Nanking Massacre or Nanjing
Massacre, also known as the Rape of
Nanking, refers to a six-week period following the
Japanese capture of the city of
Nanjing (Nanking), former capital of the Republic of
China, on December 9, 1937.
During this period,
hundreds of thousands of civilians were murdered and 20,000-80,000
women were raped by soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army
. The massacre
remains a contentious political issue, as various aspects of it
have been disputed by some historical revisionists
and Japanese nationalists
, who have claimed
that the massacre has been either exaggerated or wholly fabricated
for propaganda purposes. As a result of the nationalist efforts to
deny or rationalize the war crimes, the controversy
the massacre remains a stumbling block in Sino-Japanese relations
, as well as
Japanese relations with other Asia-Pacific nations such as South
Korea and the Philippines.
Estimates of the death toll vary widely. Aside from the absence of
accurate, comprehensive records of the killings, other contributors
to the wide variance in estimates of the death toll include
differences in definition of the geographical area, time period and
nature of the killings to be counted. The Nanking Massacre can be
defined narrowly to count only those killings happening within the
Nanking Safety Zone
broadly to include killings in the immediate environs of Nanking,
or even more broadly to include the six counties around Nanking,
known as the Nanking Special Municipality. Similarly, the time
period of the massacre can be limited to the six weeks following
the fall of Nanking or it can be defined more broadly to include
killings from the time the Japanese Army entered Jiangsu province in
mid-November until late March 1938.
Variations in estimates
based on the nature of the killings revolve around the question of
whether the killings of captured Chinese soldiers and suspected
guerrillas constituted legitimate executions.
Military Tribunal of the Far East
estimates 260,000 casualties;
China's official estimate is 300,000 casualties, based on the
evaluation of the Nanjing
War Crimes Tribunal
. Japanese historians estimate a lower death
toll, in the vicinity of 100,000-200,000. Some claim the existence
of only 40,000 deaths or even deny that a widespread, systematic
massacre occurred at all, claiming that any deaths were either
justified militarily, accidental or isolated incidents of
unauthorized atrocities. These negationists claim that the
characterization of the incident as a large-scale, systematic
massacre was fabricated for the purpose of political
While the Japanese government
has acknowledged the crimes committed by the Imperial Japanese Army
after the fall of Nanking, some Japanese officials have argued that
the death toll was military in nature and that no such crimes ever
occurred. Denial of the massacre, and a divergent array of
revisionist accounts of the killings, has become a staple of
. In Japan,
public opinion of the massacres varies, and few deny the occurrence
of the massacre outright. Nonetheless, recurring attempts by
to promote a revisionist
history of the incident have created controversy that periodically
reverberates in the international media, particularly in China,
South Korea, and other East Asian nations.
Following the Mukden Incident
1931, Japan began its invasion of Manchuria. Because the Communists
and the Kuomintang
were engaged in the Chinese Civil War
they were distracted
from mounting a concerted defense against the Japanese who swiftly
captured major Chinese cities in the northeast. In 1937 the Chinese
communists and nationalists agreed to form a united front. The
Kuomintang constructed an all-out defense against the Japanese
threat. This Chinese army was poorly trained and poorly equipped:
some regiments were armed primarily with swords and hand grenades
and few had weaponry
the Japanese tanks
Nonetheless, in August 1937, the Japanese army was met with strong
resistance and suffered heavy casualties in the Battle of Shanghai
, making it clear that
conquest of China would take years rather than months. The Battle of Shanghai
was bloody as both
sides faced attrition in urban hand-to-hand combat.
By mid-November the Japanese had captured Shanghai with the help of
naval bombardment. The General Staff Headquarters in Tokyo
initially decided not to expand the war due to heavy casualties
incurred and the low morale of the troops. However, on December 1,
headquarters ordered the Central China Area Army and the 10th Army
to capture Nanking, then-capital of the Republic of China.
Relocation of the Chinese capital
After losing the Battle of Shanghai, Chiang Kai-shek
knew the fall of Nanking
would be simply a matter of time. He and his staff realized that he
could not risk annihilation of their elite troops in a symbolic but
hopeless defense of the capital. In order to preserve the army for
future battles, most of them were withdrawn. Chiang Kai-shek's
strategy was to follow the suggestion of his German advisers to
draw the Japanese army deep into China utilizing China's vast
territory as a defensive strength. Chiang planned to fight a
protracted war of attrition by wearing down the Japanese in the
hinterland of China.
General Tang Shengzhi in charge of the
city for the Battle of Nanking, Chiang and many of his advisors
flew to Wuhan, where they
stayed until it was attacked in
Strategy for the defense of Nanking
In a press release to foreign reporters, Tang Shengzhi
announced the city would not
surrender and would fight to the death. Tang gathered about 100,000
soldiers, largely untrained, including Chinese troops who had
participated in the Battle of
. To prevent civilians from fleeing the city, he
ordered troops to guard the port, as instructed by Chiang Kai-shek
. The defense force blocked
roads, destroyed boats, and burnt nearby villages, preventing
The Chinese government left for relocation on December 1
, and the president left on December 7
, leaving the fate of Nanking to an
International Committee led by John
The defense plan fell apart quickly. Those defending the city
encountered Chinese troops fleeing from previous defeats such as
the Battle of Shanghai
from the advancing Japanese army. This did nothing to help the
morale of the defenders.
Approach of the Imperial Japanese Army
Japanese war crimes on the march to Nanking
Although the Nanking Massacre is generally described as having
occurred over a six-week period after the fall of Nanking, the
crimes committed by the Japanese army were not limited to that
period. Many atrocities were reported to have been committed as the
Japanese army advanced from Shanghai to Nanking.
According to one Japanese journalist embedded with Imperial forces
at the time, "The reason that the [10th Army] is advancing to
Nanking quite rapidly is due to the tacit consent among the
officers and men that they could loot and rape as they wish."
Novelist Ishikawa Tatsuzo vividly described how the 16th Division
of the Shanghai Expeditionary Force committed atrocities on the
march between Shanghai and Nanking in his novel Ikiteiru
[Living Soldiers], which was based on interviews that
Tatsuzo conducted with troops in Nanking during January 1938.
Perhaps the most notorious atrocity was a killing contest between
two Japanese officers
as reported in the Tokyo Nichi Nichi
and the English language Japan Advertiser
The contest was covered much like a sporting event with regular
updates on the score over a series of days. In Japan, the veracity
of the newspaper article about the contest was the subject of
ferocious debate for several decades starting in 1967..
"contest" is regularly presented as historical fact, for example,
in an exhibit at the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall.
The historicity of the event remains
disputed in Japan. In 2000, Bob Wakabayashi concurred with certain
Japanese scholars who had argued that the contest was a concocted
story, with the collusion of the soldiers themselves for the
purpose of raising the national fighting
Flight of Chinese civilians
As the Japanese army drew closer to Nanjing, Chinese civilians fled
the city in droves. The people of Nanking fled in panic not only
because of the dangers of the anticipated battle but also because
they feared the deprivation inherent in the scorched earth
strategy that the Chinese
troops were implementing in the area surrounding the city.
On July 31, the GMD had issued a statement that they were
determined to turn every Chinese national and every piece of their
soil into ash, rather than turn them over to the opponent. The
Nanking garrison force set fire to buildings and houses in the
areas close to Xiakuan to the north as well as in the environs of
the eastern and southern city gates. Targets within and outside of
the city walls—such as military barracks, private homes, the
Chinese Ministry of Communication, forests and even entire
villages—were burnt to cinders, at an estimated value of 20 to 30
million (1937) US dollars.
Establishment of the Nanking Safety Zone
Many Westerners were living in the city at that time, conducting
trade or on missionary trips. As the Japanese army approached
Nanking, most of them fled the city, leaving 27 foreigners. Five of
these were journalists who remained in the city a few days after it
was captured, leaving the city on December 16. 15 of the remaining
22 foreigners formed a committee, called the International
Committee for the Nanking Safety Zone
. German businessman
John Rabe was elected as its leader, in
part because of his status as a member of the Nazi party and the existence of the
German-Japanese bilateral Anti-Comintern Pact.
The Committee established the Nanking Safety Zone
in the western
quarter of the city. The Japanese government had previously agreed
not to attack parts of the city that did not contain Chinese
military forces, and the members of the International Committee for
the Nanking Safety Zone managed to persuade the Chinese government
to move their troops out of the area.
On December 1, 1937, Nanking Mayor Ma Chao-chun ordered all Chinese
citizens remaining in Nanking to move into the “Safety Zone”. Ma
fled the city on December 7, and the International Committee took
over as the de facto
Prince Asaka appointed as commander
In a memorandum for the palace rolls, Hirohito had singled Prince
Asaka out for censure as the one imperial kinsman whose attitude
was "not good." He assigned Asaka to Nanking as an opportunity to
On December 5, Asaka left Tokyo by plane and arrived at the front
three days later. Asaka met with division commanders,
lieutenant-generals Kesago Nakajima
and Heisuke Yanagawa
, who informed
him that the Japanese troops had almost completely surrounded three
hundred thousand Chinese troops in the vicinity of Nanking and that
preliminary negotiations suggested that the Chinese were ready to
Prince Asaka allegedly issued an order to "kill all captives," thus
providing official sanction for the crimes which took place during
and after the battle. Some authors record that Prince Asaka signed
the order for Japanese soldiers in Nanking to "kill all captives"
Others claim that lieutenant colonel Isamu Chō
, Asaka's aide-de-camp
, sent this order under the
Prince's sign manual without the Prince's knowledge or assent.
However, even if Chō took the initiative on his own, Prince Asaka,
who was nominally the officer in charge, gave no orders to stop the
carnage. When General Matsui arrived in the city four days after
the massacre had begun, he issued strict orders that resulted in
the eventual end of the massacre.
While the extent of Prince Asaka's responsibility for the massacre
remains a matter of debate, the ultimate sanction for the massacre
and the crimes committed during the invasion of China were issued
in the Emperor Hirohito
's ratification of
the Japanese army's proposition to remove the constraints of
on the treatment
of Chinese prisoners on August 5, 1937 .
Battle of Nanking
Siege of the city
On December 7
, the Japanese army issued a
command to all troops, advising that because occupying a foreign
capital was an unprecedented event for the Japanese military, those
soldiers who "[commit] any illegal acts", "dishonor the Japanese
Army", "loot", or "cause a fire to break out, even because of their
carelessness" would be severely punished.
The Japanese military continued to move forward, breaching the last
lines of Chinese resistance, and arriving outside the walled city
of Nanking on December 9
Demand for surrender
At noon on December 9, the military dropped leaflets into the city,
urging the surrender of Nanking within 24 hours, promising
annihilation if refused.
Meanwhile, members of the International Committee for the Nanking
Safety Zone contacted Tang and suggested a plan for three-day
cease-fire, during which the Chinese troops could withdraw without
fighting while the Japanese troops would stay in their present
General Tang agreed with this proposal if the International
Committee could acquire permission of Generalissimo Chiang
Kai-shek, who had already fled to Hankow to which he had
temporarily shifted the military headquarters two days
German businessman and chairman of the International Committee,
John Rabe, boarded the U.S. gunboat Panay on Dec. 9 and sent two
telegrams, one to Chiang Kai-shek by way of the American ambassador
in Hankow, and one to the Japanese military authority in Shanghai.
The next day he was informed that Chiang Kai-shek, who had ordered
that Nanking be defended "to the last man," had refused to accept
Assault and capture of Nanking
The Japanese awaited an answer to their demand for surrender but no
response was received from the Chinese by the noon deadline on
December 10. General Matsui Iwane
waited another hour before issuing the command to take Nanking by
force. The Japanese army mounted its assault on the Nanking walls
from multiple directions; the SEF’s 16th Division attacked three
gates on the eastern side, the 6th Division of the 10A launched its
offensive on the western walls, and the SEF’s 9th Division advanced
into the area in-between.
On December 12, after two days of Japanese attack, under heavy
artillery fire and aerial bombardment, General Tang Sheng-chi
ordered his men to retreat. What followed was nothing short of
chaos. Some Chinese soldiers stripped civilians of their clothing
in a desperate attempt to blend in, and many others were shot by
the Chinese supervisory unit as they tried to flee.
On the 13th of December, the 6th and the 116th Divisions of the
Japanese Army were the first to enter the city, facing little
military resistance. Simultaneously, the 9th Division entered
nearby Guanghua Gate, and the 16th Division entered the Zhongshan
and Taiping gates. That same afternoon, two small Japanese Navy
fleets arrived on both
sides of the Yangtze River. Nanking fell to the Japanese by
Pursuit and mopping-up operations
Japanese troops pursued the retreating Chinese army units,
primarily in the Xiakuan area to the north of the city walls and
around the Zijin Mountain in the east. Although the popular
narrative suggests that the final phase of the battle consisted of
a one-sided slaughter of Chinese troops by the Japanese, some
Japanese historians maintain that the remaining Chinese military
still posed a serious threat to the Japanese. Prince Yasuhiko
Asaka, SEF commander, told a war correspondent later that he was in
a very perilous position when his headquarters was ambushed by
Chinese forces that were in the midst of retreating from Nanking
east of the city. On the other side of the city, the 11th Company
of the 45th Regiment encountered some 20,000 Chinese military
soldiers who were making their way from Xiakuan.
The Japanese army conducted its mopping-up operation both inside
and outside the Nanking Safety
. Since the area outside the safety zone had been almost
completely evacuated, the mopping-up effort was concentrated in the
safety zone. The safety zone, an area of 3.85 square kilometers,
was literally packed with the remaining population of Nanking. The
Japanese army leadership assigned sections of the safety zone to
some units to separate alleged plain-clothed soldiers from the
Eyewitness accounts of Westerners and Chinese present at Nanking in
the weeks after the fall of the city state that over the course of
six weeks following the fall of Nanking, Japanese troops engaged in
rape, murder, theft, arson, and other war crimes. Some of these
accounts came from foreigners who opted to stay behind in order to
protect Chinese civilians from harm, including the diaries of
German John Rabe
and American Minnie Vautrin
. Other accounts include
first-person testimonies of the Nanking Massacre survivors,
eyewitness reports of journalists (both Western and Japanese), as
well as the field diaries of military personnel. An American missionary, John
Magee, stayed behind to provide a 16 mm film documentary and
first-hand photographs of the Nanking Massacre.
A group of foreign expatriates headed by John Rabe had formed the
15-man International Committee on November
and mapped out the Nanking
in order to safeguard civilians in the city, where
the population numbered from 200,000 to 250,000. Rabe and American
missionary Lewis S. C. Smythe, secretary of the International
Committee and a professor of sociology
the University of Nanking
recorded the actions of the Japanese troops and filed complaints to
the Japanese embassy.
Woman killed by Japanese army in
Military Tribunal for the Far East
estimated that 20,000 women
were raped, including infants and the elderly. A large portion of
these rapes were systematized in a process where soldiers would
search door-to-door for young girls, with many women taken captive
and gang raped
. The women were often
killed immediately after the rape, often through explicit mutilation
or by stabbing a bayonet, long stick
of bamboo, or other objects into the vagina.
On 19 December 1937, Reverend James M. McCallum wrote in his diary
"I know not where to end.
Never I have heard or read such brutality.
We estimate at least 1,000 cases a night, and many by
In case of resistance or anything that seems like
disapproval, there is a bayonet stab or a bullet...
People are hysterical...
Women are being carried off every morning, afternoon
The whole Japanese army seems to be free to go and come
as it pleases, and to do whatever it pleases."
On March 7, 1938, Robert O.
, a surgeon at the
American-administered University Hospital in the Safety Zone, wrote
in a letter to his family, "a conservative estimate of people
slaughtered in cold blood is somewhere about 100,000, including of
course thousands of soldiers that had thrown down their
Here are two excerpts from his letters of 15 and 18 December 1937
to his family :
"The slaughter of civilians is appalling.
I could go on for pages telling of cases of rape and
brutality almost beyond belief.
Two bayoneted corpses are the only survivors of seven
street cleaners who were sitting in their headquarters when
Japanese soldiers came in without warning or reason and killed five
of their number and wounded the two that found their way to the
"Let me recount some instances occurring in the last
Last night the house of one of the Chinese staff
members of the university was broken into and two of the women, his
relatives, were raped.
Two girls, about 16, were raped to death in one of the
In the University Middle School where there are 8,000
people the Japs came in ten times last night, over the wall, stole
food, clothing, and raped until they were satisfied.
They bayoneted one little boy of eight who have [sic]
five bayonet wounds including one that penetrated his stomach, a
portion of omentum was outside the abdomen.
I think he will live."
In his diary kept during the aggression to the city and its
occupation by the Imperial
, the leader of the Safety Zone, John Rabe
, wrote many comments about Japanese
atrocities. For the 17th December:
"Two Japanese soldiers have climbed over the garden
wall and are about to break into our house.
When I appear they give the excuse that they saw two
Chinese soldiers climb over the wall.
When I show them my party badge, they return the same
In one of the houses in the narrow street behind my
garden wall, a woman was raped, and then wounded in the neck with a
I managed to get an ambulance so we can take her to
(...) Last night up to 1,000 women and girls are said
to have been raped, about 100 girls at Ginling College Girls
You hear nothing but rape.
If husbands or brothers intervene, they're
What you hear and see on all sides is the brutality and
bestiality of the Japanese soldiers."
There are also accounts of Japanese troops forcing families to
commit acts of incest
. Sons were forced to
rape their mothers, fathers were forced to rape daughters. One
pregnant woman who was gang-raped by Japanese soldiers gave birth
only a few hours later; although the baby appeared to be physically
unharmed (Robert B. Edgerton, Warriors of the Rising Sun
Monks who had declared a life of celibacy
were also forced to rape women.
Murder of civilians
On 13 December 1937, John Rabe
his diary :
"It is not until we tour the city that we learn the
extent of destruction. We come across corpses every 100 to 200
yards. The bodies of civilians that I examined had bullet holes in
their backs. These people had presumably been fleeing and were shot
from behind. The Japanese march through the city in groups of ten
to twenty soldiers and loot the shops (...) I watched with my own
eyes as they looted the café of our German baker Herr Kiessling.
Hempel's hotel was broken into as well, as almost every shop on
Chung Shang and Taiping Road."
On 10 February 1938, Legation Secretary of the German Embassy,
Rosen, wrote to his Foreign Ministry about a film made in December
by Reverend John Magee
recommend its purchase. Here is an excerpt from his letter and a
description of some of its shots, kept in the Political Archives of
the Foreign Ministry in Berlin.
"During the Japanese reign of terror in Nanking -
which, by the way, continues to this day to a considerable degree -
the Reverend John Magee, a member of the American Episcopal Church
Mission who has been here for almost a quarter of a centuty, took
motion pictures that eloquently bear witness to the atrocities
committed by the Japanese.
(....) One will have to wait and see whether the
highest officers in the Japanese army succeed, as they have
indicated, in stopping the activities of their troops, which
continue even today(...)"
"On December 13, about 30 soldiers came to a Chinese
house at #5 Hsing Lu Koo in the southeastern part of Nanking, and
The door was open by the landlord, a Mohammedan named
They killed him immediately with a revolver and also
Mrs. Ha, who knelt before them after Ha's death, begging them not
to kill anyone else.
Mrs. Ha asked them why they killed her husband and they
shot her dead.
Mrs. Hsia was dragged out from under a table in the
guest hall where she had tried to hide with her 1 year old
After being stripped and raped by one or more men, she
was bayoneted in the chest, and then had a bottle thrust into her
The baby was killed with a bayonet.
Some soldiers then went to the next room, where Mrs.
Hsia's parents, aged 76 and 74, and her two daughters aged 16 and
They were about to rape the girls when the grandmother
tried to protect them.
The soldiers killed her with a revolver.
The grandfather grasped the body of his wife and was
The two girls were then stripped, the elder being raped
by 2-3 men, and the younger by 3.
The older girl was stabbed afterwards and a cane was
rammed in her vagina.
The younger girl was bayoneted also but was spared the
horrible treatment that had been meted out to her sister and
The soldiers then bayoneted another sister of between
7-8, who was also in the room.
The last murders in the house were of Ha's two
children, aged 4 and 2 respectively.
The older was bayoneted and the younger split down
through the head with a sword.
Pregnant women were a target of murder, as they would often be
bayoneted in the stomach, sometimes after rape. Tang Junshan,
survivor and witness to one of the Japanese army’s systematic mass
"The seventh and last person in the first row was a
The soldier thought he might as well rape her before
killing her, so he pulled her out of the group to a spot about ten
As he was trying to rape her, the woman resisted
fiercely...The soldier abruptly stabbed her in the belly with a
She gave a final scream as her intestines spilled
Then the soldier stabbed the fetus, with its umbilical
cord clearly visible, and tossed it aside."
Thousands were led away and mass-executed in an excavation known as
the "Ten-Thousand-Corpse Ditch", a trench measuring about 300m long
and 5m wide. Since records were not kept, estimates regarding the
number of victims buried in the ditch range from 4,000 to 20,000.
However, most scholars and historians consider the number to be
more than 12,000 victims.
The Japanese officers turned the act of murder into sport. They
would set out to kill a certain number of Chinese before the other.
Young men would also be used for bayonet training. Their limbs
would be restrained or they would be tied to a post while the
Japanese soldiers took turns plunging their bayonets into the
File:Nanjing1937 self-organized burial team.jpeg|The sheer volume
of murdered civilians posed a formidable logistical challenge when
it came to disposing of the bodies. Many Chinese were conscripted
into "burial teams", an experience they would later recall as
enfants.jpgImage:Nanjing massacre bones of
victims1.jpgImage:Nanjing massacre bones of victims2.jpg
Execution of Chinese POWs
On August 6, 1937, Hirohito
ratified his army's proposition to remove the constraints of
international law on the treatment of Chinese prisoners. This
directive also advised staff officers to stop using the term
"prisoner of war".
Immediately after the fall of the city, Japanese troops embarked on
a determined search for former soldiers, in which thousands of
young men were captured. Many were taken to the Yangtze River, where they were machine-gunned.
probably the single largest massacre of Chinese troops occurred
along the banks of the Yangtze River on December 18 in what is
called the Straw String Gorge Massacre. Japanese soldiers took most
of the morning tying all of the POWs hands together and in the dusk
divided them into 4 columns, and opened fire at them. Unable to
escape, the POWs could only scream and thrash in desperation. It
took an hour for the sounds of death to stop, and even longer for
the Japanese to bayonet each individual. Most were dumped into the
Yangtze. It is estimated that at least 57,500 Chinese POWs were
The Japanese troops gathered 1,300 Chinese soldiers and civilians
at Taiping Gate
and killed them. The
victims were blown up with landmines, then doused with petrol
before being set on fire. Those that were left alive afterward were
killed with bayonets.
F. Tillman Durdin
and Archibald Steele
, American news
correspondents, reported that they had seen bodies of killed
Chinese soldiers forming mounds six feet high at the Nanking
Yijiang gate in the north. Durdin, who was working for the New York Times
, made a tour of Nanking before
his departure from the city. He heard waves of machine-gun fire and
witnessed the Japanese soldiers gun down some two hundred Chinese
within ten minutes. Two days later, in his report to the New
, he stated that the alleys and street were filled
with civilian bodies, including women and children.
According to a testimony made by missionary Ralph L. Phillips to
the U.S. State Assembly Investigating Committee, he was "forced to
watch while the Japs disembowled a Chinese soldier" and "roasted
his heart and liver and ate them".
Theft and arson
One-third of the city was destroyed as a result of arson. According
to reports, Japanese troops torched newly-built government
buildings as well as the homes of many civilians. There was
considerable destruction to areas outside the city walls. Soldiers
pillaged from the poor and the wealthy alike. The lack of
resistance from Chinese troops and civilians in Nanking meant that
the Japanese soldiers were free to divide up the city's valuables
as they saw fit. This resulted in the widespread looting and
On 17 December, John Rabe
chairman a complaint to Kiyoshi Fukui, second secretary of the
Japanese Embassy. The following is an excerpt:
"In other words, on the 13th when your troops entered
the city, we had nearly all the civilian population gathered in a
Zone in which there had been very little destruction by stray
shells and no looting by Chinese soldiers even in full
(...) All 27 Occidentals in the city at that time and
our Chinese population were totally surprised by the reign of
robbery, rapine and killing initiated by your soldiers on the
All we are asking in our protest is that you restore
order among your troops and get the normal life city going as soon
In the latter process we are glad to cooperate in any
way we can.
But even last night between 8 and 9 p.m. when five
Occidentals members of our staff and Committee toured the Zone to
observe conditions, we did not find any single Japanese patrol
either in the Zone or at the entrances!"
The Nanking Safety Zone and the role of foreigners
The Japanese troops did respect the Zone to an extent; no shells
entered that part of the city leading up to the Japanese occupation
except a few stray shots. During the chaos following the attack of
the city, some were killed in the Safety Zone, but the crimes that
took place in the rest of the city were far greater by all
The Japanese soldiers committed actions in the Safety Zone that
were part of the larger Nanking Massacre. The International
Committee appealed a number of times to the Japanese army, with
using his credentials as a
member, but to no avail. Rabe wrote that
from time to time the Japanese would enter the Safety Zone at will,
carry off a few hundred men and women, and either summarily execute
them or rape and then kill them.
By February 5, 1938, the International
had forwarded to the Japanese embassy a total of 450
cases of murder, rape, and general disorder by Japanese soldiers
that had been reported after the American, British and German
diplomats had returned to their embassies. .
- "Case 5- On the night of December 14th, there were many cases
of Japanese soldiers entering houses and raping women or taking
them away. This created panic in the area and hundreds of women
moved into the Gingling College campus yesterday."
- "Case 10- On the night of December 15th, a number of Japanese
soldiers entered the University of Nanking buildings at Tao Yuen
and raped 30 women on the spot, some by six men."
- "Case 13 - December 18, 4 p.m., at No. 18 I Ho Lu, Japanese
soldiers wanted a man's cigarette case and when he hesitated, one
of the soldier crashed in the side of his head with a bayonet. The
man is now at the University Hospital and is not expected to
- "Case 14 - On December 16th, seven girls (ages ranged from 16
to 21) were taken away from the Military College. Five returned.
Each girl was raped six or seven times daily- reported December
- "Case 15 - There are about 540 refugees crowded in #83 and 85
on Canton Road... More than 30 women and girls have been raped. The
women and children are crying all nights. Conditions inside the
compound are worse than we can describe. Please give us help."
- "Case 16- A Chinese girl named Loh, who, with her mother and
brother, was living in one of the Refugee Centers in the Refugee
Zone, was shot through the head and killed by a Japanese soldier.
The girl was 14 years old. The incident occurred near the Kuling
Ssu, a noted temple on the border of the Refugee zone (...)"
- "Case 19 - January 30th, about 5 p.m. Mr. Sone (of the Nanking
Theological Seminary) was greeted by several hundred women pleading
with him that they would not have to go home on February 4th. They
said it was no use going home they might just as well be killed for
staying at the camp as to be raped, robbed or killed at home. (...)
One old woman 62 years old went home near Hansimen and Japanese
soldiers came at night and wanted to rape her. She said she was too
old. So the soldiers rammed a stick up her. But she survived to
It is said that Rabe rescued between 200,000 - 250,000 Chinese
Matsui's reaction to the massacre
On December 18, 1937, as Matsui began to comprehend the full extent
of the rape, murder, and looting in the city, he grew increasingly
dismayed. He reportedly told one of his civilian aides: "I now
realize that we have unknowingly wrought a most grievous effect on
this city. When I think of the feelings and sentiments of many of
my Chinese friends who have fled from Nanking and of the future of
the two countries, I cannot but feel depressed. I am very lonely
and can never get in a mood to rejoice about this victory." He even
let a tinge of regret flavor the statement he released to the press
that morning: "I personally feel sorry for the tragedies to the
people, but the Army must continue unless China repents. Now, in
the winter, the season gives time to reflect. I offer my sympathy,
with deep emotion, to a million innocent people." On New Year's
Day, Matsui was still upset about the behavior of the Japanese
soldiers at Nanking. Over a toast he confided to a Japanese
diplomat: "My men have done something very wrong and extremely
End of the massacre
In late January 1938, the Japanese army forced all refugees in the
Safety Zone to return home, immediately claiming to have "restored
After the establishment of the “weixin zhengfu” (the collaborating
government) in 1938, order was gradually restored in Nanking and
atrocities by Japanese troops lessened considerably.
On February 18, 1938, the Nanking Safety Zone International
Committee was forcibly renamed "Nanking International Rescue
", and the Safety Zone effectively ceased to
function. The last refugee camps were closed in May 1938.
Recall of Matsui and Asaka
In February 1938 both Prince Asaka and General Matsui were recalled
to Japan. Matsui returned to retirement, but Prince Asaka remained
on the Supreme War Council until the end of the war in August 1945.
He was promoted to the rank of general
August 1939, though he held no further military commands.
Death toll estimates
Estimates of the number of victims varies based on the definitions
of the geographical range and the duration of the event.
According to the International
Military Tribunal for the Far East
, estimates made at a later
date indicate that the total number of civilians and prisoners of
war murdered in Nanking and its vicinity during the first six weeks
of the Japanese occupation was over 200,000. These estimates are
borne out by the figures of burial societies and other
organizations, which testify to over 155,000 buried bodies. These
figures do not take into account those persons whose bodies were
destroyed by burning, drowning, or other means.
According to the verdict of the Nanjing War Crimes Tribunal
10 March 1947, there are "more than 190,000 mass slaughtered
civilians and Chinese soldiers killed by machine gun by the
Japanese army, whose corpses have been burned to destroy proof.
Besides, we count more than 150,000 victims of barbarian acts
buried by the charity organizations. We thus have a total of more
than 300,000 victims."
The extent of the atrocities is debated, with numbers ranging from
some Japanese claims of several hundred, to the Chinese claim of a
non-combatant death toll of 300,000. A number of Japanese
researchers consider 100,000–200,000 to be an accurate
Other nations believe the death toll to be between 150,000–300,000,
based on the Nanjing War
verdict, and another estimate of the civilian
toll (excluding soldiers and POWs) is about 40,000-60,000, which
corresponds to the figures from three sources; one is the Red
Army's official journal of the time, Hangdibao and another is that
of Miner Searle Bates of the International Safety Zone Committee,
and the third is the aforementioned figure written by John Rabe in
a letter. The casualty count of 300,000 was first promulgated in
January 1938 by Harold Timperley
journalist in China during the Japanese invasion, based on reports
from contemporary eyewitnesses. Other sources, including Iris Chang
's The Rape of Nanking
conclude that the death toll reached 300,000. In December 2007,
newly declassified U.S. government
documents revealed an additional toll of around 500,000 in the area
surrounding Nanking before it was occupied.
Range and duration
The most conservative viewpoint is that the geographical area of
the incident should be limited to the few
of the city known as the Safety Zone,
where the civilians gathered after the invasion. Many Japanese
historians seized upon the fact that during the Japanese invasion
there were only 200,000–250,000 citizens in Nanking as reported by
John Rabe, to argue that the PRC's estimate of 300,000 deaths is a
However, many historians include a much larger area around the
city. Including the Xiaguan district (the suburbs
north of Nanking, about
in size) and other areas on
the outskirts of the city, the population of greater Nanking was
running between 535,000 and 635,000 civilians and soldiers just
prior to the Japanese occupation. Some historians also include six
counties around Nanking, known as the Nanking Special
The duration of the incident is naturally defined by its geography:
the earlier the Japanese entered the area, the longer the duration.
The Battle of Nanking
December 13, when the divisions of the Japanese Army entered the
walled city of Nanking. The Tokyo War Crime Tribunal defined the
period of the massacre to the ensuing six weeks. More conservative
estimates say the massacre started on December 14, when the troops
entered the Safety Zone, and that it lasted for six weeks.
who define the Nanking Massacre as having started from the time the
Japanese Army entered Jiangsu province
push the beginning of the massacre to around mid-November to early
December (Suzhou fell on November 19), and stretch the end of the
massacre to late March 1938.
Japanese historians, depending on their definition of the
geographical and time duration of the killings, give wide-ranging
estimates for the number of massacred civilians, from several
thousand to upwards of 200,000.
Chinese language sources tend to place the figure of massacred
civilians upwards of 200,000. For example, a postwar investigation
by the Nanking District Court put the number of dead during the
incident as 295,525, 76% of them men, 22% women and 2%
ROC documentary produced from 1995 to 1997, entitled
An Inch of Blood For An Inch of Land (一寸河山一寸血), asserts
that 340,000 Chinese civilians died in Nanking City as a result of
the Japanese invasion, 150,000 through bombing and crossfire in the
five-day battle, and 190,000 in the massacre, based on the evidence
presented at the Tokyo Trials.
War crimes tribunals
Shortly after the surrender of Japan, the primary officers in
charge of the Japanese troops at Nanking were put on trial. General
Matsui was indicted before the International
Military Tribunal for the Far East
for "deliberately and
recklessly" ignoring his legal duty "to take adequate steps to
secure the observance and prevent breaches" of the Hague Convention
. Hisao Tani
, the lieutenant general of the 6th
Division of the Japanese army in Nanking, was tried by the Nanjing War Crimes
Other Japanese military leaders in charge at the time of the
Nanking Massacre were not tried. Prince
, chief of staff of the Japanese
during the massacre, had died before the end of the war in
May 1945. Prince Asaka was granted immunity because of his status
as a member of the imperial family. Isamu
, the aide of Prince Asaka, and who some historians believe
issued the "kill all captives" memo, had committed suicide during
the defense of Okinawa.
Image:Iwane Matsui.jpg|General Matsui
File:Tani Hisao.jpg|General Hisao
Grant of immunity to Prince Asaka
On May 1, 1946, SCAP
interrogated Prince Asaka
, who was the
ranking officer in the city at the height of the atrocities, about
his involvement in the Nanking Massacre and the deposition was
submitted to the International Prosecution Section of the Tokyo
tribunal. Asaka denied the existence of any massacre and claimed
never to have received complaints about the conduct of his troops.
Whatever his culpability may have been, Asaka was not prosecuted
before the International
Military Tribunal for the Far East
at least in part because
under the pact concluded between General MacArthur
, the Emperor himself and all the members
of the imperial family were granted immunity from
Evidence and testimony
The prosecution began the Nanking phase of its case in July 1946.
Dr. Robert Wilson
, a surgeon and a
member of the International Committee for the Nanking Safety Zone,
took the witness stand first.
Other members of the International Committee for the Nanking Safety
Zone who took the witness stand included Miner Searle Bates
and John Magee
. George A. Fitch
and James McCallum
affidavits with their diaries and letters.
Another piece of evidence that was submitted to the tribunal was
Harold Timperley's telegram regarding the Nanking Massacre which
had been intercepted and decoded by the Americans on January 17,
One of the books by Hsü, Documents of the Nanking Safety Zone, was
According to Matsui's own diary, one day after he made the
ceremonial triumphal entry into the city on December 17, 1937, he
instructed the chiefs of staff from each division to tighten
military discipline and try to eradicate the sense of disdain for
Chinese people among their soldiers.
On February 7, 1938, Matsui delivered a speech at a memorial
service for the Japanese officers and men of the Shanghai
Expeditionary Force who were killed in action. In front of the
high-ranking officers, Domei News Agency reported, he emphasized
the necessity to "put an end to various reports affecting the
prestige of the Japanese troops."
The entry for the same day in Matsui's diary read, "I could only
feel sadness and responsibility today, which has been
overwhelmingly piercing my heart. This is caused by the Army's
misbehaviors after the fall of Nanking and failure to proceed with
the autonomous government and other political plans."
Matsui's defence varied between denying the mass-scale atrocities
and evading his responsibility for what had happened. Eventually he
ended up making numerous conflicting statements.
In the interrogation in Sugamo prison preceding the trial Matsui
admitted that he heard about the many outrages committed by his
troops from Japanese diplomats when he entered Nanking on December
In court, he contradicted the earlier testimony and told the judges
that he was not "officially" briefed at the consulate about the
evildoings, presumably to avoid admitting any contact with the
consulate officials such as Second Secretary (later Acting
Consul-General) Fukui Kiyoshi and Attaché Fukuda Tokuyasu who
received and dealt with the protests filed by the International
In the same interrogation session before the trial Matsui said one
officer and three low-ranking soldiers were court-martialed because
of their misbehavior in Nanking and the officer was sentenced to
In his affidavit Matsui said he ordered his officers to investigate
the massacre and to take necessary action. In court, however,
Matsui said that he did not have jurisdiction over the soldiers'
misconduct since he was not in the position of supervising military
discipline and morals.
Matsui asserted that he had never ordered the execution of Chinese
. He further argued that he had
directed his army division commanders to discipline their troops
for criminal acts, and was not responsible for their failure to
carry out his directives. At trial, Matsui went out of his way to
protect Prince Asaka
by shifting blame
to lower ranking division commanders.
In the end the Tribunal connected only two defendants to the Rape
Matsui was convicted of count 55, which charged him with being one
of the senior officers who "deliberately and recklessly disregarded
their legal duty [by virtue of their respective offices] to take
adequate steps to secure the observance [of the Laws and Customs of
War] and prevent breaches thereof, and thereby violated the laws of
Hirota Koki, who had been the Foreign Minister when Japan conquered
Nanking, was convicted of participating in "the formulation or
execution of a common plan or conspiracy" (count 1), waging "a war
of aggression and a war in violation of international laws,
treaties, agreements and assurances against the Republic of China"
(count 27) and count 55.
Matsui was convicted by a majority of the judges at the Tokyo
tribunal who ruled that he bore ultimate responsibility for the
"orgy of crime" at Nanking because, "He did nothing, or nothing
effective, to abate these horrors."
Organized and wholesale murder of male civilians was
conducted with the apparent sanction of the commanders on the
pretext that Chinese soldiers had removed their uniforms and were
mingling with the population. Groups of Chinese civilians were
formed, bound with their hands behind their backs, and marched
outside the walls of the city where they were killed in groups by
machine gun fire and with bayonets. --- From Judgment of the
International Military Tribunal
, the member of the
tribunal from India, dissented from the conviction arguing that the
commander-in-chief must rely on his subordinate officers to enforce
soldier discipline. "The name of Justice," Pal wrote in his
dissent, "should not be allowed to be invoked only for ...
On November 12, 1948, on the basis of a simple majority of the
eleven judges, Matsui and Hirota, with five other convicted Class-A
war criminals, were sentenced to death by hanging. Eighteen others
received lesser sentences. The death sentence imposed on Hirota,
who was apparently sent to the gallows on the basis of a bare six
votes, shocked the general public and prompted a petition on his
behalf, which soon gathered over 300,000 signatures, but to no
Generals Hisao Tani
and Rensuke Isogai
were sentenced to death by the
Nanking War Crimes Tribunal.
Nanking Massacre Memorial Hall
hall was built by the Nanking Municipal Government in
remembrance of the victims and to raise awareness of the Nanking
It is located near a site where thousands of
bodies were buried, called a "pit of ten thousand corpses," or "wan
Image:Nanjing massacre low relief1.jpgImage:Nanjing massacre low
In 1995, Daniel Kwan held a photograph exhibit in Los Angeles
titled, "The Forgotten Holocaust".
John Rabe House
In 2005, John Rabe's former residence in Nanking was renovated and
now accommodates the "John Rabe and
International Safety Zone Memorial Hall
", which opened in
China and Japan have both acknowledged the occurrence of wartime
atrocities. Disputes over the historical portrayal of these events
continue to cause tensions between Japan on one side and China and
other East Asian countries on the other side.
Before the 1970s, China did relatively little to draw attention to
the Nanking massacre. In her book Rape of Nanking
Chang asserted that the politics of the Cold
encouraged Mao to stay relatively silent about Nanking in
order to keep a trade relationship with Japan. In turn, China and
the United States occasionally used Nanking as an opportunity to
demonize one another.
Debate in Japan
The major waves of Japanese treatment of these events have ranged
from total cover-up during the war, confessions and documentation
by the Japanese soldiers during the 1950s and 1960s, minimization
of the extent of the Nanking Massacre during the 1970s and 1980s,
official Japanese government distortion and rewriting of history
during the 1980s, and total denial of the occurrence of the Nanking
Massacre by some government officials in 1990.
The debate concerning the massacre took place mainly in the 1970s.
During this time, the Chinese government's statements about the
event were attacked by the Japanese because they were said to rely
too heavily on personal testimonies and anecdotal evidence.
Aspersions were cast regarding the authenticity and accuracy of
burial records and photographs presented in the Tokyo War Crime
Court, which were said to be fabrications by the Chinese
government, artificially manipulated or incorrectly attributed to
the Nanking Massacre.
During the 1970s, Katsuichi Honda
wrote a series of articles for the Asahi Shimbun
on war crimes committed by
Japanese soldiers during World War II
(such as the Nanking Massacre). The publication of these articles
triggered a vehement response from Japanese right-wingers regarding
the Japanese treatment of the war crimes. In response, Shichihei
Yamamoto and Akira Suzuki wrote two controversial yet influential
articles which sparked the negationist movement.
Apology and condolences by the prime minister and emperor of
On August 15, 1995, the fiftieth anniversary of the Surrender of Japan
, the Japanese prime
minister Tomiichi Murayama
the first clear and formal apology for Japanese actions during the
war. He apologized for Japan's wrongful aggression and the great
suffering that it inflicted in Asia. He offered his heartfelt
apology to all survivors and to the relatives and friends of the
victims. That day, the prime minister and the
Japanese Emperor Akihito pronounced
statements of mourning at Tokyo's Nippon Budokan.
The emperor offered his condolences and
expressed the hope that such atrocities would never be repeated.
, author of The Rape of Nanking
Murayama for not providing the written apology that had been
expected. She said that the people of China "don't believe that
an... unequivocal and sincere apology has ever been made by Japan
to China" and that a written apology from Japan would send a better
message to the international community.
Denial of the massacre by the Liberal Democratic Party of
In 2007, a group of around 100 Liberal Democratic Party of
(LDP) lawmakers again denounced the Nanjing Massacre as a
fabrication, arguing that there was no evidence to prove the
allegations of mass killings by Japanese soldiers. They accused
Beijing of using the alleged incident as a "political
Effect on international relations
The memory of the Nanking Massacre has been a stumbling block in
since the early 1970s. Bilateral exchanges on trade, culture and
education have increased greatly since the two countries normalized
their bilateral relations and Japan became China’s most important
trading partner.. Trade between the two nations is worth over $200
billion annually. Despite this, many Chinese people still have a
strong sense of mistrust and animosity toward Japan that originates
from the memory of Japanese war
such as the Nanking Massacre. This sense of mistrust is
strengthened by the belief that Japan is unwilling to admit to and
apologize for the atrocities.
Takashi Yoshida described how changing political concerns and
perceptions of the "national interest" in Japan, China, and Western
countries have shaped collective memory of the Nanking massacre.
Yoshida asserted that over time the event has acquired different
meanings to different people.
Many Japanese prime ministers have visited the Yasukuni Shrine, a
shrine for dead Japanese soldiers of World
, including some war criminals of the Nanking Massacre.
In 2006 former Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi
made a pilgrimage to the
shrine despite warnings from China and South Korea. His decision to
visit the shrine regardless sparked international outrage. Although
Koizumi denied that he was trying to glorify war or historical
Japanese militarism, The Chinese Foreign Ministry accused Koizumi
of "wrecking the political foundations of China-Japan relations".
An official from South Korea said they would summon the Tokyo
ambassador to protest.
As a component of national identity
Takashi Yoshida asserts that, "Nanking has figured in the attempts
of all three nations [China, Japan and the United States] to
preserve and redefine national and ethnic pride and identity,
assuming different kinds of significance based on each country's
changing internal and external enemies."
See main article: Japanese history
In Japan, the Nanking Massacre touches upon national identity and
notions of "pride, honor and shame." Yoshida argues that "Nanking
crystallizes a much larger conflict over what should constitute the
ideal perception of the nation: Japan, as a nation, acknowledges
its past and apologizes for its wartime wrongdoings; or . . .
stands firm against foreign pressures and teaches Japanese youth
about the benevolent and courageous martyrs who fought a just war
to save Asia from Western aggression." Accepting the "orthodox"
position can be viewed in some circles in Japan as "Japan bashing"
(in the case of foreigners) or "self-flagellation" (in the case of
The majority of Japanese acknowledge the atrocities committed
during the Nanking Massacre. Some negationists and Japanese
officials have openly denied the incident, claiming it propaganda
designed to spark an anti-Japan movement.
In China, the Communist Party has turned to history as a means of
shoring up its legitimacy, especially since the 1989 Tiananmen
Square protests. The Nanking Incident has emerged as a fundamental
keystone in the construction of the modern Chinese national
identity. A refusal to accept the "orthodox" position on Nanking
can be construed as an attempt to deny the Chinese nation a
legitimate voice in international society.
In the media
- Chad, Meira, A Choice of Evils (London: The Orion Publishing
- Hayder, Mo. The Devil of Nanking [First
published...(Britain: Bantam Press/Transworld Publishers, 2005)]
- Qi, Shouhua. When the Purple Mountain Burns: A Novel.
San Francisco: Long River Press, 2005.
- Qi, Shouhua. Purple Mountain: A Story of the Rape of
Nanking English Chinese Bilingual Edition (2009)
- West, Paul. The Tent of Orange Mist (1995)
- Nankin Jiken Gyakusatsu no kozo (南京事件―「虐殺」の構造) by
Ikuhiko Hata ISBN 4121007956, ISBN
- The Rape of
Nanking by Iris Chang
- The Nanjing Massacre. A Japanese Journalist
Confronts Japan's National Shame by Katsuichi Honda (1998)
- The Alleged "Nanking Massacre" – Japan's rebuttal to
China's forged claims by Tadao Takemoto, Yasuo Ohara
- The Good German of Nanking – The Diaries of John Rabe
edited by Erwin Wickert (1998), ISBN 0 349 11141 3
- The Battle of China
(1944) a documentary film by
American director Frank Capra.
- Black Sun: The
Nanking Massacre (1995), by Chinese director Mou Tun Fei, recreates the events of the Nanking
- Don't Cry, Nanking
aka (Nanjing 1937) (1995) directed by Wu Ziniu is a historical fiction centering around a
Chinese doctor, his Japanese wife, and their children, as they
experience the siege, fall, and massacre of Nanking.
- Tokyo Trial (2006)
is about the International
Military Tribunal for the Far East.
- Nanking (2007), directed
by Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman, that makes use of letters and
diaries from the era as well as archive footage and interviews with
surviving victims and those involved in the massacre.
- The Truth about
Nanjing (2007), a documentary by Satoru Mizushima denying
that any such massacre took place.
- City of Life and
Death (2009) directed by Lu Chuan,
a dramatization of the Nanking Massacre.
- John Rabe (2009)
directed by Florian
Gallenberger, a Sino-German co-production about the life of
John Rabe, featuring Ulrich Tukur in the title role and Steve Buscemi in a supporting role.
- War and Destiny (2007)
a story about life in Nanking up until and during the Japanese
In December 2007, the Chinese government published the names of
13,000 people who were killed by Japanese troops in the Nanking
Massacre. According to Xinhua News Agency, it is the most complete record to date.
report consists of eight volumes and was released to mark the 70th
anniversary of the start of the massacre. It also lists the
Japanese army units that were responsible for each of the deaths
and states the way in which the victims were killed. Zhang Xianwen,
editor-in-chief of the report, states that the information
collected was based on "a combination of Chinese, Japanese and
Western raw materials, which is objective and just and is able to
stand the trial of history." This report will form part of a
28-volume series about the massacre.
massacre of Chinese civilians by Japanese soldiers on December 9,
1937 is one two massacres that have occurred in Nanking.
entered Nanjing twice during the Taiping Rebellion
, once on March 1853 and
again in September 1856, the second time resulting in a massacre
that was later known as the Tianjing
- Analyzing the “Photographic Evidence” of the Nanking Massacre
- Askew, David. "The International Committee for the Nanking
Safety Zone: An Introduction" Sino-Japanese Studies Vol.
14, April 2002 (Article outlining membership and their reports of
the events that transpired during the massacre)
- Askew, David, "The Nanjing Incident: An Examination of the
Civilian Population" Sino-Japanese Studies Vol. 13, March
2001 (Article analyzes a wide variety of figures on the population
of Nanking before, during, and after the massacre)
- Bergamini, David, "Japan's Imperial Conspiracy," William
Morrow, New York; 1971.
- Brook, Timothy, ed. Documents on the Rape of Nanjing,
Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1999. ISBN
0-472-11134-5 (Does not include the Rabe diaries but does include
reprints of "Hsu Shuhsi, Documents of
the Nanking Safety Zone,
Kelly and Walsh, 1939".)
- Chang, Iris, The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten
Holocaust of World War II, Foreword by William C. Kirby;
Penguin USA (Paper), 1998. ISBN 0-14-027744-7
- Hua-ling Hu,
American Goddess at the Rape of Nanking: The Courage of Minnie
Vautrin, Foreword by Paul Simon; March 2000, ISBN
- Fogel, Joshua, ed. The Nanjing Massacre in History and
Historiography, Berkeley: University of California Press,
2000. ISBN 0-520-22007-2
- Fujiwara, Akira " The
Nanking Atrocity: An Interpretive Overview" Japan Focus October
- Galbraith, Douglas, A Winter in China, London, 2006.
ISBN 0-099-46597-3. A novel focussing on the western residents of
Nanking during the massacre.
- Higashinakano, Shudo, The Nanking Massacre: Fact Versus Fiction: A Historian's
Quest for the Truth, Tokyo: Sekai Shuppan, 2005. ISBN
- Higashinakano, Kobayashi and Fukunaga, Analyzing The 'Photographic Evidence' of The Nanking
Massacre, Tokyo: Soshisha, 2005. ISBN 4-7942-1381-6
- Honda, Katsuichi, Sandness, Karen trans. The Nanjing
Massacre: A Japanese Journalist Confronts Japan's National
Shame, London: M.E. Sharpe, 1999. ISBN 0-7656-0335-7
- Hsū Shuhsi, ed. (1939), Documents of the Nanking Safety Zone
(reprinted in Documents on the Rape of Nanjing Brook ed.
- Kajimoto, Masato "Mistranslations in Honda Katsuichi's the
Nanjing Massacre" Sino-Japanese Studies, 13. 2 (March
2001) pp. 32–44
- Lu, Suping, They Were in Nanjing: The Nanjing Massacre
Witnessed by American and British Nationals, Hong Kong
University Press, 2004.
- Murase, Moriyasu,Watashino Jyugun Cyugoku-sensen(My
China Front), Nippon Kikanshi Syuppan Center, 1987 (revised in
2005).(includes disturbing photos, 149 page photogravure) ISBN
4-88900-836-5 ( )
- Qi, Shouhua. "When the Purple Mountain Burns: A Novel" San
Francisco: Long River Press, 2005. ISBN 1-59265-041-4
- Qi, Shouhua. Purple Mountain: A Story of the Rape of
Nanking (A Novel) English Chinese Bilingual Edition
(Paperback, 2009) ISBN 1448659655
- Rabe, John, The
Good Man of Nanking: The Diaries of John Rabe, Vintage
(Paper), 2000. ISBN 0-375-70197-4
- Robert Sabella, Fei Fei Li and David Liu, eds. Nanking 1937:
Memory and Healing (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2002). ISBN
- Takemoto, Tadao and Ohara, Yasuo The Alleged "Nanking
Massacre": Japan's rebuttal to China's forged claims,
Meisei-sha, Inc., 2000, (Tokyo Trial revisited) ISBN
- Tanaka, Masaaki, What Really Happened in Nanking: The Refutation of a
Common Myth, Tokyo: Sekai Shuppan, 2000. ISBN
- Wakabayashi, Bob Tadashi "The Nanking 100-Man Killing Contest
Debate: War Guilt Amid Fabricated Illusions, 1971–75",The
Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol.26 No.2 Summer 2000.
- Wakabayashi, Bob Tadashi The Nanking Atrocity, 1937-1938:
Complicating the Picture, Berghahn Books, 2007, ISBN
- Yamamoto, Masahiro Nanking: Anatomy of an Atrocity,
Praeger Publishers, 2000, ISBN 0-275-96904-5
- Yang, Daqing. "Convergence or Divergence? Recent Historical
Writings on the Rape of Nanjing" American Historical
Review 104, 3 (June 1999)., 842-865.
- Yoshida, Takeshi " A Japanese Historiography of the Nanjing
Massacre", Columbia East Asian Review, Fall 1999. (A
much longer and more detailed version of this article is in above
in the work edited by Joshua Fogel)
- Young, Shi; Yin, James. "Rape of Nanking: Undeniable history in
photographs" Chicago: Innovative Publishing Group, 1997.
- Zhang, Kaiyuan, ed. Eyewitnesses to Massacre, An East
Gate Book, 2001 (includes documentation of American missionaries
M.S. Bates, G.A. Fitch, E.H. Foster, J.G. Magee, J.H. MaCallum,
W.P. Mills, L.S.C. Smyth, A.N. Steward, Minnie Vautrin and R.O.
Wilson.) ISBN 0-7656-0684-4
- BBC News: Nanjing remembers massacre
- Online Documentary: The Nanking Atrocities A master's
degree thesis that delves into the atrocity
- "Denying Genocide: The Evolution of the Denial of
the Holocaust and the Nanking Massacre," college research paper
by Joseph Chapel, 2004
- English translation of a classified Chinese document on
the Nanjing Massacre
- Japanese Imperialism and the Massacre in Nanjing by
Gao Xingzu, Wu Shimin, Hu Yungong, & Cha Ruizhen
- Kirk Denton, "Heroic Resistance and Victims of Atrocity:
Negotiating the Memory of Japanese Imperialism in Chinese
- The Nanjing Incident: Recent Research and
Trends by David Askew in the Electronic Journal of Contemporary
Japanese Studies, April 2002
- Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall
- 'No massacre in Nanking,' Japanese lawmakers say
- The Rape of Nanking - Nanjing Massacre -English
Language Edition - 1:17:17 - Aug 25, 2006
- Rape of Nanking Original reports from The Times
- The Rape of Nanking — Nanjing Massacre — English
Language Edition. Two hour web documentary.
- War and reconciliation: a tale of two
- Booknotes interview with Iris Chang on
The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War
II, January 11, 1998.