Journal Name: The Journal of Japanese Studies: Summer 2000, Vol. 26, No. 2
The Nanking 100-Man Killing Contest Debate: War Guilt Amid Fabricated Illusions, 1971-75
BOB TADASHI WAKABAYASHI
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 conservative revisionists.
Kimura Mokuro (1774-1856) and His Kokuji shosetsu tsu (1849)
ANDREW L. MARKUS
Kimura Mokuro (1774-1856), a senior official of Takamatsu han, was also one of his period's best-known connoisseurs of Japanese and Chinese colloquial fiction. While no novelist himself, Mokuro nonetheless produced many letters, critiques, and miscellany that collectively describe a kind of late-Edo reader quite different from the naive "women and children" once thought the predominant audience for the light literature of the time. His close association with prominent literary figures such as Kyokutei Bakin (1767-1848) and Ryutei Tanehiko (1783-1842) lend important insights into the lives and works of these writers, just as his 1831 Gekijo ikkan mushi-megane is an important contemporary source on early nineteenth-century kabuki.
Contested Access: The Imperial Tombs in the Postwar Period
Over the postwar period Japanese scholars have pressured the Imperial Household Agency for greater access to sites under its control as tombs associated with the imperial line, arguing they are cultural properties vital to understanding ancient Japanese history. The agency has responded by making information about the sites more generally available, and by permitting limited numbers of scholars to inspect excavations it conducts prior to repairing the tombs. But it maintains that since the sites are above all graves where rites are performed for ancestors of the imperial household, their treatment is not a scientific but a religious matter.
Volume 26, Number 2 (Summer 2000)
©2000 Society for Japanese Studies
(This journal is available online at: http://depts.washington.edu/jjs/)
Posted with permission from the publisher.