Iris Chang - The Rape of Nanking

(Zachary Weaver) #1

I just finished reading The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang. This book really opened my eyes to the violence a group of humans is capable of when other humans are degraded as inherently lesser than they. Jordan Peterson’s ideas about group aggression and the slippery slope of reinforced biases were also backed up by this book. Reading this book directly after 1984 and Brave New World caused me a great shock because I suddenly realized in the first chapter that the atrocities in this book were not just dystopian fiction, but reality within the past century. If any of y’all have read this book, feel free to share any insights you gleaned from it.

(John Buck) #2

What methods were used to ‘other’ the people so that the group could go against them?

(Zachary Weaver) #3

It was a library book and I’ve already turned it in, so I can’t really quote it for you. That aside, the Japanese viewed their imperial expansion almost as being “merited” by their basically Nazi view of themselves as a “master race.” The Japanese were told from an early age that the Chinese were animals and Japanese soldiers were threatened with court-martialing or death if they were to flinch when killing the Chinese. I remember a line in the book where a Japanese soldier wrote in his diary that pigs were worth more than the Chinese people because “at least we could eat the pigs.” It was definitely a systematic brainwashing by the Japanese government and educational system.