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The Nanking 100-Man Killing Contest Debate: War Guilt amid Fabricated Illusions, 1971-75 on JSTOR

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The Nanking 100-Man Killing Contest Debate: War Guilt amid Fabricated Illusions, 1971-75

Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi The Journal of Japanese Studies Vol. 26, No. 2 (Summer, 2000), pp. 307-340 Published by: The Society for Japanese Studies DOI: 10.2307/133271 https://www.jstor.org/stable/133271 Page Count: 34

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Topics: Killing, War crimes, Japanese studies, Criminal culpability, Warfare, Journalism, Swords, Militarism, Reasoning Give feedback Were these topics helpful?

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  • Journal Info The Journal of Japanese Studies Description:

    The Journal of Japanese Studies was established in 1974 as a multidisciplinary forum for communicating new information, new interpretations, and recent research results concerning Japan to the English-reading world. Its founders sought to fill a vital need for better understanding of Japan and its people and thus chose to publish not only in-depth research articles by scholars from around the world (including Japan) but also reviews of current books on Japan and translations of articles of unusual interest from influential molders of public opinion in Japan.
    From the outset, the Journal has published broad, exploratory articles suggesting new analyses and interpretations, articles longer than many journals can publish, and substantial reviews and review articles of books published in Western languages and in Japanese. Today the Journal continues to facilitate communication and dialogue about Japan and with Japan. The Journal has long been recognized as a leading journal in the Japan studies field and is considered an invaluable resource by those seeking to understand Japan and the myriad components of Japanese society.

    Coverage: 1974-2013 (Vol. 1, No. 1 - Vol. 39, No. 2) Moving Wall: 5 years (What is the moving wall?)

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    ISSN: 00956848 Subjects: Asian Studies, Area Studies Collections: Arts & Sciences II Collection, Asia Collection, JSTOR Essential Collection
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Abstract

In December 1937 two Japanese officer-swordsmen allegedly vied to see who could first kill 100 Chinese in a "murder race" outside Nanking. In 1946-47 they suffered execution as war criminals, and in 1971-75 a debate over the incident's factuality erupted in Japan. I conclude that the killing contest itself was a fabrication, but the debate over it provoked a full-blown controversy as to the historicity of the Nanking Atrocity as a whole. This larger controversy increased the Japanese people's knowledge of the Atrocity and raised their awareness of being victimizers in a war of imperialist aggression despite efforts to the contrary by conserative revisionists. The Journal of Japanese Studies © 2000 The Society for Japanese Studies Request Permissions

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