The Rape of Nanking

Because of my weird turn of mind, I see a lot of history every day when I open up a newspaper. Some days, however, you don’t need to be weird. It’s so obvious it jumps right out at you. Today is one of those days.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the mayor of a Japanese city outraged thousands of Chinese internet users. The mayor asserted publicly that Japanese atrocities against the people of China—specifically, Nanking, during the Japanese occupation of that city in the late 1930s—never happened. The occupation occurred, he said, but not the atrocities. The internet in China was afire hours after the mayor’s remarks. Bloggers blasted his comments. 

The scars of the event are real, just like the event itself, notwithstanding the mayor’s comments. The span of more than seventy years of history disappears in less than seventy seconds.