Honors College Thesis


Japanese Rationale of the Nanking Massacre Public Deposited

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  • After days of countless shelling of the city from the Japanese, Generalissimo Chiang and other military leaders retreated from Nanking, leaving their soldiers defenseless. On December 13, 1937, the Japanese army entered the city and within weeks, around 300,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers were not only killed but tortured and raped. No one was spared from the harsh treatment of the Japanese, including the elderly, young children, and pregnant women. Many, including Iris Chang, author of the acclaimed book The Rape of Nanking: the Forgotten Holocaust of World War II, claim that these actions were solely planned out and systematic. For example, Chang begins her narrative by quoting a command sent directly to the Japanese 66th Battalion that she stated to be a catalyst for the event: “...To comply with others from brigade commanding headquarters, all prisoners of war are to be executed.” However, the rationale behind these actions are unfortunately not as simple as mere commands from the very top of the Japanese forces. As such, the systemic ideas and issues of Shinto, cultural language, Bushido, and Japanese military practices will be emphasized. International political and economic relationships between will also be explored, as well as General Chiang Kai-Shek’s military strategies that lead to the events witnessed at Nanking during the cold, winter months in the year of 1937.
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  • Intellectual Property (patent, etc.)



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