"The Rape of Nanking," by Iris Chang.

Essay by FiXiuSHigh School, 10th gradeA+, May 2003

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"Maps can really point to places where life is evil now: Nanking; Dachau." History is based on perspective. World War II started on December 7, 1941, the Japanese Imperial Army attacked Pearl Harbor. Europeans go back a couple years to September 1, 1939, when Germany attacked Poland. Africans see it earlier on the invasion of Ethiopia in 1935. However, Asians trace the beginnings of the war way back during the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931. Hitler and Germany use a train of thought that they are the superior race and use this to rule their neighbors. The Japanese use this also. The fourteen years of military dominance of China by the Japanese were in no doubt, marked by countless incidents of ruthlessness. This is a story of one of these incidents.

On December 7, as the Japanese troops marched their way into the Capital of China, the Japanese General Matsui grew increasingly ill.

This was due to his chronic illness of tuberculosis. The illness took place right his power shifted to that of a member of the imperial family. Prince Asaka Yasukiko, uncle of the Emperor Hirohito was ordered to replace Matsui at the front line. Being a member of the royal family, Asaka had powers that would override all other authority on the Nanking front. Many do not know why Hirohito gave Asaka this position at this critical moment. This may have seemed a trivial, non-important change, later however, it would prove to be a critical one to the lives of hundreds of thousands Chinese. Prince Asaka spoke with General Nakajima, who was a colleague from his years in Paris. Nakajima reported that the Chinese had negotiated with Japan and revealed that China was ready to surrender. After hearing this, Asaka sent a set of orders, which read,