The Manipulation of History Essay

By looking at the yesteryear we are presented with conditions of possibility which makes the past constitutive of the present.

Such an act involves the individual’s consideration of culture’s function in the hallmark of specific memories. Memories emerge spontaneously from people’s narratives about their states. Culture. on the other manus. chooses specific narratives which it legitimizes with objectiveness by attaching to it the term history.

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Story lines emerge continually from man’s consciousness nevertheless civilization with its demands for societal order and advancement denounces the memories of common people and relegates the undertaking of retrieving to the establishments within the populace sphere. Such an act leads to the repression and subsequently on the riddance of the peoples desires to state their ain narratives.Due to culture’s capableness to do memories disperse from people’s heads while reimbursing it with its ain impressions of truth.

people tend to bury that the histories of the events given to them may non needfully be the truth instead they are merely one of the several histories of an event. This shows culture’s power to command the circulation and exchange of thoughts society.Furthermore. this shows us that “truth is a thing of this world…produced by multiple signifiers of restraint and regular effects of power” ( Schmidt and Warenberg 288 ) .

Historiography. in this sense. merely presents us with events which are in conformity with the political orientation of the group who is in power. Within this position it is interesting to see how this is evident in the plants discoursing a peculiar event in history.In line with this.

this paper’s undertaking is double. First. it aims to show the different histories sing a peculiar historical event.

Second. it aims to show an analysis of how these histories provide an reading of an event which manifests the position of the person who discusses the event. For the interest of brevity. the focal point of the paper will be on the Nanjing Massacre as it is presented and interpreted by Iris Chang in The Rape of Nanking and Honda Katsuichi in The Nanjing Massacre.The event known as the 1937-1938 Nanjing Massacre became one of the most reported events by both the Western and Chinese imperativeness during the war as it became a major instance at the military courts in Tokyo and Nanjing after Japan’s resignation. At the terminal of both tests.

the finding of fact for both the Tokyo test and the Nanjing test was the same.The court led to the executing of five Nipponese officers who were found guilty for either take parting in the said slaughter or neglecting to grok the said slaughter. The difference between both tests simply lies in the decease toll recorded in the former test.

The Tokyo test of the Nanjing Massacre claims that the aforesaid finding of fact stands as a consequence of the happening of organized slaying. random violent deaths and colza. robbery and devastation of the Nipponese military personnels in Nanjing during a six hebdomad period on the Winter of 1937-1938 which led to the decease of over 200. 000 Chinese civilians and captives of war every bit good as the happening of 20.

000 instances of colza ( Pritchard and Zaide 49604-08 ) .The Nanjing test claims the same things nevertheless it states that every bit opposed to the 200. 000 decease toll specified in the Japan test. the decease toll reached 300. 000 ( Second 603-12 ) .In the old ages that followed the Nanjing Massacre. the information specified on both tests became the springboard for the building of histories that presented claims and counter-claims sing the Nanjing Massacre. Different histories have circulated sing the event wherein some histories affirm the happening of the said event whereas others deny its happening.

One of the most accepted histories that affirm the happening of the Nanjing Massacre is Iris Chang’s The Rape of Nanjing.Iris Chang ( 1997 ) . an American journalist of Chinese lineage. wrote the first non-fiction history in a Western linguistic communication of the Nanjing Massacre in her book The Rape of Nanjing. Within the text. Chang claims that the Nanjing Massacre stands as the East’s equivalent of the West’s Holocaust of the Jews in Europe as both events represent the most flagitious instances of force in recorded history. Chang’s subtitle The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II emphasizes this claim in the aforesaid text.

In the debut of the text. she states.Merely as Hitler’s Germany would make half a decennary subsequently.

Japan used a extremely developed military machine and a master-race outlook to put about set uping its right to govern its neighbors…marked by infinite incidents of about indefinable ruthlessness… One event can be held up as an illustration of the unmitigated evil prevarication merely below the surface of unchecked military adventurism. that minute is the Rape of Nanking. ( Chang 3-4 )As can be seen above. the beginning of Chang’s text may be seen to show the reader with a fixed moral judgement sing the events that occurred in Nanjing. This moral judgement considers the event in Nanjing as an act of immorality. It is of import to observe nevertheless that although. a moral judgement has already been specified in the initial portion of the text. Chang clarifies in the ulterior portion of the book’s debut that this judgement does non needfully take to set up “a quantitative record to measure up the event as one of the great evil workss of history.

but ( it aims ) to understand the event so that lessons can be learned and warnings sounded” ( 5 ) .The lesson which Chang hopes to be learned from her work refers to the necessity to forestall a “deliberate attempt…to distort history” which she perceives to be apparent in Japan’s refusal to acknowledge the Nanjing Massacre ( 13 ) . In add-on to this.

Chang perceives her book as her “attempt to deliverance ( the ) victims from the debasement by Nipponese revisionists and to provide… ( her ) ain epitaph for the 100s upon 1000s of unmarked Gravess in Nanking” ( 220 ) .As a text classified within the non-fiction genre. the significance of Chang’s work lies in its presentation of the events in Nanking through the histories of those who experienced and survived the Nanjing Massacre.

It is of import to observe that Chang was a granddaughter of one of those persons who escaped Nanjing as Nipponese soldiers arrived in the land.Chan’s household thereby stands as one of those who were straight affected by the war since it has forced them non merely to go forth their fatherland but to make new roots in the United States. Within this context. one may reason that Chang’s reading of the event may be seen as a consequence of her effort non merely to remind persons of the effects of cases wherein they are freed from moral restraints but besides as her effort to recapture her roots and her history. It within this context. that one may understand Chang’s comparing of the Nanjing Massacre to the Holocaust of the Jews.

Chang’s comparing of the Nanjing Massacre to the Holocaust of the Jews may look farfetched since the decease toll every bit good as the continuance of the Nanjing Massacre is miniscule in comparing to that of the Holocaust nevertheless the comparing may be important in footings of the politicization or the symbolic usage of both the Nanjing Massacre and the Holocaust by its culprits since both events served as a symbol of the barbarous character of their culprits in such a manner that the Nanjing Massacre served to typify the military aggression of the Nipponese ground forces during that clip.Chang’s aforementioned text has been continuously questioned. The Nipponese publication company.

Kashiwashobo Publishing Company. for illustration. considers the text to be “based on bias and misconceptions ( as a consequence of ) its author’s basic attitude” ( 1 ) . In the 20 May 1999 imperativeness release given by the Kashiwobo Press after its cancellation of the Nipponese version of Iris Chang’s The Rape of Nanking. Kashiwashobo Press provinces.

We must supply good history books on the War in order to larn from the yesteryear and to avoid the same sort of calamities in the hereafter. But this publishing house besides believes that we are responsible for printing qualified books for the good of the public…The cardinal cause of the expiration of the contract is the original work. which…due to its mistakes and inaccuracies. The Rape of Nanking has contributed to resuscitating deniers of the Nanking atrociousnesss in Japan by giving them slugs to dispute the historical event. ( 1-2 )One of the mistakes of Chang’s text lies in saying that there are no Japanese texts which have recognized the happening of the Nanjing Massacre.

Such texts nevertheless exist. One of these texts which was published prior to the publication of Chang’s text is Honda Katsuichi’s The Nanjing Massacre.In the debut of the Honda Katsuichi’s The Nanjing Massacre. Katsuichi’s provinces.

I wrote this book non as a agency of apologising to China but as a agency of uncovering the truth to the Nipponese people. Having been a kid at the clip. I bear no duty for the existent slaughter.

but as a Nipponese journalist. I bear some duty for go forthing the narrative unreported for such a long time…I hope that that the mere fact of my coverage being widely read overseas will function as gaiatsu and will convey about a alteration in the scandalous anti-internationalist behaviour of the Nipponese authorities and the conservative forces. ( xxvi-vii )From the really beginning of the text. one sees a difference between Katsuichi’s attack to the Nanjing slaughter as opposed to Chang’s attack to the said event. Although both persons are journalists and both of their plants do non utilize sophisticated methodological analysis in order to back up their histories within their texts. one notes that Katsuichi’s end is for the salvation of the Nipponese people.

As the caption of the work provinces. Katsuichi’s text aims to ‘confront Japan’s national shame’ . This shame may be seen to be a consequence of the undermentioned factors: ( 1 ) The Nipponese government’s refusal to acknowledge the Nanjing Massacre and ( 2 )The Nipponese people’s inability to acknowledge the veracity of this event as a consequence of the Nipponese government’s refusal to acknowledge the aforesaid event. For Katsuichi. reciting the event may enable the enlightenment of the Nipponese people which may further enable the Nipponese peoples’ acknowledgment of the necessity to alter the model of their authorities. Katsuichi’s purpose in reciting the events of the Nanjing Massacre is for the happening of an ideological revolution within the state. Such an purpose was supported by his factual coverage of the events within his work.

Within Katsuichi’s The Nanjing Massacre. for illustration. one notes that the Nipponese atrociousnesss would non hold been prevented even if the Chinese surrendered peacefully since the Nipponese military personnels were already perpetrating flagitious Acts of the Apostless along their manner to Nanjing. In add-on to this.

one notes that the Japanese did non happen the act of slaying Chinese as an immoral act since they have long considered the Chinese to be inferior entities. Furthermore. as the book progresses. one besides notes that the Japanese did non acknowledge the ordinances set within the International Safety Zone as the Safety Zone was continuously entered by the Nipponese military personnels.Katsuichi’s text.

in this sense. affirmed the happening of the Nanjing Massacre. What makes his text and his history distinct from Chang’s is the position from which he perceives the event. One may province that Chang’s extremely in writing portraiture of the events in Nanjing every bit good as her ill-conceived impression that the Japanese failed to show an history of the event may be seen as a consequence of her place as a victim of the Nanjing Massacre. As was stated in the aforesaid treatment. Chang’s household stands as a subsister of the Nanjing Massacre.

As opposed to this. Katsuichi’s more nonsubjective portraiture of the evident may be seen as a consequence of his place an inheritor to the Nipponese people who have committed the aforesaid evident.Within this context. one may province that an writer or talkers reading of a historical event is affected by his place in relation to the happening of the event. If the writer or talker bases in line with the culprits of the event.

he may either show an history which aims to support the people who committed the atrociousnesss or he may show an history which aims to consecrate the people who committed those atrociousnesss or to consecrate the succeeding coevalss affected by the discoloration of those who committed flagitious actions.If nevertheless the writer or talker bases in line with the victims of the event. he may either show an history which aims to mark the victims or he may show an history which aims to further revile the culprits of the offense.Given these two histories of an event from two different positions. the end of the reader does non simply lie in sing whether an history presents the truth or non but to see that as history is needfully a nihilation and therefore one can non accurately find one history as to consist the entirety of what transpired. hence the intent of a supposed event is to be unfastened to readings.

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erectile dysfunction. “Editor’s Introduction. ” The Nanjing Massacre: A Nipponese Journalist Confronts Japan’s National Shame.

By Honda Katsuichi. Trans. Karen Sandness. New York: East Gate Book. 1999.Kashiwashobo Press.

Kashiwashobo Press Release about the Cancellation of the Nipponese Version of Iris Chang’s The Rape of Nanking. 20 May 1999.Katsuichi. Honda.

The Nanjing Massacre: A Nipponese Journalist Confronts Japan’s National Shame. Ed. Frank Gibney. Trans. Karen Sandness. New York: East Gate Book. 1999.Pritchard.

John and Sonia Zaide. explosive detection systems. International Military Tribunal for the Far East: Tokyo War Crimes Trial. 22 vols.

New York: Edwin Mellen P. . 1998.Schmidt. James and Thomas Warenberg. “Foucault’s Enlightenment: Critique. Revolution. and the Fashion of the Self.

” Critique and Power: Recasting the Foucault/Habermas Debate. Cambridge: MIT P. . 1994.Second Archivess of China et. Al. Archival Materials on the Nanjing Massacre by the Invading Nipponese Troops.

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