Nanking Film Trailers

Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman, “Nanking,” 2007, a documentary interspersing authentic historical footage with reenacted readings of journals, diaries, and letters by Westerners who were in the Chinese capital city in 1937-38. Lu Chuan’s “City of Life and Death” (2009), a black-and-white cinematic masterpiece. Realism, and the Japanese point of view, is the advanced technique taken by this Chinese director.  “City of Life and Death” … Continue reading Nanking Film Trailers

California Swoop: Xinjiang Scholars and Hoover Papers

I’m on the California northward swoop this afternoon, having spent yesterday at University of California-Irvine and today, thanks to a 3 a.m. start in Los Angeles and monumentally placid weather on the coast, working in the Hoover Institution Archives at Stanford. UC-Irvine is the home of Prof. Jeffrey Wasserstrom and his China Beat blog.  The blog’s leading essay today, by James Millward of Georgetown, provides … Continue reading California Swoop: Xinjiang Scholars and Hoover Papers

German Sources on the War of Resistance/Rape of Nanking

What do you know about German sources on the Rape of Nanking and the War of Resistance besides the diary of John Rabe?  If you’re like most people, not much. I wanted to share a few new tidbits from sources I recently found, as a means of indicating that in the future, more work along these lines could (and should) be done.  The point is … Continue reading German Sources on the War of Resistance/Rape of Nanking

Iris Chang and the Politics of Emotional Authenticity

Not particularly as a matter of choice, of late I have been thinking about the aftermath.   War, genocide, and mass violence are giant forces which have thrown up immense detritus in Northeast Asia: memorialization is the norm, but so, too, is the suppression of memory and its manipulation by politician-revolutionaries of all stripes. Japanese politicians enter Yasukuni Shrine while Chinese leaders put their husky … Continue reading Iris Chang and the Politics of Emotional Authenticity

Further Assessment of the Iris Chang Papers

Iris Chang was an intensely productive, in her words, “almost obsessive” individual, and these qualities shine through in her private papers. After publishing the book The Rape of Nanking, in preparation for her book tour, Chang captured her thoughts on a slew of a 3×5 inch index cards, cards which she then organized meticulously under headers like “Personal experiences writing the book.”  She asked herself … Continue reading Further Assessment of the Iris Chang Papers