Writing the Early Postwar: White and Jacoby’s _Thunder Out of China_

Foreign correspondents are crucial conduits for insights into contemporary East Asia. As I’ve learned from my conversations with various bureau chiefs, stringers, and greybeards in the region, there are few people willing to share insights as journalists, as it is their job to be, and to stay, plugged in. For the contemporary historian, reading the accounts of journalists in the region in the 1940s an … Continue reading Writing the Early Postwar: White and Jacoby’s _Thunder Out of China_

Xi Jinping’s Tripod: Updating the National Humiliation Narrative in Nanjing

This essay was originally published at the China Policy Institute Blog at the University of Nottingham on 15 December 2014, under the title ‘Xi Jinping’s Nanking Massacre Commemoration and China’s Anti-Japanese Calendar,’ and is republished here with permission.  2014 has been a banner year for the Chinese Communist Party’s politics of historical commemoration of the War of Resistance against Japan (1937-1945). As the Party has faced a … Continue reading Xi Jinping’s Tripod: Updating the National Humiliation Narrative in Nanjing

Ambiguous Archipelago: Japan in the Chinese Press Today

Chinese netizens may be lavishing more attention on the South Korean pop star Rain (who, apparently, seeks nothing less than to abscond with Confucius’ bones to Seoul), but the Sino-Japanese relationship continues apace, with attendant action on the Chinese internet. 1. Transnational Nanking Massacre Research Team Completes Part One The Sino-Japanese Joint Research Team has concluded the first stage of its work in Tokyo and … Continue reading Ambiguous Archipelago: Japan in the Chinese Press Today

Chinese Heir Apparent in Japan

Xi Jinping, the current consensus candidate to succeed Hu Jintao in about three years’ time, is on a tour of Japan.  He has met, not without excitement or a bit of controversy in Tokyo, Akihito, the Japanese emperor. Oddly enough, December 13 was the anniversary of the Rape of Nanking; Xinhua quietly issued a few new photographs of the battle for Nanking, seeming far more … Continue reading Chinese Heir Apparent in Japan

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

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

Impressions of the Iris Chang Papers

It’s been a whirlwind, head-bending kind of two-day sprint through a minor swath of the Hoover Institute Archives at Stanford University. Iris Chang wasn’t my only target — thanks to some very diligent young colleagues I was also lucky to find my way into a thicket of Korean War propaganda (some of which I hope to leak out on this blog), more work by Sheldon … Continue reading Impressions of the Iris Chang Papers