Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
That is basically correct. We have a tendency to justify whatever there "is" and keep voting for ruling parties for over 100 years (the current one is an off-shot of Liberals of 1890s).

I had an encounter with a senior Japanese diplomat a year ago. He was outraged by the Chinese propaganda claiming 300,000 civilians killed in Nanking. "That is outrageous! Can you believe it?" I told him, "The Tokyo Tribunal found 'over 200,000 killed' in Nanking and its suburbs. Do you know that?" Incidentally, the gentleman lived and studied in France for a few years.

I will become a patissier, God willing.

by tuasfait on Tue May 2nd, 2006 at 09:19:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That diplomat gave in to indignation, but the wrong way around ;))

Yes the Nanking massacres always tend to be overlooked even by any westerner looking at WWII. The average westerner will only relate to Japan's role in WWII through movies ... using the Bridge on the River Kwai, Furyo with David Bowie, and what not to get a perspective on the alleged brutality of "Japan" during the war. But are there any blockbuster movies on Nanking? I think not just Japan but the West too has been silent on it.

I myself follow this pattern. I only know, for having stumbled upon by chance when I was a young teenager, the book "Empire of the Sun" (not the movie, which I haven't seen), an autobiographical book by SF writer JG Ballard who was abandoned/lost as a kid in Shanghai in 1941 and ended up in a Japanese concentration camp, and that is about as close as I ever got to a firsthand account of Japanese occupation in China, but even that's only through the eyes of a street kid (so is bound to be somewhat inaccurate, and anyhow doesn't focus on Japanese occupation but more on the end of a child's innocence).

On a sidenote, I only recently learned through my little brother that the whole mythos of "kamikaze" pilots was quite wrongly perceived too (ie. cockpits were often bolted shut, many were given mild sedatives etc ... we are far from the mythos of the raging fanatic devoted to his Emperor and Country, happily dying), so I wonder how much we all know about the war in the East anyways.

Now, to conclude my long comment, I'd say that there is a somewhat strong Nanking "denial" tendancy in the West too.

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue May 2nd, 2006 at 09:56:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way, since you mention David Bowie, did you know that Takeshi Kitano (mentioned upthread) and Ryuichi Sakamoto starred in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (Sakamoto also wrote the score)?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 2nd, 2006 at 10:06:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's news to me!

ps: I haven't yet replied to your comment upthread on Kitano because I've been trying hard to remember the movies I've seen with him (without cheating and using Google) and can only come up with the recent Zatoichi, and another very sloooooow but very goooooood cop movie whose name I forgot.

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue May 2nd, 2006 at 10:14:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have Zatoichi in the queue, waiting to watch it.

Any plot details about the cop movie? Should be Hana Bi [that's the one with the haunting paintings, done by Kitano himself]. All the others are about Yakuza, except for Violent Cop which doesn't match the description.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 2nd, 2006 at 10:23:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's that movie with a suicidal cop, a wheelchair and a cliff?
by Alex in Toulouse on Tue May 2nd, 2006 at 10:26:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 2nd, 2006 at 10:27:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I met Sakamoto once at a peace rally... decades ago. He was a calm, strange boy, but very smart-looking. (So was I, of course.)

I will become a patissier, God willing.
by tuasfait on Tue May 2nd, 2006 at 11:30:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Occasional Series