The Causes of the Rape of Nanking

Essay by studmuffin002320220High School, 12th grade November 2006

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In ancient civilization, there were two principle countries in the Far East who rose above the others: China and Japan. They gradually developed their countries and fought each other for status in power, but years later they found themselves unprepared for the Western intrusion into Asian affairs. Suddenly it became a death match: it was a battle of survival between one or the other.

The Westerners first imposed themselves upon China to attain trading rights, forming the Treaty Ports . The Treaty of Nanking was the first trade treaty and was implicated by the British. The treaty opened five ports to British trade, adding burdensome restraints upon China's sovereignty. China was not yet equipped for such an incursion, and they struggled to adjust. On the other hand, Japan became conscious of the impending transformation of Asia and quickly accustomed itself to Westernization. Japan's survival benefited from its past freedom from an overpowering tradition.

Ultimately, Japan rose above China, in terms of progress, in western industry, technology, law, politics, economics, and military.

In 1937, after a temporal time of peace when there was no major conflicts accounted for, incidents arose and slowly gained in intensity, leading to increased tension between China and Japan. Battle after battle, the tension climaxed until, on December 13, 1937, the Japanese Imperial Army found themselves marching past the city gates into China's then capital city, Nanking. Thus, the critical center of Chinese politics, economics, and culture fell under Japanese military occupation. On December 14, 1937, the Japanese launched their mop-up operation, which continued for the following six months. During this time, the Japanese Imperial Army was accused of committing crimes such as mass victimization, rape, pillaging, and arson. This period became known as the Rape of Nanking.

Japan's intentions in the massacre were questioned. This incident...