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Old 04-23-2014, 06:59 AM
 
392 posts, read 400,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Just what accounted for Japanese barbarism during WWII? Not just Nanking but throughout the whole war to both locals and Allied soldiers.
Long story short, the Japanese military went full retard after WW1. Prior to that, there was never such an emphasis on a bastardized code of bushido. Soldiers were allowed to surrender, and when repatriated, a commission determines whether or not cowardice was involved. But after a few public incidents were prominent Diet Members committed suicide b/c of their children's dishonor of surrendering, attitudes hardened quite a bit. Especially since the old guard that ran the IJA bureaucracy has finally retired, the new brood of officers that came in were quite a ways more fanatical.

But to answer your question, the Japanese were brutal to their Asian enemies and captives because they had tried to replace training and modernity of weapons with numerical superiority and "elan". While the Japanese may have had some of the most iconic naval and air weapons in the history, on land, their military was barely modern when compared to the Heer or the US military. They lacked the industrial capability to fully modernize both Army and Navy in the 30s and settled for a really ad hoc compromise. The Army, which often never got the funding as the Navy, were forced to compensate in other ways.

On such method espoused by the dominant faction in the beauracracy is "warrior spirit". The indomintable spirit of the Japanese will obviously overcome deficiencies in weapons because our enemies are decadent and weak.
As a result, brutality and utter devotion was instilled in the conscript the moment he was inducted. Brutality was the norm amongst the officers who regularly applied corporal punishments to the enlisted and NCOs for chicken**** infractions. This in turn, bled into violence against the enlisted by the NCOs, the enlisted against enemies and civilians who were on an even lower spot on the toten pole then the grunt was (i.e. Chinese, Koreans, SE Asians).

To borrow a reddit post's word (courtesy of Park Sun Jung)

If you were a western soldier,

Quote:
"Depends where you got taken prisoner, when you got taken prisoner, and by who you got taken prisoner. The only thing consistent about Japanese treatment of prisoners was its inconsistency.
For example, if you were a US Marine Corps embassy guard in China, you had developed a relationship with the Japanese embassy guards. So when they came over to take you prisoner, they were generally apologetic about it, and you were treated pretty well for a prisoner. For these men, rations were equal to those received by your regular troops (basically, rice and some sort of protein) and while you were expected to do some labor you passed the time relatively easily.
If you were fortunate enough to be sent to Japan, while you were expected to do a lot more labor (steel working, construction, etc.) you were also treated somewhat decently, and you also were offered the same sort of healthcare that the civilians had at the time.
If you weren't lucky, you ended up in the tender care of whatever improvised or semi-improvised solution the army had to take care of prisoners. The infamous Bataan Death March, for example. The Japanese commander had planned on taking some 20,000 prisoners, and had arranged for logistics to feed this group along a path to a camp constructed for them. However the problem was the amount of prisoners was more like 100,000. The Japanese logistical situation was also a total mess. They lost control of their soldiers, who often would execute stragglers and beat the prisoners. Physical violence was endemic in the Japanese military, and the lowest ranking troops would beat prisoners to vent off their steam.
Or maybe you were one of the ones that got captured in Southeast Asia, where you got to work yourself to death building a railway to Burma.
Or maybe you got thrown onto a hellship, where you were treated as cargo among many prisoners, some of whom were diseased. Maybe you'd die from the contagious disease, or from malnutrition, or of course from Allied bombers mistaking your prison ship for a cargo ship and bombing it (which happened tragically several times).
Ultimately prisoners were fed and treated according to the whims of their captors. The Japanese military was very hierarchical, but at the same time the high command had very little control over the situation on the ground. So most decisions were made by junior officers and NCOs, who were inspired by old samurai ways (see gekokujo) and disdained prisoners. There would be rare moments of kindness, like the story of how a Japanese soldier heard an American prisoner singing and gave him food and anti-malarial medication (secretly, of course) but on the whole it was very brutal.
Generally speaking, most troops were captured by a swift Japanese advance that cut them off on an island with no supplies or means of escape. Like in Singapore, the Philippines, and the Dutch East Indies."
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:15 AM
 
32,108 posts, read 33,017,270 times
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This is kind of like Jewish families that still hate Germans because of the Holocaust. Older people whose parents lived during these times (Jews during the Holocaust and Chinese during the Nanjing Massacre) or they themselves lived perhaps were children at the time were taught not to forgive the whole population group. So one must show understanding for their feelings but on the other hand one must live their own life and realize that the today's young population is not the one that lived during those difficult war times and therefore can't be blamed for the older generation's sins.
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Old 04-27-2014, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,263,362 times
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Why does it seem only the Nanking massacre is remembered? Of course that was bad, but remember the Japanese conquered much of Asia. After the fall of Singapore they massacred many civilians here. My grandparents could well have been victims...
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:15 AM
 
4,705 posts, read 3,620,707 times
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Well, if you choose not to remember, that's your business. Many Chinese and Koreans choose to remember their dead and the suffering that went along with that aweful history. That's their business and their choice, and it's their relationship with the Japanese. It is not your concern nor your place to judge them.
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Western Oregon
1,379 posts, read 1,275,957 times
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The Dutch are still very wary of the Germans in general. It takes a long time, I think.

But for individual people, it's a lot different. If you know someone, there might be cultural differences, but to judge someone totally based on their nationality is unfortunate, and if you are very close with them, you should never go by others' prejudice.

Wow, this thread has been around a while.
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Old 04-28-2014, 04:26 AM
 
Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE
143 posts, read 152,463 times
Reputation: 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by pennyone View Post
"The hostility seems to be inbred in their culture."...

I don't think you can really understand how deeply most Chinese feel about history...that is definitely part of their culture. To them, the war was in the recent past, and nobody is going to forget it. Like I stated, Japan isn't doing much to help the Chinese move on either. The US, of course, sees an opportunity in all this to delay China's arrival.

The Chinese leadership is also using history and nationalism to unite their huge country, especially in this time of growing pain and social turmoil brought on by economic development and change. Japan wants to break free of its peace constitution and the restraints that the US placed on it after WWII (and become a "normal" country with a huge military...its current right wing government under Abe is working precisely toward this goal), and the US, in decline, cannot help but allow Japan to go after China as a "lesser of two evil" attempt to keep China from challenging the American position as the world's sole superpower. So, I would not be surprised if there is a shooting war soon in Eats Asia. The only question remains...will the US go to war with a nuclear armed China for Japan? That's the real question.

In a war between just China and Japan...Japan will definitely lose in a big way. But with the US in the mix, China will lose, but since acknowledging its defeat would bring down the current government, Beijing will use its nukes to equalize the situation. The US may have many more nukes than China, but just three Chinese missiles with multiple warheads getting through and hitting several major US cities will devastate the US. So let's hope that cooler heads prevail and we make room for each other across the Pacific!

All, I can say is, you're entitled to your opinions. If there is a nuclear war, China will not have a moral victory based on your assumption.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:06 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,276,120 times
Reputation: 7586
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Why does it seem only the Nanking massacre is remembered? Of course that was bad, but remember the Japanese conquered much of Asia. After the fall of Singapore they massacred many civilians here. My grandparents could well have been victims...
why?
because the Japanese outrightly deny it?
because they never apolized for such an atrocity?
because they never made amends to it?

You can't choose to forget history. Why not ask the Jewish to forget about the racial cleansing during WWI and see how they respond.

Civilians do die during wars. But what happened in Nanjing is definitely just one of those collateral damage. It is a deliberate murder and rape of hundreds of thousands of innocent and unarmed men, women and children. I think among all nationals, only the Japanese are capable of doing such a thing. Not even the Nazis.

Did Japan ever say "that's wrong and we apologize to the families"?
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:44 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
471 posts, read 765,886 times
Reputation: 746
There is a generational thing at work here. I am sure that many older Chinese do not like the Japanese due to the occupation, and have very good reasons to do so. But like most conflicts around the world, once the conflict is over, reasonable people see that there is a bigger benefit to getting along than continuing to fan the flames, and it applies to this situation too. Of course it doesn't mean all is forgiven, only that time marches on for all of us and holding permanent grudges really does not do anything for anyone..
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,263,362 times
Reputation: 2833
Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
why?
because the Japanese outrightly deny it?
because they never apolized for such an atrocity?
because they never made amends to it?

You can't choose to forget history. Why not ask the Jewish to forget about the racial cleansing during WWI and see how they respond.

Civilians do die during wars. But what happened in Nanjing is definitely just one of those collateral damage. It is a deliberate murder and rape of hundreds of thousands of innocent and unarmed men, women and children. I think among all nationals, only the Japanese are capable of doing such a thing. Not even the Nazis.

Did Japan ever say "that's wrong and we apologize to the families"?
No I meant why aren't the other atrocities as mentioned? When I hear about Japanese atrocities it's always just rape of Nanking, well it wasn't just China you know...
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:39 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,276,120 times
Reputation: 7586
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
No I meant why aren't the other atrocities as mentioned? When I hear about Japanese atrocities it's always just rape of Nanking, well it wasn't just China you know...
as I said, it is more atrocious than anything else.
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