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For The Nation Or For The People? History And Memory Of The Nanjing Massacre In Japan

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Chapter Summary

The Japanese historiography of the Nanjing Atrocities offers a clue to understanding these questions: why the Association was founded in the mid-1990s and why its members were so outraged by the existing junior high school textbooks. Contrary to what many non-Japanese critics tend to assume, the history of the Nanjing Massacre has been incorporated into Japan's national history, and the very reason that the Association came to existence was to revise the history of the atrocities in Nanjing. During the Sino-Japanese War (1937-45), the atrocities in Nanjing were never reported in the authorized news accounts, nor were they recorded in official Japanese history. It is probably fair to say that Japan today has a far more extensive scholarly literature on the study of Nanjing than any other country, and peace activists have amassed a strong arsenal of facts and arguments to defend their views against revisionist claims.

Keywords: Japan's national history; Nanjing Atrocities; Nanjing Massacre; revisionist claims; Sino-Japanese War



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