late] March 1938 when the Japanese Army officially declared that public security was restored,” and concluded “nearly 200,000 or even more soldiers and civilians”  were massacred.
Many historians such as Yoshida Yutaka at Hitotsubashi University and Joshua Fogel at the University of California, Santa Barbara, embrace Kasahara’s research and his conceptualization of the Nanking Atrocities. 
The director of the Memorial Hall for Compatriot Victims of the Japanese Military’s Nanjing Massacre, Zhu Chengshan, also agrees with the definition proposed by Kasahara and Fujiwara but has a different opinion as to the number of the victimized Chinese POWs. In his estimate, “not less than 300,000” were massacred in the Nanjing Special Municipality. 
Sun Zhaiwei, a scholar at the Jiangsu Academy of Social Sciences, adopts the death toll of more than 300,000 within and near the city limits, although he leaves some space for discussion, indicating the number could be “somewhat upward or downward.” 
In his research Sun calculated that the size of Nanking Defense Army was about 150,000 as opposed to the 50,000 troops previously believed. According to his study, a far greater number of people were living outside the refugee camps than was observed by the missionaries, which makes the death toll of 300,000 within and near the city plausible. 
“The neighboring six counties shouldn’t be included in the discussion of the Nanking Atrocities,” maintains Hata Ikuhiko, a professor at Nihon University. Hata thinks the “definition” must be in accordance with the one announced in the IMTFE judgment, which states, “This orgy of crime started with the capture of the City on the 13th December 1937 and did not cease until early in February 1938.” 
Though admitting that there were wholesale atrocities outside the walled city and elsewhere in China, Hata believes historians should comply with the early definition for the sake of academic discussion.
“Only God knows the exact figure,” says Hata. 
“I don’t think the members of the Committee for the Safety Zone statistically calculated the population. And there could have been many people living outside the Safety Zone. After all it was only one-eighth the land of the entire city. So the population could have been higher than 250,000 and could have been lower as well. The thing is, we don’t even know what number to base on….”
“I think historians should stick to the definition given by the Tokyo War Crimes Trial. Right now we are arguing on different planes. But if we do agree on the definition, hopefully we could at least have a consensus if it was tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands.”
Hata dismisses the burial record of Chung Shan Tang (Tsung Shan Tong) as “unreliable”  and tentatively estimates the death toll of the massacred at 38,000 through 42,000  and the total number of deaths including Chinese soldiers killed in action at not more than 100,000. 
Higashinakano Shudo, a professor of intellectual history at Asia University, asserts that the burial record of the Chung Shan Tang was concocted for the tribunal. He also questions the credibility of the record given by the other charitable organization, the Red Swastika Society, asserting that of the recorded 40,000 bodies, only 13,000 to 15,000 were authentic. 
“My research shows that the Red Swastika Society could have possibly buried 15,000-odd bodies. Of course I am aware that there were bodies thrown into the Yangtze River,” says Higashinakano. “But even if we believe the figure of 40,000, it does not make much difference. The real question is whether those bodies were civilians or not, whether those people were illegally killed or not.” 
Higashinakano argues that the plain-clothes soldiers, Chinese soldiers who shed their uniforms and fled into the refugee camps, were all guerillas and violated the Hague Regulations of 1902. In his view those guerilla suspects were not entitled to be taken as prisoners of war, thus executing them should not be called massacre. Accordingly, he insists there was no systematic illegal mass murder in Nanking. 
Probably Higashinakano’s view represents the extreme side of the latest controversy. However, in Japan even some conservative scholars reject his interpretation of the International Law.
For instance, historian Nakamura Akira at Dokkyo University, a self-professed “genuine patriot” and a “right-winger,” notes that it is a massacre to kill prisoners of war including plain-clothes soldiers without any military trial. 
Nakagaki Hideo, a researcher at Boei Daigaku, or the Defense Academy, also admits that there were mass illegal executions of Chinese POWs.  Although both Nakamura and Nakagaki uphold far lower death tolls than claimed at the IMTFE, they do not deny the fact that the Nanking Atrocities took place.
A historian at Nanjing Normal University and also the secretary-general of the Research Center of Nanjing Massacre by the Japanese Aggressors, Zhang Lianhong, asserts that “recognition” must come first before “definition.”
He thinks historians of both countries including Japanese conservative scholars must reach a full consensus as to such essential factors as the flawed process of distinguishing plain-clothes soldiers from civilians and the illegitimacy of indiscriminately executing prisoners of war before discussing the actual number of victims.
“I don’t think the death toll is a key element of the Nanjing Massacre,” says Zhang.
“Some scholars say Chinese historians persist in the figure of 300,000 but I think it could be discussed between Japanese researchers and Chinese researchers. We [historians at the Research Center] are willing to talk to even Japan’s ‘conservative’ historians as long as they respect the historical fact that the Nanjing Massacre took place. Then we can discuss the details. I think joint research is the most important step towards a transnational consensus.” 
As Zhang articulated, almost all historians note that the exact death toll is not the highest priority in comprehending what actually happened in Nanking. They point out that there were other crimes such as rape, pillage, and arson that are now impossible to quantify.
In the interviews for this online documentary, many researchers said that the issue of the death toll must be discussed in a scholarly fashion. They maintain it should be a topic for academic debates, not for ideologically driven arguments.
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©2000 Masato Kajimoto. All Rights Reserved
Another Phase for the Controversy
In August 1993, four years after the demise of Emperor Hirohito, a significant transformation took place in Japan’s official stance on the nation’s role during World War II.
That month, Hosokawa Morihiro became the first prime minister who did not represent the long-dominant Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in 38 years.
Immediately after he took office, Hosokawa formally announced, “It [the Sino-Japanese War and the Pacific War] was a war of aggression, and it was wrong.” 
On August 23, in his maiden policy speech to the Diet, Hosokawa apologized for Japan’s past aggression and colonial rule for the third time.
“I would thus like to take this opportunity to express anew our profound remorse and apologies for the fact that past Japanese actions, including aggression and colonial rule, caused unbearable suffering and sorrow for so many people,” said Hosokawa. 
In 1995, the Diet passed a resolution on Japan’s responsibility for World War II that acknowledged the nation’s guilt for “acts of aggression” and “colonial rule.”
However, the compromise statement was criticized in some Asian countries due to its lack of the word “apology” and of any reference to specific brutal acts committed by Japanese troops during the war. 
The same year on August 15, the 50th anniversary of the end of WWII, Prime Minister Murayama Tomiichi went much further than the resolution by stating:
During a certain period in the not-too-distant past, Japan, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly those of Asia. In the hope that no such mistake will be made in the future, I regard, in a spirit of humanity, these irrefutable facts of history, and express here once again my feelings of deep remorse and state my heartfelt apology. 
“Such a conciliatory domestic environment,” writes historian Yoshida Takashi, the co-author of The Nanjing Massacre in History and Historiography, “provoked intense challenges” from Japanese conservatives and nationalists.
Senior LDP politicians such as environmental agency chief Sakurai Shin and education minister Shimamura Yoshinobu continued to make statements that played down Japan’s wartime aggression between 1994 and 1995. 
When interviewed by a national newspaper, Mainichi, in May 1994, newly appointed justice minister Nagano Shigeto told the paper that the Pacific War was a war of liberation and the Nanjing Massacre was a mere “fabrication.” 
His perception of Japan’s involvement in WWII and his remarks on this specific historical incident infuriated the Japanese people as well as people in China and South Korea. Two national newspapers, Asahi and Yomiuri, criticized Prime Minister Hata Tsutomu for not taking immediate action.
Consequently, Nagano was forced to resign only ten days after taking office. Hata subsequently sent a letter of apology to his Chinese counterpart, Li Peng, and telephoned South Korean President Kim Young Sam. 
At this point in the mid-1990s, the Nanking Atrocities once again came forward in the political arena, creating a foundation for another phase of ongoing polemic.
The vanguard was a professor of education at Tokyo University, Fujioka Nobukatsu.
Frustrated by the “pervasive Tokyo War Crimes Trial view of history” and “masochistic” descriptions of Japan’s imperial past in school textbooks approved by the Ministry of Education, Fujioka and his collaborators co-founded Jiyushugi Shikan Kenkyukai, or the Association for the Advancement of A Liberalist View of History, in January 1995, and Atarashi Kyokasho wo Tsukuru Kai, or the Society for Creating New History Textbooks, in December 1996, aiming to revise what he dubbed Japan’s “masochistic education” in history.
Fujioka and the two groups enjoyed large support from a variety of individuals including 62 lawmakers from the LDP, academics and novelists. 
Among other things, Fujioka questioned the death tolls of the Nanking Atrocities in the textbooks. He indicated the figures of hundreds of thousands were “groundless” and criticized especially those textbooks that quoted the number of “200,000” or “over 100,000” without attribution. 
Claiming to have been persuaded by “thorough and innovative” research on the topic by Higashinakano Shudo, a professor of intellectual history at Asia University, Fujioka later concluded that there was no massacre in 1937 Nanking. 
Throughout 1999, Fujioka and Higashinakano continued to contribute articles and essays to magazines and newspapers that sternly condemned other historians and reckoned the Nanjing Massacre as a latter-day fabrication.
Meanwhile, the two organizations founded by Fujioka also cooperated in disseminating Fujioka and Higashinakano’s view on the Nanking Atrocities. For instance, on July 31, 1999, the Association hosted a symposium in Tokyo that called the Nanjing Massacre “the biggest lie of the 20th century.” 
On January 23, 2000, a citizens’ group called “The Group to Rectify One-sided Wartime Exhibitions” organized a conference also dubbing the Rape of Nanking “the biggest lie of the 20th century” in the semi-public Osaka International Peace Center (commonly known as Peace Osaka in Japan).
Unlike the previous symposium or any other comparable forums, this particular conference, which invited Higashinakano as one of the key panelists, engaged keen attention from the media worldwide, especially in China.
About a week before the event took place, Chinese newspapers such as Renmin Ribao and China Youth Daily began reporting on the provocative title and the meeting’s intention to play down the Atrocities. 
Beijing officially urged Tokyo to take action to stop the forum. While assuring China of the Japanese government’s stance that the Nanjing Massacre was an undeniable fact, the Foreign Ministry said that it had no right to intervene in an event organized by citizens. 
In Nanking, one day after the conference was held, about 500 people gathered to protest at the Memorial Hall for Compatriot Victims of the Japanese Military’s Nanjing Massacre.
“The conference broke Chinese people’s hearts,” says Zhu Chengshan, the director of the Memorial Hall.
“It was the worst in the recent controversy. They conspicuously denied the historical fact and even labeled it ‘the biggest lie’ in the 20th century. Does freedom of speech mean that you can say anything to hurt people?” 
In China the mass media harshly criticized the event in their newspaper articles, editorials, and TV programs. Many local newspapers reprinted the editorial piece in Renmin Ribao titled “Who’s fabricating the ‘lie’?” written by Zhu.
In the headline for its editorial piece China Youth Daily even used the term, “riben guiji,” a derogatory expression meaning Japanese devils.  Shanghai TV made a lengthy news document titled “Wrath of Nanjing.” 
In Japan there was a difference of opinion about the event. Some argued that as long as it is not illegal, anyone should be allowed to speak one’s opinion freely. They said because Peace Osaka was a semi-public institution, the door must be open for everyone. Thus no one had the right to stop the event.
Others argued that since the Peace Osaka was established “not to forget the tremendous damage inflicted by Japan on people in China and other Asia-Pacific countries as well as people in Korea and Taiwan under colonial rule,” the administrators of the facility should have stopped any event that contradicted the principle. They said it was too harmful to be protected under freedom of speech and pointed out that if it had been in Germany, the conference would have been a punishable crime. 
About two and a half months later in Peace Osaka, those Japanese who were against the theme of the previous conference organized another meeting called “What the Nanjing Massacre calls for from Japan.”
This forum, which was held on April 8, 2000, also attracted media attention in Osaka and in Nanking. The forum was reported by the Chinese media as a rebuttal to the decision made by the Peace Osaka. The panel urged public officials to face Japan’s past deeds squarely. Among the panelists were Zhu and Yoshida Yutaka of Hitotsubashi University.
Interview: Yoshida Yutaka Yoshida Yutaka is a historian at Hitotsubashi University. He has published various books and articles on the Imperial Army’s involvement in wartime atrocities. He has done extensive research on the Army records and other historical evidence of the Nanking Atrocities in Japan.
Q: In the United States the Nanking Atrocities are often typified in the context that Japan has never admitted the evildoings of their countrymen during World War II. It seems many people, including some newspapers and scholars, believe Japanese in general don’t acknowledge the Rape of Nanking. Some even say the Japanese government has been trying to cover things up and gloss over the history. What do you think of that claim?
Yoshida: It is not entirely groundless to claim that Japan has been avoiding owing up to the past. But it is not like 1960s or 1970s anymore. The society has gone through a major change.
For instance, today every textbook mentions the Nanjing Massacre. On several occasions the Japanese government has officially acknowledged that large-scale atrocities took place.
Yes, there are a variety of voices in Japan now. But I personally think the debate whether it actually happened or not ended when Kaikosha [a war veterans’ organization holding some 18,000 members (see Confessions)] admitted the fact and apologized for it in mid-1980s. Since then our task has shifted to the analysis of the historical context of the Nanjing Massacre.
Q: But it is also true that in Japan there are still people who deny that the Nanking Atrocities ever happened, isn’t it?
Yoshida: Yes, but their argument is primarily based on an arbitrary interpretation of international law, which even conservative scholars wouldn’t agree with. They say executing plain-clothes soldiers and stragglers are not massacres.
But as I indicated in my research, it is indisputably unlawful to kill them without any legal procedure. It seems even right-leaning scholars are criticizing the interpretation of the law by the ‘denying camp.’ So I think they will have to take it back soon.
Frankly, I do not want to be bogged down in today’s controversy. It simply lacks the most important aspect of the historical analysis, which is, why it happened. What drove the Japanese troops to go on the rampage in the way they did in Nanjing, that’s what the research should be about.
Q: In Japan, some people question the credibility of certain historical materials relating to the Nanking Atrocities. Do you think it is an attempt to downplay the atrocities or an academic inquiry?
Yoshida: We should be aware of the limitation of historical material. Any evidence does not reflect all the facts in one piece. So we should put them together in perspective.
Better yet, we can only come up with an image. We cannot reconstruct the past exactly as it happened no matter what evidence we have.
What disturbs me most is that those ‘deniers’ are using the materials we have gathered over a long period of time, or the ones Kaikosha collected, and just twist things around. In the academia of history, they are not productive; rather, they are living in the world of interpretation.
I must say I learn a lot even from some conservative historians when they try to prove their point with their own research and with new evidence they unearthed. Although my view of a certain historical incident such as the Nanjing Massacre may differ from their view, I can still discuss details in a scholarly fashion.
But those ‘deniers’ have their conclusions first. Then they lay down the available evidence to back up their belief, which inevitably forces them to interpret the material in a way no one else would do.
Q: In your recent writing on this topic [“Did no one really know about the Nanjing Incident?”], you indicated the Emperor might have known what was going on in Nanking. Are there any new findings to suggest that?
Yoshida: I didn’t mention this in that paper but I have known for quite some time that Hallet Abend [New York Times correspondent in Shanghai] wrote in his book [Pacific Charter (see Works Cited)] that the Emperor knew about the Nanjing Massacre.
According to the book, a high civilian Japanese official told Abend that he informed the Emperor of the atrocities in Nanjing. But it seems there is too much dramatization in his book.
It tells us that this official spent two hours on his knees at the Emperor’s feet, whispering into the Emperor’s ear what had happened following the capture of Nanjing. His feet became numb and he had to have assistants massage his legs. It is hard to take at its face value, isn’t it? The story is too dramatic to be true.
I would say it is probably a safe bet to assume this high official was Hidaka Shinrokuro, an able diplomat in Shanghai who was well known among foreigners there. A biography of Hirota Koki [then foreign minister] tells that he and Hidaka discussed the conditions in Nanjing. Hidaka in fact testified about what he knew about the atrocities in the Tokyo War Crimes Trial. Since he returned to Japan once in the beginning of 1938, it is quite likely that he reported the information he had at the time to the government.
But there is no evidence that he reached the Emperor. Abend’s book isn’t enough to verify the fact. So I simply quoted the chamberlain to the Emperor [who wrote that many in the administration knew about what happened and recalled the Emperor often saying “The Army is different from what it used to be during the Russo-Japanese War”]. The Emperor might have known, but it is not proven.
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©2000 Masato Kajimoto. All Rights Reserved
War Crime Tribunal in Tokyo
Following the Cairo Declaration of December 1, 1943, in which the United States, Great Britain, and China announced their determination “to restrain and punish the aggression of Japan” in the Far East theater, the Allies pronounced their policy regarding Japanese war crimes in the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945.
“We do not intend that the Japanese shall be enslaved as a race or destroyed as a nation,” read the declaration, “but stern justice shall be meted out to all war criminals, including those who have visited cruelties upon our prisoners.” 
About two weeks after the surrender, the Japanese government agreed that the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration would be carried out, and on January 19, 1946, General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP), issued a special proclamation that announced the establishment of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE).
Eleven judges, nine from the nations that signed the Instrument of Surrender, one from India and one from the Commonwealth of the Philippines, were eventually appointed by the SCAP.
Following months of preparation, the IMTFE, also known as the Tokyo War Crimes Trial, first convened on April 29, 1946, and four days later the prosecution opened its case, charging the defendants with “Conventional War Crimes,” “Crimes against Peace,” and “Crimes against Humanity.” The trial continued for more than two and a half years, hearing testimony from 419 witnesses, and admitting 4,336 exhibits of evidence including depositions and affidavits from 779 other individuals. 
The prosecution began the Nanking phase of its case in July 1946 and Dr. Robert Wilson, a surgeon and a member of the International Committee for the Nanking Safety Zone, took the witness stand first.
It was at this moment that the majority of Japanese populace first heard about the inconceivable scale and dimension of the Rape of Nanking. “The horrible acts of the Japanese Army have now been revealed to the people for the first time,” wrote the Asahi newspaper on July 26. 
“I, myself, observed a whole series of shootings of individual civilians without any provocation or apparent reason whatsoever,” testified another witness, Miner Searle Bates, a missionary and a professor of history at the University of Nanking. “The bodies of civilians lay on the streets and alleys in the vicinity of my own house for many days after the Japanese entry.”
Bates told the court how the Japanese soldiers systematically and arbitrarily gathered and executed Chinese prisoners of war, how extensively they raped women, including the five different occasions that he had seen with his own eyes, and how painstakingly they looted houses, shops and other buildings. 
Among other members of the International Committee for the Nanking Safety Zone, John Magee also testified in court and George A. Fitch, Lewis Smythe and James McCallum filed affidavits with their diaries and letters.
The collection of their official documents of protest to the Japanese embassy, Documents of the Nanking Safety Zone edited by Hsü Shushi, was also submitted. In the end, a total of 11 people including 5 Chinese survivors took the witness stand and 21 people filed affidavits. 
With the mounting evidence of the Nanking Atrocities presented against him, the commander-in-chief of the China Central Area Army (CCAA), Matsui Iwane, wobbled between denying the mass-scale atrocities and evading his responsibility for what had happened. Eventually he ended up making numerous conflicting statements.
In the interrogation in Sugamo prison preceding the trial Matsui admitted that he heard about the many outrages committed by his troops from Japanese diplomats when he entered Nanking on December 17, 1937.
In court, to the contrary, he told the judges that he was not “officially” briefed at the consulate about the evildoings, presumably to avoid admitting any contact with the consulate officials such as Second Secretary (later Acting Consul-General) Fukui Kiyoshi and Attaché Fukuda Tokuyasu who received and dealt with the protests filed by the International Committee.
In the same interrogation session before the trail Matsui said one officer and three low-ranking soldiers were court-martialed because of their misbehavior in Nanking and the officer was sentenced to death.
In his affidavit he said he ordered his corps to investigate the atrocities and punish the evildoers.
In court, however, Matsui said that he did not have jurisdiction over the soldiers’ misconduct since he was not in the position of supervising military discipline and morals. Throughout his testimony, Matsui continued to utter lame excuses. 
There are some episodes that clearly indicate the supreme commander of the CCAA knew exactly what was going on in Nanjing and could not effectively stop his troops going on the rampage.
According to his diary, one day after he made the ceremonial triumphal entry into the city on December 17, 1937, he instructed the chiefs of staff from each division to tighten military discipline and try to eradicate the sense of disdain for Chinese people among their soldiers. 
On February 7, 1938, Matsui delivered a speech at a memorial service for the Japanese officers and men of the Shanghai Expeditionary Force who got killed in action. In front of the high-ranking officers, Domei News Agency reported, he emphasized the necessity to “put an end to various reports affecting the prestige of the Japanese troops.” 
The entry for the same day in his diary read, “I could only feel sadness and responsibility today, which has been overwhelmingly piercing my heart. This is caused by the Army’s misbehaviors after the fall of Nanking and failure to proceed with the autonomous government and other political plans.” 
The mass executions of Chinese prisoners of war, however, were not probably a big concern in Matsui’s mind, compared with other atrocities. In fact, the deputy chief of staff under Matsui, fellow defendant Muto Akira, told the International Prosecution Section about Japan’s policy on Chinese POWs when interrogated in Sugamo prison before the IMTFE convened. A part of the proceedings read:
IPS: …. Of course, you took prisoners from the Chinese armies?
Muto: No. The question of whether Chinese captives would be declared prisoners of war or not was quite a problem, and it was finally decided in 1938 that because the Chinese conflict was officially known as an “incident” that Chinese captives would not be regarded as prisoners of war….
IPS: As a matter of fact, the Chinese “incident” was a war, was it not?
Muto: Actually, yes, but the Japanese government looked upon it as being an incident.
IPS: So that you… carried on a policy of not treating the Chinese captives as prisoners of war?
Muto: Yes. 
In court, Muto straightforwardly admitted that what the prosecutors dubbed the Rape of Nanking took place. There were many other Japanese witnesses who acknowledged that there were excesses of Japanese troops in Nanking, though their perceptions as to the scale of the Rape of Nanking varied.
Among the most candid witnesses was Ishii Itaro, the East Asia Bureau chief of the Foreign Ministry. He testified that he was briefed about the rape, arson, looting, and murders from Foreign Ministry offices in Nanjing and Shanghai. In his autobiography, Ishii wrote that he and Foreign Minister Hirota Koki warned the Army to take action many times.
“This is the truth about what was called the ‘Holy War,’ and the ‘Emperor’s Military.’ From the beginning I dubbed the incidents the ‘Nanking Atrocities’…. It left an eternally indelible stain on our history,” lamented Ishii in his book. 
In the end the Tribunal connected only two defendants to the Rape of Nanking.
Matsui was convicted of count 55, which charged him with being one of the senior officers who “deliberately and recklessly disregarded their legal duty [by virtue of their respective offices] to take adequate steps to secure the observance [of the Laws and Customs of War] and prevent breaches thereof, and thereby violated the laws of war.”
Hirota Koki, who had been the Foreign Minister when Japan conquered Nanjing, was convicted of participating in “the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy” (count 1), waging “a war of aggression and a war in violation of international laws, treaties, agreements and assurances against the Republic of China” (count 27) and count 55. 
On November 12, 1948, on the basis of a simple majority of the eleven judges, Matsui and Hirota, with five other convicted Class-A war criminals, were sentenced to death by hanging. Eighteen others received lesser sentences.
The death sentence imposed on Hirota, who was apparently sent to the gallows on the basis of a bare six votes, shocked the general public and prompted a petition on his behalf, which soon gathered over 300,000 signatures, but to no avail. 
Matsui’s Buddhist confessor Hanayama wrote of the conversation he had with Matsui on November 29, about three weeks before his hanging. “I am ashamed of the Nanking Incident,” said Matsui according to Hanayama.
“After the memorial service, I gathered up everybody and warned them with tears of anger. Both Prince Asaka and Lieutenant General Yanagawa were there. [I told them] we came all the way to stand on the majesty of the Emperor, but the dignity [of the Imperial Army] was lost at a stroke through the brutal acts of the soldiers. But then everyone laughed. To my displeasure, a certain division commander even uttered, ‘of course.'” 
Though how much he wished to atone for what had happened is impossible to speculate, he had probably been nurturing some sense of remorse.
After he retired, Matsui built a syncretic sanctuary of a Buddhist temple and a Shinto shrine to deify the spirits of Japanese and Chinese soldiers who died in the China theater and erected the statue of Kannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, in 1940.156 He was said to have visited the place almost every day until he was imprisoned.
Critics of the Tribunal
From its very beginning, the legitimacy of the IMTFE was questioned by many.
All the eleven justices were from the victor nations. Except for the Indian justice, Radhabinod Pal, no judges had much experience in international law. Besides, had the trial been in a normal court, some of them would probably have been disqualified. The Chinese justice, Mei Ju-ao, had no experience as a judge in China or elsewhere.
The U. S. S. R. representative, Major General I. M. Zaryanov, did not speak either Japanese or English, the two official languages of the tribunal. The Philippine justice, Delfin Jaranilla, was a Bataan Death March survivor. The Australian justice and the designated president of the tribunal, William Webb, had been involved in an investigation of Japanese atrocities in New Guinea. 
Many argued the Tokyo Charter was ex post facto, or retroactive, legislation. The burden of criminality that made a failure to prevent war crimes also a crime, and the individuals’ criminality for acts of states, had never been indictable in international law before the Axis powers’ defeat.
Immunity was granted for Emperor Hirohito and his family by the United States. The U. S., it was revealed years later, also decided not to bring certain members of the Japanese Army to court, namely the officers and scientific researchers of Unit 731 who experimented with bacteriological weapons on human guinea pigs in China, in exchange for the research data. 
On the day the judgment was read, five of the eleven justices released separate opinions outside the court.
In his concurring opinion Justice Webb (Australia) took issue with Emperor Hirohito’s legal status.
“The suggestion that the Emperor was bound to act on advice is contrary to the evidence,” wrote Webb.
While refraining from personal indictment of Hirohito, Webb indicated that Hirohito bore responsibility as a Constitutional Monarch who accepted “ministerial and other advice for war.” 
Justice Jaranilla (Philippines) disagreed with the penalties imposed by the tribunal. “They are, in my judgment, too lenient,” wrote the justice, “not exemplary and deterrent, and not commensurate with the gravity of the offence or offences committed.” 
Justice Henri Bernard (France) pointed out the tribunal’s flawed course of action such as the absence of Hirohito and the lack of sufficient deliberations by the judges. “A verdict reached by a Tribunal after a defective procedure cannot be a valid one,” concluded Bernard. 
“It is well-nigh impossible to define the concept of initiating or waging a war of aggression both accurately and comprehensively,” wrote Justice Bernard V. A. Röling (Netherlands) in his dissenting opinion.
Pointing out the difficulties and limitations in holding individuals responsible for an act of state, and making omission of responsibility a crime, Röling called for the acquittal of several defendants including Hirota. 
Justice Radhabinod Pal (India) produced a 1,235-page judgment in which he dismissed the legitimacy of the IMTFE as mere victor’s justice.
“I would hold that each and every one of the accused must be found not guilty of each and every one of the charges in the indictment and should be acquitted on all those charges,” concluded Pal. 
It must be noted, however, that Pal did not question whether the Rape of Nanking took place or not.
While taking into account the influence of wartime propaganda, exaggerations and distortions of facts in the evidence, and “over-zealous” and “hostile” witnesses, Pal concluded:
“The evidence is still overwhelming that atrocities were perpetrated by the members of the Japanese armed forces against the civilian population of some of the territories occupied by them as also against the prisoners of war.” 
After the Judgment
No matter how vulnerable the legitimacy of the IMTFE was, Japan accepted the judgment of the tribunal and of the other war crimes trials by the Allied nations, including the Nanking War Crimes Tribunal, at the San Francisco Peace Conference in September 1951.
By 1958, with the consent of a majority of the governments represented on the Tribunal, Japan paroled and released every remaining Class-A war criminals. 
The Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, a Shinto shrine established in 1869 for people to worship “the divine spirits of those who sacrificed themselves for their country,”  now enshrines some 2.5 million souls including those convicted for war crimes.
The decision to embrace even the Class-A war criminals finally came in 1978. Since then Japanese government officials’ visits to the Shrine have occasionally aroused protests in China and other Asian countries. 
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©2000 Masato Kajimoto. All Rights Reserved
Trial of the Nanking Atrocities
Along with the major Japanese governmental and military leaders indicted for Class-A war crimes, some 5,700 other Japanese  were tried for Class B and C war crimes by the Allied nations in Yokohama, Singapore, Rabaul, Batavia, Manila, Nanjing and numerous other venues. 
China established 13 tribunals, tried 650 cases, convicted 504 Japanese and sentenced 149 to death.
In Nanjing, presumably due to the difficulties in investigating atrocities that had happened more than 8 years earlier while caught up in the Civil War against the Communists, only four Japanese army officers were tried for the war crimes relating to the Nanking Atrocities between 1946 and 1947.
The accused were the commander of the 6th Division, Lieutenant General Tani Hisao, the company commander of the 6th Division, Captain Tanaka Gunkichi, and two Second Lieutenants in the 9th Infantry Regiment of the 16th Division, Mukai Toshiaki and Noda Tsuyoshi. Among the four defendants, Tani was the only one who was in a high commanding position when the city fell.
Of other possible suspects, General Matsui Iwane, the commander-in-chief of the Central China Area Army, was being tried at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East as a Class-A war crime suspect.
Lieutenant General Nakajima Kesago, the commander of the 16th Division and Lieutenant General Yanagawa Heisuke, the commander of the 10th Army, both died in 1945.
Lieutenant General Prince Asaka, the commander of the Shanghai Expeditionary Force and Emperor Hirohito’s uncle, was granted immunity for any war crimes trial because of his lineage as a member of the royal family.
And finally, Lieutenant Colonel Cho Isamu, an information staff officer of the Shanghai Expeditionary Force and a general staff of the CCAA, committed suicide in Okinawa before the Pacific War ended. 
Thus, Tani was the only one alive and available. In court he pleaded not guilty and indicated Nakajima and his troops were the real culprits, but the mounting evidence adduced against him and the testimonies of eyewitnesses and victims showed otherwise.
He was found guilty on February 6, 1947 and the court pronounced the sentence of death on March 10, which read:
Hisao Tani, having been convicted of instigating, inspiring and encouraging during the war the men under his command to stage general massacres of prisoners of war and non-combatants and to perpetrate such crimes as rape, plunder and wanton destruction of property, is hereby sentenced to death.
On April 26 he was sent before the firing squad at Yuhuatai execution site. 
The other three were brought to Nanking thanks to the domestic propaganda activity of the Japanese government during the wartime.
Tanaka was once mentioned in a book called Imperial Soldiers in Japan and became famous for killing “300 hateful Chinese enemies” with his “buddy sword” Sukehiro.
Mukai and Noda were also well known for their killing contest to cut down a hundred Chinese soldiers in combat with their swords on the way to Nanking. Their story was serially published in the Tokyo Nichi Nichi newspaper, where the two second lieutenants were treated as war heroes (some of the articles in English can be found at the bottom of this page).
However, as many historians point out today, the stories of hyped heroism, in which those soldiers courageously killed a number of enemies in hand-to-hand combat with swords, couldn’t be taken at face value. 
Indeed, when Noda came back to his hometown in Japan and made a speech at an elementary school, he told his young audience that of more than a hundred Chinese soldiers he killed, most were actually prisoners of war.
In 1971 one of the schoolchildren, Shishime Akira, wrote to a magazine of what he heard from Noda years before, a part of which quoted the second lieutenant as saying:
I killed only four or five with sword in the real combat…. After we captured an enemy trench, we’d tell them, “Ni Lai Lai.” The Chinese soldiers were stupid enough to come out the trench toward us one after another. We’d line them up and cut them down from one end to the other. 
As if representing the hundreds of other “great swordsmen” in the Imperial Army of Japan who severed the heads of unresisting Chinese captives, Tanaka, Mukai and Noda were all sentenced to death and executed on January 28, 1948.
Interview: Fujiwara Akira 
Fujiwara Akira is a professor emeritus at Hitotsubashi University. He has published a number of books on the Imperial Army’s wartime atrocities in Asia. He is considered one of Japan’s most prominent scholars on the Nanking Atrocities today.
“I think the Tokyo War Crimes Trial has a tremendous significance in our history in the sense that it meted out justice for Japan’s aggression for the first time. The trial collected abundant historical evidence in a relatively short period of time as well, which is a treasure house of materials for even today’s researchers….”
“Yes, it [the IMTFE] has its own limitations and problems. The United States intentionally overlooked the experiments on human guinea pigs and poisonous gas experiments done by the Japanese troops in an exchange for the scientific data. The trial did not delve into all the battles and atrocities in all of China. They only chose a couple of them as symbolic incidents, such as the Rape of Nanjing and the one in Manila. But the Imperial Army massacred far more people all over China than in Nanjing alone. The trial also granted immunity to the Emperor and Prince Asaka [the commander-in-chief of the Shanghai Expeditionary Force]. There were some aspects that were problematic….”
“I would say Matsui [the commander-in-chief of the Central China Area Army] was far more responsible [for the Nanking Atrocities] than Prince Asaka was. After all, Matsui was his superior officer who had been in charge of the Central China theater. Prince Asaka was appointed in December and arrived China on the 7th. Of course, there is no doubt that he should have been tried, though….”
“The problem of the Class B and C war crimes trials in China was that another civil war was going on between the Nationalists and the Communists. I guess they didn’t have much time and manpower for the trial in Nanjing. In that sense, probably the Tokyo Trial was more thorough and systematic. I am also aware of the argument that the Second Lieutenant officers [who initiated the contest to cut down 100 Chinese soldiers with their swords] tried in the Nanjing War Crimes Tribunal were innocent. But the current argument lacks the context. They might not have been guilty as charged [for killing more than 100 Chinese in hand-to-hand combat] but I am almost certain that they beheaded many [Chinese prisoners of war]….”
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©2000 Masato Kajimoto. All Rights Reserved
Note: The following article was quoted in Timperley’s What War Means (American title: Japanese Terror in China) in 1938. It appeared in the Japan Advertiser, an American owned and edited English-language daily paper in Tokyo, on December 7, 1937.
SUB-LIEUTENANTS IN RACE TO FELL 100 CHINESE RUNNING CLOSE CONTEST
Sub-lieutenant Toshiaki Mukai and Sub-lieutenant Takeshi Noda, both of the Katagiri unit at Kuyung, in a friendly contest to see “which of them will first fell 100 Chinese in individual sword combat before the Japanese forces completely occupy Nanking are well in the final phase of their race, running almost neck to neck.
On Sunday when their unit was fighting outside Kuyung, the “score,” according to the Asahi, was: Sub-lieutenant Mukai, 89, and Sub-lieutenant Noda, 78.
On December 14, 1937, the same paper published another report that read:
CONTEST TO KILL FIRST 100 CHINESE WITH SWORD EXTENDED WHEN BOTH FIGHTERS EXCEED MARK
The winner of the competition between Sub-Lieutenant Toshiaki Mukai and Sub-Lieutenant lwao [Takeshi] Noda to see who would be the first to kill 100 Chinese with his Yamato sword has not been decided, the Nichi Nichi reports from the slopes of Purple Mountain, outside Nanking.
Mukai has a score of 106 and his rival has dispatched 105 men, but the two contestants have found it impossible to determine which passed the 100 mark first. Instead of settling it with a discussion, they are going to extend the goal by 50.
Mukai’s blade was slightly damaged in the competition. He explained that this was the result of cutting a Chinese in half, helmet and all. The contest was “fun,” he declared, and he thought it a good thing that both men had gone over the 100 mark without knowing that the other had done so.
Early Saturday morning, when the Nichi Nichi man interviewed the sub-lieutenant at a point overlooking Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s tomb, another Japanese unit set fire to the slopes of Purple Mountain in an attempt to drive out the Chinese troops.
The action also smoked out Sub-Lieutenant Mukai and his unit, and the men stood idly by while bullets passed overhead. “Not a shot hits me while I am holding this sword on my shoulder,” he explained confidently.