Monday, August 20, 2007

70 years ago @ Shanghai, China

A couple weeks ago, I was browsing through one of my Facebook groups (White Person Can't Read) and one of the topics was "Remembering the Asian Holocaust". In the past, I've looked at stuff (mostly pictures) related to the Nanjing Massacre but haven't really read much regarding the background and history of it. So as I looked through some of the posts that people put up, I decided to look into the history a bit. My main source of info was Wikipedia. I also checked out a few other websites including YouTube and I also took a look at Hitler, Nazi, WWII, Iris Chang, Minnie Vautrim, and the time of MaoZheDong. Being a chinese myself, growing up in this generation, having friends who adore japanese stuff, and growing up hearing things said by the older generation about the Japanese, I have the following things to say regarding the Nanjing Massacre topic. Please note that the paragraphs immediately following are graphic descriptions that may not be acceptable to some people. I therefore would like to remind you that you are free to look at something else. Thanks!



Forcing the "useful" women to cook during the day and gangraping them at night. Killing them when they no longer provide interest. Sexual molesting of females ranging from toddlers to old women. Killing children. Forcing fathers to have intercourse with daughters. Forcing men to have intercourse with the neighbor's wife. And then shooting him in the head at climax. And forcing men to have intercourse with corpses. Sucking fetuses out and throwing them into boiling water. Stabbing boys to death. Machine gunning men down. Soaking up live men with gas, lighting them up and watch & laugh. Headchopping contests. All that in front of other men who may or may not know they're next. The more you do this, the deeper it taps into the savageness of the animal within. You will be mindless about it, but yet develop a fetish of it.

Anyway, moving on....

Refusing to clean up the streets of rotting corpses as another psychological weapon. In the quest to develop biological and chemical weapons, various tactics were employed and experiments conducted. Infecting food & clothes with disease and dropping them off to unsuspecting hungry refugees. Medical experiment & research on live humans. Continued research when the live humans become dead. Impregnating a woman and studying the fetus. Cutting off the limb of a guy to see how long he can survive. Then cutting off another one and re-attaching it to the opposite side and see what happens. Cutting off another limb and see how long it will last in the freezer. Putting the guy into the freezer and see how long he can survive. Or injecting him with a gas or a poison or something and study the effects. If he survives, then inject him with something else and see how that goes. No anesthetics because that might screw up the results. Putting people in various types of chambers (ie: gas, pressure, vacuum). And I don't remember if the historical accounts mentioned putting poisonous or infected animals with the humans in a chamber. But there was putting infected people with healthy people to study the results. Children of all ages were victims as well. Destroying evidence after losing the war by gassing all survivors. Even releasing infected pests and willful improper disposal of substances to the exposure of healthy villages. Can one see any bit of moral here? I don't think animals would've done such things even if they could.
Of special mention, and this is based on accounts as told by people of the previous generation who say they have personally witnessed events that occurred under Japanese occupation in Hong Kong:
Inserting a tube directly down the throat and into the stomach. And then "buckets" of water were poured down those tubes. You don't even get the luxury of swallowing the water. Your belly literally swollens up so that it looks like it would almost pop. And then they make you lie down on the ground and dropp something heavy on you, causing you to burst. Blood would come out wherever it can. And then there is what would be literally translated as "hanging airplane" where you are simply made to hang upside down. Another thing is, now this I read as well, you were required to exchange all your money to a certain form of Japanese currency. This means that after the war, this currency was worthless. And of course what follows would be overnight bankruptcy for some and being penniless for most if not all.
Can u imagine... u were just going about your everyday life trying to care/feed the family, and you had your hopes and goals for things. And then all that destroyed. No more hope. No more future. Everyday was darkness. You become confused when you try to think of what you did wrong to be given this sort of thing. You don't even have any more dignity at all. Even animals are capable of feeling dignity. Love no longer exists in your world. And supposedly, hell is the place where there is absolutely no love no goodness existing. I am, of course, not saying that there wasn't any love at the time. But that's another issue and certainly not appropriate or timely to talk about here.

Regarding historical records, some say that the research data were exchanged with the US for freedom from postwar prosecution of the Japanese research heads. Is that the reason why US is always silent about Nanjing? Of relevance is the issue of denying history. If the US was silent about something that really happened, do the Japanese have another excuse to be silent as well? Sure many people personally saw it and these people are still alive, but so? Their voices are only loud enough for the person standing next to them to hear. The Japanese may retort by saying that the Chinese government denies ever ruining/destroying countless lives under Mao's regime but that's another issue; that's the country's own situations independent of any other country. Remember that Japanese newspaper that showed the two army men with a head in their hands? They didn't chop off 100 heads, they only chopped off 1 each, as the picture so clearly showed! All those women who were supposedly raped? Some were actually professional sex workers while others were volunteers (ie: they wanted to). And all those piles of bodies? They weren't tortured or executed victims; the Japanese were simply doing a favor by helping to clean up after soldiers died in battle.
Speaking about soldiers, let's make about those military expansionists fighting for their emperor whom they view as god and who is worthy of sacrificing everything including their own (and other's) lives. They depended on certain European countries for training in modern military tactics and the development of weapons and military. The Imperial Army whose "Supreme Commander" (the emperor, aka "god on earth") chose to make use of some other totally foreign country to develop itself. Or did they really have a choice?? Could they really have developed their own stuff from scratch? Maybe, maybe not. But they used strategy. They took existing things and improved on them to serve their own needs. Even commercially nowadays Japanese people were successful in expanding on other people's ideas. It reminds me of something that was said in the movie "Last Samurai" where the character played by Tom Cruise said that the Japanese people perfected everything they do.

I beg the reader's pardon for such graphic descriptions, but I really think that it is the force of evil that has always abound in this world that was able to work with the weakness of human nature resulting in the sort of occurences as described. Humans are still animals and as such they have their basic animal instincts and actions. We want to protect ourselves. We want to seek out ways to survive. We want to have the next generation. But we are selfish. We may seek out pleasure from the action that could result in the next generation but do this at the expense of other's feelings. We are greedy. We not only want to survive, but we also want to create a better quality of life and we may do this at the expense of others. We want more, but we refuse to exercise morals in doing so. Our intelligence has allowed us to be very creative in coming up with ways to do what we do. Could this still be considered survival of the fittest? We came from nature, are part of nature and go back to the soil after. Are our acts still considered natural selection? I don't intend to jump topic but I'm just thinking about how the work of evil, human weakness and the basic animal nature in us work together to result in the
atrocities described above. Did we take our basic animal instincts and bring it to another level? Did we expand it? Do we have to do what we did in order to survive or even make quality of life better?

I didn't read the history of the Sino-Japanese wars and I can't say I'm familiar with how Japan came to be the militarist country from the old days of being ruled by feudal lords and samurai families. Maybe it was the struggle of adapting to the modern world with the industrial revolution. That, plus the cultural ideals of the day (eg: Shintoism, the Emperor, empirical expansionism), and the screwed-up ideas of a few persons in charge resulted in the exploitation of many and the suffering of many more. Those who were exploited happened to be Japanese men and those who suffered the atrocities happened to be Chinese (or Korean, or Filipino, etc). I don't know how educated and civilized the men were before they became soldiers but they were apparently brainwashed enough to carry out orders blindly as they did. As such, they could also be seen as victims in their own right as they were the unfortunate souls who became evil's tools. The same sort of thing happened with the young German men who became Nazi members. They could have simply been family men working to feed their wives and children.


I have never been gangraped or physically tormented by anybody. Nobody has ever volunteered me to be a research subject in the quest to develop chemical & biological weapons. And I don't personally know anybody who has ever experienced that from the Japanese back in the days. I know many who has seen it happened to people they know, but that was it. Am I in a position to talk about forgiveness?

I'm a chinese and I grew up in Canada. Canada's economy is mainly dependent on the US. Much of what makes Canada a first-world country with all the things it has been able to offer its citizens has co-existed & co-developed with the US for a long time. Given that, if the US achieved some of its medical advancements (even if indirectly) at the cost of chinese people's lives, could I talk about revenge? The US were not the only thieves against China; a number of other countries has had a bite of the pork. China has always been a treasure chest with crappy self-defence. She has never been an aggressive nation trying to cheat & steal from others for self-gain. If somebody steals from her, could she have done anything about it? Would she have done anything? In this modern postwar age, we talk about building peace. Now we're even trying to hold hands and work together to deal with something that affects us all: global warming. Can anybody ever really take revenge?

The video footage showing the girl in hospital (or women shelter?) and another video of poorer quality showing a little girl in may be a poorer environment (not sure if it's a makeshift bed on the street or a roughed up interior shelter). The shattered innocence all over the little one's face. The stare of bitterness and hatred in the eyes of the older one. If they continue to live after the war, what would they become? And they both looked like people that I could've known. I felt close to them; like as if I just simply jumped in a time machine at that time and just simply looked back. Or like I just recently came out of a cyro-frozen state 70 years later. So close. So real.

So back to the question. Am I qualified to talk about forgiveness of the Japanese? It is simply not up to me. All I can say is something general like, it was one of the sh*tty things that occurred in history and it really sucked that it happened. Could I say more? I mean... it wasn't the Japanese who did it; it was the weakness of humans in many places (some of who happened to be "Japanese") that allowed evil to take root and grow into a complex vine spreading wide and reaching deep into the human world resulting in a collection of organized activity that would later be known as "World War II".

In this respect, while we may be angry and feel the need for revenge against all those involved with decision-making, one question that might come up is... Should we feel sorry for the poor souls who took part in the atrocities? Further, were there never other occupations and atrocities of similar nature that happened somewhere else or another period in time? Were there not other people of the past who have experienced the same pain?

But while these questions may be dwelling in the past, what about the future? Will similar pains ever happen again whether it'd be small-scale or large-scale? Will the evil that took that choking hold on society be at it again, even perhaps in another form?


Sometimes when I come across something Japanese, whether it is a student coming over to study english or some news talking about Japanese interest in strengthening ties with China or Japanese products attracting attention, I may think of whether there is a hidden plan or desire amongst certain Japanese governmental authorities. I may even think that any or all three examples I just mentioned could have potential for deadly use against the world if the old Japanese quest for world domination did not die but simply hid underground waiting for the right moment. My imagination even brings up a scene in my head where that Jap girl I've seen twice before smoking and hanging out with friends would look like the way she does here, but then be totally dressed up in traditional kimono and all that and bowing to a bunch of powerful gang leaders and politicians gathered in a private room of an eating establishment. Too many movies, haha.
At the same time, I understand that many Japanese people are actually peace-loving and don't even want there to be any wars or concepts of domination.
Many people of my generation expressed indifference about these "things of the past" while members of the older generation are more understanding. I think it is because the older generation has personally seen or experienced war. They understand hardships that have existed in this world and they have witnessed human nature at its worst. These experiences have allowed them to see more readily a view of human nature that the newer generation never saw. These experiences, I would argue, has made them more alert of the reality of things and perhaps feel that human nature will never really change no matter how much we have learned from history and how much we preach about not "repeating the same mistakes". Given this, I think it is quite reasonable that people voice concern about something that happened "a long time ago". I think those who don't bother spending a little time on concerning themselves with these bits of dark history are, at the very least, missing out on learning about humanity and the world in which they came into. Knowing a little bit about the past can allow you to appreciate the present and maybe, if I can at least wish, prepare you to really build a better future for yourselves and your loved ones.


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