Monday, April 15, 2019
The Manipulation of History Essay Example for Free
The Manipulation of History EssayBy looking at the historic we are presented with conditions of mishap which makes the past constitutive of the present. Such an act involves the individuals consideration of gardenings authority in the authentication of specific memories. Memories emerge spontaneously from peoples stories about(predicate) their nations. Culture, on the separate hand, chooses specific stories which it legitimizes with objectivity by attaching to it the term history.Story stage businesss emerge continually from mans ken except culture with its demands for social order and progress denounces the memories of common people and relegates the task of remembering to the institutions at heart the public sphere. Such an act leads to the repression and later on the elimination of the peoples desires to tell their own stories.Due to cultures capability to make memories dissipate from peoples minds while reimbursing it with its own nonions of truth, people pass to forget that the accounts of the causes given to them may not necessarily be the truth rather they are on the nose one of the several accounts of an issuance. This shows cultures power to control the circulation and exchange of ideas society.Furthermore, this shows us that truth is a thing of this worldproduced by multiple forms of constraint and regular effects of power (Schmidt and Warenberg 288). Historiography, in this sense, but presents us with instances which are in accordance with the ideology of the group who is in power. at heart this perspective it is interest to consider how this is apparent in the works discussing a spark officular event in history.In line with this, this papers task is two-fold. First, it aims to present the antithetic accounts regarding a particular historical event. Second, it aims to present an compendium of how these accounts provide an interpretation of an event which manifests the perspective of the individual who discusses the event . For the sake of brevity, the focus of the paper will be on the Nanjing trouncing as it is presented and interpreted by Iris Chang in The cosset of Nanking and Honda Katsuichi in The Nanjing Massacre.The event known as the 1937-1938 Nanjing Massacre became one of the approximately reported events by both(prenominal) the Western and Chinese press during the war as it became a major case at the military tribunals in capital of lacquer and Nanjing after lacquers surrender. At the end of both mental tests, the verdict for both the capital of Japan campaign and the Nanjing trial was the same.The tribunal take to the execution of five Nipponese officers who were found guilty for either fighting(a) in the said massacre or failing to apprehend the said massacre. The difference between both trials merely lies in the termination toll put down in the former trial. The Tokyo trial of the Nanjing Massacre claims that the said(prenominal) verdict stands as a publication of the occ urrence of organized murder, random killings and rape, looting and remainder of the Nipponese military in Nanjing during a six week period on the Winter of 1937-1938 which led to the death of over 200,000 Chinese civilians and prisoners of war as salutary as the occurrence of 20,000 cases of rape (Pritchard and Zaide 49604-08).The Nanjing trial claims the same things however it states that as opposed to the 200,000 death toll specified in the Japan trial, the death toll reached 300,000 (Second 603-12).In the years that followed the Nanjing Massacre, the information specified on both trials became the springboard for the construction of accounts that presented claims and counter-claims regarding the Nanjing Massacre. several(predicate) accounts have circulated regarding the event wherein most accounts affirm the occurrence of the said event whereas others deny its occurrence. One of the most secernated accounts that affirm the occurrence of the Nanjing Massacre is Iris Changs The round of Nanjing.Iris Chang (1997), an American diarist of Chinese ancestry, wrote the first non-fiction account in a Western language of the Nanjing Massacre in her halt The Rape of Nanjing. Within the school text, Chang claims that the Nanjing Massacre stands as the Easts equivalent of the Wests final solution of the Jews in Europe as both events represent the most heinous cases of violence in recorded history. Changs subtitle The Forgotten final solution of World War II emphasizes this claim in the aforesaid(prenominal) text. In the introduction of the text, she states,Just as Hitlers Germany would do half a decade later, Japan used a highly developed military machine and a master-race mentality to set about establishing its right to rule its neighborsmarked by countless incidents of almost indescribable ruthlessness One event can be held up as an example of the unmitigated evil lying just at a lower place the surface of unbridled military adventurism, that moment is the Rape of Nanking. (Chang 3-4)As can be seen above, the beginning of Changs text may be seen to present the reader with a fixed moral judgment regarding the events that occurred in Nanjing. This moral judgment considers the event in Nanjing as an act of evil. It is substantial to note however that although, a moral judgment has already been specified in the initial part of the text, Chang clarifies in the later part of the books introduction that this judgment does not necessarily aim to establish a denary record to qualify the event as one of the great evil deeds of history, but (it aims) to conceive the event so that lessons can be learned and warnings sounded (5).The lesson which Chang relys to be learned from her work refers to the necessity to forbid a deliberate attemptto distort history which she perceives to be evident in Japans refusal to recognize the Nanjing Massacre (13). In addition to this, Chang perceives her book as her attempt to rescue (the) victims from the de gradation by Japanese revisionists and to provide (her) own epitaph for the hundreds upon thousands of unmarked graves in Nanking (220).As a text sort out within the non-fiction genre, the significance of Changs work lies in its presentation of the events in Nanking through the accounts of those who experienced and survived the Nanjing Massacre. It is important to note that Chang was a granddaughter of one of those individuals who escaped Nanjing as Japanese soldiers arrived in the land.Chans family thereby stands as one of those who were directly affected by the war since it has forced them not only to leave their motherland but to create new roots in the United States. Within this context, one may plead that Changs interpretation of the event may be seen as a result of her attempt not only to remind individuals of the effects of instances wherein they are freed from moral restraints but also as her attempt to retaking her roots and her history. It within this context, that one m ay understand Changs comparison of the Nanjing Massacre to the Holocaust of the Jews.Changs comparison of the Nanjing Massacre to the Holocaust of the Jews may seem farfetched since the death toll as well as the duration of the Nanjing Massacre is miniscule in comparison to that of the Holocaust however the comparison may be significant in terms of the politicization or the symbolic use of both the Nanjing Massacre and the Holocaust by its perpetrators since both events served as a symbol of the brutal character of their perpetrators in such a way that the Nanjing Massacre served to symbolize the military aggression of the Japanese army during that time.Changs aforementioned text has been continuously questioned. The Japanese publish company, Kashiwashobo Publishing Company, for example, considers the text to be based on prejudice and misconceptions (as a result of) its authors basic attitude (1). In the 20 May 1999 press rout given by the Kashiwobo charge after its cancellation of the Japanese version of Iris Changs The Rape of Nanking, Kashiwashobo Press states,We must provide good history books on the War in order to learn from the past and to avoid the same kind of tragedies in the future. But this publisher also believes that we are responsible for publishing qualified books for the good of the publicThe fundamental cause of the termination of the contract is the original work, whichdue to its errors and inaccuracies, The Rape of Nanking has contributed to reviving deniers of the Nanking atrocities in Japan by giving them bullets to challenge the historical event. (1-2)One of the errors of Changs text lies in stating that there are no Japanese texts which have recognized the occurrence of the Nanjing Massacre. Such texts however exist. One of these texts which was published prior to the publication of Changs text is Honda Katsuichis The Nanjing Massacre.In the introduction of the Honda Katsuichis The Nanjing Massacre, Katsuichis states,I wrote this boo k not as a means of apologizing to China but as a means of revealing the truth to the Japanese people. Having been a child at the time, I adjudge no responsibility for the actual massacre, but as a Japanese journalist, I bear some responsibility for leaving the story unreported for such a long timeI hope that that the mere fact of my reportage being widely read overseas will serve as gaiatsu and will bring about a change in the disgraceful anti-internationalist behavior of the Japanese administration and the conservative forces. (xxvi-vii)From the very beginning of the text, one sees a difference between Katsuichis approach to the Nanjing massacre as opposed to Changs approach to the said event. Although both individuals are journalists and both of their works do not use sophisticated methodology in order to support their accounts within their texts, one notes that Katsuichis goal is for the redemption of the Japanese people. As the subtitle of the work states, Katsuichis text aim s to confront Japans national shame. This shame may be seen to be a result of the pursuance factors (1) The Japanese governments refusal to recognize the Nanjing Massacre and (2)The Japanese peoples inability to recognize the veracity of this event as a result of the Japanese governments refusal to recognize the aforementioned event. For Katsuichi, retelling the event may enable the enlightenment of the Japanese people which may further enable the Japanese peoples recognition of the necessity to change the framework of their government. Katsuichis aim in retelling the events of the Nanjing Massacre is for the occurrence of an ideologic revolution within the country. Such an aim was supported by his factual reportage of the events within his work.Within Katsuichis The Nanjing Massacre, for example, one notes that the Japanese atrocities would not have been prevented even if the Chinese surrendered peacefully since the Japanese troops were already committing atrocious acts along thei r way to Nanjing. In addition to this, one notes that the Japanese did not catch out the act of murdering Chinese as an immoral act since they have long considered the Chinese to be subordinate entities. Furthermore, as the book progresses, one also notes that the Japanese did not recognize the regulations set within the transnational Safety Zone as the Safety Zone was continuously entered by the Japanese troops.Katsuichis text, in this sense, affirmed the occurrence of the Nanjing Massacre. What makes his text and his account distinct from Changs is the perspective from which he perceives the event. One may state that Changs highly graphic portrayal of the events in Nanjing as well as her conduct notion that the Japanese failed to present an account of the event may be seen as a result of her position as a victim of the Nanjing Massacre. As was stated in the aforementioned discussion, Changs family stands as a survivor of the Nanjing Massacre. As opposed to this, Katsuichis mor e objective portrayal of the evident may be seen as a result of his position an heir to the Japanese people who have pull the aforementioned evident.Within this context, one may state that an author or verbalisers interpretation of a historical event is affected by his position in relation to the occurrence of the event. If the author or verbalizer stands in line with the perpetrators of the event, he may either present an account which aims to defend the people who connected the atrocities or he may present an account which aims to spue the people who committed those atrocities or to sanctify the succeeding generations affected by the stain of those who committed atrocious actions.If however the author or speaker stands in line with the victims of the event, he may either present an account which aims to commemorate the victims or he may present an account which aims to further vilify the perpetrators of the crime.Given these two accounts of an event from two different perspec tives, the goal of the reader does not merely lie in considering whether an account presents the truth or not but to consider that as history is necessarily a nihilation and hence one cannot accurately place one account as to comprise the totality of what transpired, hence the purpose of a supposed event is to be open to interpretations.Works CitedChang, Iris. The Rape of Nanking The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II. natural York Penguin Books, 1998.Gibney, rough, ed. editors Introduction. The Nanjing Massacre A Japanese Journalist Confronts Japans National Shame. By Honda Katsuichi. Trans. Karen Sandness. New York East Gate Book, 1999.Kashiwashobo Press. Kashiwashobo Press Release about the Cancellation of the Japanese Version of Iris Changs The Rape of Nanking. 20 May 1999.Katsuichi, Honda. The Nanjing Massacre A Japanese Journalist Confronts Japans National Shame. Ed. Frank Gibney. Trans. Karen Sandness. New York East Gate Book, 1999.Pritchard, John and Sonia Zaide, eds. I nternational Military Tribunal for the Far East Tokyo War Crimes Trial. 22 vols. New York Edwin Mellen P., 1998.Schmidt, James and Thomas Warenberg. Foucaults Enlightenment Critique, Revolution, and the Fashion of the Self. Critique and agent Recasting the Foucault/Habermas Debate. Cambridge MIT P., 1994.Second Archives of China et, al. Archival Materials on the Nanjing Massacre by the Invading Japanese Troops. Nanjing Np, 1987.