The Similarities and Differences Between the Views of the Chinese, the Japanese, and the Westerners on the Rape of Nanking

Essay by studmuffin002320220High School, 12th grade November 2006

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In 1937, years of temporary relative peace were broken due to the Marco Polo Bridge Incident. Not long afterwards, the Japanese Imperial Army found themselves walking past the city gates of China's capital city, Nanking. It was here that the Japanese Army was convicted of causing one of the most horrendous acts of widespread violence. Named the "Rape of Nanking" or the "Nanking Massacre", the Japanese were accused of committing crimes such as mass victimization, rape, pillaging, and arson. As a Chinese student, it was impulsive to demonstrate anger when I first read an account of the Rape of Nanking. But as time led on, curiosity led me to ask the question: "For each major argument that transpired from the events of the Nanking Massacre, what were the similarities and differences in the views of the Japanese, the Chinese, and the Westerners?"

To be able to gather a story with many contrasting suggestions, a broad quantity of sources should be collected, including account from all three possible perspectives: the Japanese, the Chinese, and the Westerners.

This essay will ask the major inquiries that were made and give proposals of each case or submissions of any intentions that could or could not have motivated the Japanese to do the accused misdemeanors. Whether the Japanese are to be fully blamed or not is in the hands of the reader.


On December 13, 1937, after weeks of vicious and unpleasant resistance from the Chinese, the Japanese Imperial Army marched through the gates of China's capital city, Nanking. In the previous battles the Japanese were met with unexpected stubbornness, infuriating the Japanese who had hoped to prevail over the Chinese in three months. When the mop-up operation began on December 14, 1937, the rage was transferred into the Japanese's...