18 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Important topic, 21 July 2006
After hearing about the Nanking invasion and torture of it's citizens and soldiers I decided to read the book. It was of course shocking and difficult to comprehend the shear scale of events.
I did find however that although the author was trying to bring together a faithful account of what happened she could not help but come over as someone who despised the Japanese for the actions of its army.
I would hate to think that some people would read the book and then dislike the Japanese people for something that happened before most of them currently alive were barely old enough to read a newspaper or were even born.
Just about all armies of all nations have commited atrocious acts, even today we hear of U.S troops torturing Iraqi civilians as well as the tortures and terrible beheadings by the extremists in those countries. Let us also not forget the incredibley cruel and calculated bombings by Britain and America of the city of Dresden in Germany that were designed to create a firestorm around a city of civilians that was inescapable and resulted in the agonising deaths of up to 80,000 civilians in just a few weeks and was intended to "decrease German morale".I would hate to think the Germans hate me for something my grandfather was involved in.
Of course the Japanese government should acknowledge it's war crimes but I certainly dont want to see future generations of Japanese people feeling they owe apologies for something that they themselves had no involvement in.
It is also interesting to note the Chinese methods of torture were also of a similar strain and in fact a history of torture and invasion brings forth similar stories throughout the ages and across continents.
To get back to the book I am not going to criticize the authors style of writing as some have, as next to what she is trying to get across it is quite a trivial matter.
My only complaint is that every time she says "the Japanese tortured" or " the Japanese raped" she could have put " the Japanese Army tortured".
Let us not forget that it is inevitable that a few that read this book will no doubt create for themselves a sudden stereotypical view of the Japanese people as cruel.
Having spent quite some time in both Japan and China and being in awe of their wonderful histories and cultures I must say that it would be difficult to find more welcoming and warm people than in those two nations.