Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Writing about Atrocity: Wartime Accounts and their Contemporary Uses*

  • PARKS M. COBLE (a1)

In today's China, public memory of the War of Resistance against Japan, 1937–1945, is more visible than ever. Museums, movies, television programmes, and commemorations focus heavily on the victimization of the Chinese people at the hands of the Japanese invaders. Japanese atrocities, particularly the Nanjing Massacre, are at the centre of much of this remembering. But what of the wartime period? How did journalists and writers discuss Japanese atrocities? This paper finds that most wartime writing stressed the theme of ‘heroic resistance’ by the Chinese rather than China's victimization at the hands of Japanese. Exceptions to this approach included efforts to publicize Japan's action to Western audiences in the hope of gaining support for China's cause, and a related focus on the bombing of the civilian population by the Japanese. This paper suggests major differences between the current approach to remembering the war and to writing during the war itself.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Modern Asian Studies
  • ISSN: 0026-749X
  • EISSN: 1469-8099
  • URL: /core/journals/modern-asian-studies
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 20
Total number of PDF views: 103 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 275 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 18th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.