As the companion site to our resource book, this collection includes maps, images, timelines, and text that draw students into a deeper study of East Asia during World War II.
Students are introduced to the history of Western imperialism in East Asia and its influence on the identities and ambitions of Japan and China.
Three testimonies from survivors of the Nanjing Atrocities are included here. They are only three of many and each has been translated from Mandarin Chinese. All include memories of extreme acts of violence and trauma. Gender violence is prominent in each testimony and great care and sensitivity should be considered in any use with students.
Revolutionary writings and efforts by leaders such as Sun Yat-sen and Zou Rong played a key role in the end of Qing rule in China. By the early twentieth century, feudalism was on the verge of collapse. Years of humiliation and defeat at the hands of Western colonial powers and the Japanese, and a series of failed uprisings, set the stage for the end of the Qing dynasty. Two key events were seminal in this process.
Decades after the end of World War II in China, Sino-Japanese relations continue to remain strained. Conflicting memories and accounts of imperial Japan’s occupation of China and wartime atrocities remain one element of this discord. One of the most visible expressions of this tension arises regularly at the Yasukuni shrine.
John H. D. Rabe’s story presents a paradox. He is remembered as a great humanitarian despite remaining a loyal member of the Nazi Party. Born in 1882 in Hamburg, Germany, Rabe first came to Shanghai in 1908. He began working for the Chinese branch of the Siemens Company in 1911 and 20 years later in 1931 transferred to Nanjing and served as director of the Siemens branch office with his wife and two children. Siemens was largely responsible for building the Nanjing telephone lines and supplying turbines for the electrical plant and equipment for the city’s hospitals.
How were the Tokyo Trials understood and reported within Japan? Under the Allied occupation, all media was highly controlled. Newspapers, radio, and journals could publish what they wanted as long as they abided by the authority of the occupational forces, strict conventions. Some media outlets were known to say things that they did not really believe in order to gain favor with the occupation authorities. Moreover, the media at the time could not report rapes, murders, assaults, robberies or other crimes committed by the occupation troops.