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I am surprised that the article on Chinese writer Ha Jin and poet Wing Tek Lum ’68 unquestioningly stated that the infamous Nanjing massacre actually took place and that only extremist groups in Japan are trying to deny it (“Hard Writing,” Elms, January/February).

There are now many books published, mainly in Japan, which prove that the genocide claimed by the Chinese government never took place. I refer you to a series of YouTube videos (search for “Fake of Nanking Massacre”) for examples. Yale University has letters from missionaries who were in Nanjing at that time so that readers can check for themselves what they saw or heard. We now know that all the pictures in Iris Chang’s book The Rape of Nanking were fake or had nothing to do with what happened in Nanjing at that time. It was a war, and many Chinese and Japanese soldiers were killed, but there was not a massacre of Chinese civilians. Chinese soldiers were also known to flee from losing battles by stealing civilian clothes to hide their identity.

You can easily find real massacres of civilians elsewhere (for instance, the bombings of Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, which killed 400,000 civilians). We can see from this example how the description of wartime incidents can be affected by whether you won or lost the war.

Takahiro Hiroi
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The writer is a senior research associate in the department of geological sciences.

Comments (9)
Readers of the Brown Alumni Monthly should be aware that although some of the details of the Nanjing massacre are in dispute and will probably never be completely known, no legitimate historians accept the position stated by Takahiro Hiroi, that there was no massacre at all. A good place to start for more information is "The Nanking Atrocity: An Interpretive Overview" 
by Fujiwara Akira (in The Asia-Pacific Journal).
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This is a particularly troubling letter to me and it is nearly unimaginable that BAM printed it. I love Japan but the denial of Japan's wartime history is objectionable. Japan's rich culture and history are thousands of years old yet Imperial Japan during WWII should be recognized openly as a sad and hopefully isolated moment in the country's past. It is of no benefit to the younger generation to deny or hide this history. 
Perhaps the author can explain how well-documented atrocities committed elsewhere in China (consider Japan's Unit 731 medical 'research': human vivisection, bubonic plague, and munitions experiments on living people), as well as throughout Asia including unimaginable cruelty and wholesale murder in horrific concentration camps, death marches, and slave labor units - not to mention well-documented serial rape and torture wherever Japan went - are somehow not comparable to the 'real massacres' Mr. Hiroi mentions?  
Instead of referring to a YouTube video please ask the people of China, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Korea exactly how they feel about their Japanese visitors during the 1930's and 1940's.  
The bombings in Japan were no doubt terrible, but they were in response to the Imperial war machine.  
Should we take a moment to step back and understand how Goebbels or Mengele's point of view might have been misconstrued by the Allied historians? To be honest, I think not.
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I mean no disrespect to anyone who lost family during the war, including those in Japan killed during the allied bombings. Loss of human life is terrible and war is a tremendous failing of human potential. Still, I do think it is important to remember and respect all lives lost during Second World War - not preferentially those accounted for in 'real massacres.'
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I agree with Mark Lu and Louise Robbins. 
I studied history at Brown, and history is about discerning and sifting through the facts, but to question outright that there was "no massacre of Chinese civilians" is denial.  
The fact that Mr. Hiroi is ignorant is perhaps excusable, but the fact that BAM went ahead and published a letter from the fringe is highly disturbing and reflects not only low standards of scholarship and journalistic integrity. 
BAM shouldn't be a forum for cranks and crack-pots; where are our standards for publication? What is the purpose of a liberal arts education if we're willing to publicize ridiculous statements denying an event that affected the lives of so many in a well-known historical atrocity.  
Mr. Hiroi's comments are disrespectful to those who suffered greatly, and I respectfully request that BAM issue an apology and retraction of its editorial decision to print such correspondence: this is indefensible and just plain stupid.  
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I must agree with David Hsia's comments. I am offended that BAM published such a letter. An apology and retraction would be a responsible first step.
Justin Kung
I think people commenting on my letter here have not studied what really happened in Nanjing in that year even to the minimal extent I did. 
All the photos used in Iris Chang's book "Rape of Nanking" were fake. The population there was only 200,000 or less, thus the claimed massacre of 400,000 is impossible, and the population there actually increased after that year of 1937. 
I refer all of you to some well-written testimonial books (in Japanese): 
Masaaki Tanaka "Nankin Jiken no Sokatsu (Summary of Nanking Incident)" from Shogakukan. 
Ken'ichi Ara "Nankin Jiken 48-nin no Shogen (Testimonies of 48 Japanese people on Nanking Incident)" from Shogakukan. 
If you care to watch the Youtube video of "Fake of Nanking Massacre" and can refer me to reliable historical materials which can dispute the points raised there, let me know. I would appreciate it.
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In addition, some accusing BAM for printing my letter is ill informed of their policy. My letter was based on readings of scholarly articles (not only Youtube video, which was well done, though), and BAM allows expressing opinions of both sides of a disputed topic. 
The problem here is there are very few who witnessed the incident and are actually alive today. Many of us came to our own interpretation of historical facts based on what we read/hear. Please do not underestimate the power of anti-Japanese propaganda of the Chinese government. When people say "Asian people accuse Japan for its wartime actions", I have to ask which Asian people they are talking about. Only Chinese and Koreans seem to complain a lot, who actually did not witness anything by themselves but received anti-Japanese education. 
I was also educated in the same context to hate my own country and government but have recently realized I was extremely misinformed by a biased education. 
I received my Ph.D. in 1988 from the University of Tokyo and have been conducting many planetary science researches, including first-authored papers in Nature and Science. A note of questioning my integrity and accusing BAM for printing my letter was troubling. I though BAM readers were much smarter and open to question the things you were led to believe as facts all your life.
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Amazing how many intelligent academics and historians have been brainwashed. The Nanking Massacre did occur, but it was perpetrated by the Chinese against their own people. During their civil war, 1927-1949, more than eight million perished. Go to my board and I will prove to you that every Japanese atrocity photograph is fake. https://au.pinterest.com/RareTextiles/nanking-massacrefake-chinese-photos/
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Marked with greetings to everyone. I\'m one of Chinese folks.^^ What i\'m gonna say is to those people who had said in the comment section above one column down to the four, are the real ignorances...... yeah,As the man,Takahiro said, the Nanjing massacre is fabricated by my Chinese government and it is fake for sure. you can also see \'\'The Good Man of Nanking: The Diaries of John Rabe\'\' which can find ouf the contradictions in its book about the populatios in Nankling. ^^ Anyway sorry for my bad English though...
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