Remembering the Rape of Nanking
The Memorial Hall of the Nanjing Massacre reopened to the public on Dec. 13, 2007, the seventieth anniversary of the start of Japanese troops’ brutal slaughter of as many as 300,000 in Nanjing, China. The historical account has always been mired in controversy, and differing opinions on what actually happened have been a consistent obstacle to relations between China and Japan. The controversy made new headlines just prior to the grand reopening of the museum after news broke about a prominent Japanese filmmaker’s intent to show that the Chinese accounts of the massacre are nothing more than political propaganda. Hollywood has gotten into the mix as well, with big budget productions related to the massacre slated for 2008 and 2009. In a recent bid to improve relations with Tokyo, the Chinese government tried to quell nationalism on the even of the commemoration, but that didn’t stop thousands of people from gathering to remember the atrocities of the past.