A Student of History

January 25, 2007

Nationalism and History

Filed under: The past that is still with us — John Maass @ 1:56 am

Seems like Japan and Turkey are in a contest to outdo one another when it comes to denial and sanitization of their unpleasant pasts.  In this article, we learn that a new film will be made by a “nationalist” Japanese producer which will deny the Rape of Nanking in the 1930s.

The film, to be called “The Truth about Nanking” and completed in August, will be based on testimony from Japanese veterans, archival footage and documents that proponents say prove accounts of the killing are nothing more than Chinese propaganda.

The massacre, brought to a worldwide audience in English by Iris Chang’s book, “The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II,” is widely seen as a gruesome symbol of Japan’s bloody conquest of East Asia in most of the first half of the 1900s.

The massacre is a cause celebre of Japan’s increasingly active nationalist groups, which are pushing to cull references to it in public school textbooks and discredit accounts of the slaughter.

The article appears in International Herald Tribune.

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