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Author Murakami calls for fight against history revisionism

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Good on you, Mr Murakami. The likes of Motoya have to be called out for the grubby denialists and history whitewashers they are. Sadly, I suspect its just a matter of time before the extreme right here (i.e.. the establishment) launches personal attacks against him, caling him a "traitor", "communist" or worse.

30 ( +36 / -6 )

Haruki Murakami and Toshio Motoya, there is just no comparison...

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Hear, hear.

No pasarán!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Usually revisionism and hate speech come in pair...

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Finally someone with actual stones rises to the occasion!!

15 ( +21 / -6 )

Far left wing is as helpful as far right wing. Go ahead thumb it down, but it's true.

-26 ( +8 / -34 )

Japanese Millennials Don't Have a Clue.

I have often encountered Japanese residents and tourists who express surprise and doubt upon hearing of Japanese atrocities committed during the Pacific war. Are Japanese school teachers so ignorant of historical facts? It is tantamount to Americans claiming that the use of atom bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima never happened and are fabrications of Japanese nationalists.

I understand the objections constantly raised by China and Korea. This will always stand in the way of peace and cooperation between Japan and the many countries where these crimes against humanity occurred.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Well done Mr Murakami for speaking up on this. Managed to get a copy of Seiji Fujis REAL HISTORY OF JAPAN from one of the APA hotels. What a read! Within a paragraph or so it reveals itself for what it is. There's a particularly nice glossy section in the back with the esteemed author and truth seeker looking very happy with himself in different locations around the world. There's a red sports car , the pyramids, a shot in front of the Eiffel tower; this blokes seen it all!

page 2

The modern history of the world was written by white Christians, particularly Protestants.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Good man. I hope his words get a good hearing.

15 ( +20 / -5 )

Although there are bad things countries have done, Japan's atrocities were particularly brutal and inhumane during WII (in the Philippines, China). Even some accounts by Germans in Asia reports things were bad. Apologies have been made, but don't try to cover the past or it could happen again.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Too late. We live in a world where the Tiananmen massacre never happened. And now Trump is having a run at the whole revisionist strategy of nationalist/ populist governance. Oh. And have you heard that the Chinese are now insisting that the islands that they created a couple of years ago were always there?

There was a brief shining moment, and I am not too sure exactly when it was, when history was being reported impartially and fairly, but it was not the 1930s (National Geographic was reporting how the Italians were "modernizing" poor areas of Ethiopia!), and it sure is not being reported that way now. Charlie Chaplin was roundly shunned for seeing through Hitler's scam by the mid 1930s.

The best we can do is hope to see enough sides of the illusion that we can glimpse what truth might be, and don't just accept all of the diplomatic fictions thrown at us.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Japan is nowadays generally described as a democracy that elects her leadership who should reflect the intent of the majority of the nation. Yet the leader and his cohorts deny the atrocities Japan committed in WWII. Worst yet, there is constant effort by a faction of political force who is now in the leadership to rewrite the history so the Japanese “can be proud again”. I am a little bit surprised by Mr Murakami standing up and speaking against the all powerful Abe administration. Good for him. I hope it is not a LONE voice of conscience. Japanese people needs to stand up applauding Mr. Murakami and not hiding behind the fake history and un-sustainable glories of conquering Asian nations during WWII.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Far left wing is as helpful as far right wing.

What part of Haruki Murakami is far left wing ?

Your comment is farcical, laughable nonsense. Why even bother?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

He is working hard for the Nobel literature prize. He is stuck with new idea in his literature so turned into an anti-Japan activist.

-32 ( +3 / -35 )

Far left wing is as helpful as far right wing.

This is true, as communists and socialists have also rewritten history to fit their narratives. Extremism runs both ways, just ask the tens of millions killed by communism. Only fools believe in left or right, because both hands belong to the same body, and both have spilled rivers of blood. Ideology of any type is generally not compatible with reality. If people believed and understood in was is rather than what they would like it to be, the world would be a much better and more peaceful place.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

and cue the Japanese nationalists whose full time job is scoring the likes of JT for anything critical of Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@tinawatanabe

He is working hard for the Nobel literature prize. He is stuck with new idea in his literature so turned into an anti-Japan activist.

Telling the truth isn't being anti-Japanese. You can't handle the truth so the Japanese solution is to nail it down and not face it and change.

Only someone still stuck in IJA thinking would have a problem with what he said. He's a patriot in a country sorely lacking in them and believing it's anti-Japanese is exactly the cause for concern he mentions.

26 ( +29 / -3 )

In 2015, he said Japan must repeatedly say sorry to China, Korea and the other countries it invaded in the 20th century until its former victims have heard the apology enough.

That statement is a little bit nuanced I guess, but it's the constant doubting of these atrocities that they so-called apologized for that's the problem. That's why the victims will never hear enough of it. In many cases, the apologies are for vague events, and when one specific event gets brought up, they deny it happened. What are they apologizing for exactly?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

What Japanese schools don't teach their students: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-21226068

8 ( +10 / -2 )

While there is serious debate over the numbers of Nanking victims, there can be no debate over whether or not a massacre happened. One did. Even the Japanese media reported on it. They ran daily papers with two Japanese officers--who were in frenzied competition with each other to see who could be the first to cut off 100 Chinese heads--on the front covers. These were hugely popular and made sensational news among the general Japanese populace.

Novelists are limited in what we can do, but it is possible for us to fight such forces in the form of storytelling.”

Not true. Novelists can do a lot. That's why they're among the first to be executed under totalitarian regimes.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Tinawatanabe, truth is liberating, try it!!

12 ( +16 / -4 )

If one keeps on scratching the wound, the wound would never heal. War brings us the worst in human beings. We can never be an idealist living in an unidealistic world!

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

tinawatanabe: "He is working hard for the Nobel literature prize. He is stuck with new idea in his literature so turned into an anti-Japan activist."

First, you don't work towards a Nobel prize. There is no list of people nominated published until FIFTY years after the fact; only Japanese eager to back-pat themselves over another Japanese-won Nobel prize seem to suggest he's up for it as they cannot POSSIBLY know. Second, glad you can admit he is 'stuck' with "new idea", unlike the deniers who are only stuck with themselves and old ideas that helped get Japan destroyed in WWII. :) Third, the man truly loves his country; anyone that can acknowledge both the good and bad that their country has done and seek peaceful ways to move forward is a REAL patriot. People like Motoya and Abe and his wife are people who actually despise their nation and only love themselves, and wish to see Japan once again destroyed as it was because of its beliefs by the end of WWII.

There is a reason why Murakami is Japan's most loved and respected author, both here and abroad, and why his most recent book sold at a record pace.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Dylon get a literature prize, but he doesn't, but he really cares about real life topics.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Far left wing is as helpful as far right wing"

Yes, both are unhelpful. Murakami is calling out insidious right wing beliefs. That's helpful.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

China says 300,000 people died in a six-week spree of killing, rape and destruction by the Japanese military that began in December 1937.

The problem is China also rewrites "Rape of Nanjing". So, the people who maintains the true history are attacked by both sides.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

"The problem is China also rewrites "Rape of Nanjing"

China is making a mistake by using the 300,000 figure which as far as I know, is discredited by most historians as an exaggeration. This leaves the door ajar for rightist crackpots to say "See! They are lying! Nothing happened!"

Truth isn't something the CCP are noted for, but I have even less respect for those who accept what the nationalist loons over here are gibbering about.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

JimizoAPR. 03, 2017 - 06:47PM JST

Great rhetoric, Jimizo.

You effectively discredited all those who give a different view from that of PRC, because they are less respectable and nationalist loons.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Mr. Murakami. So how many apologies will be enough?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Tsuchifumazu, the answer is in the second to last paragraph.

Quote: "... until its former victims have heard the apology enough."

2 ( +6 / -4 )

When my wife's grandfather came home to Japan after the Second World War he refused to explain how he had lost a leg.I sometimes wonder if it was the shame of defeat or the horrors that accompany war that made him so reticent?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Took decades for my father-in-law to speak about what happened when he was in China. Came back minus an arm.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Enough apologies when one side of the mouth stops saying we regret history's atrocities with no I'm sorries, and the other stops supporting schools that promote fellow Asian hatred. How can anyone trust or believe these people?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

:Novelists are limited in what we can do:

because of government censorship. Japan is ranked SUPER low on freedom of press. They straight up tell news stations and newspapers what they can and can not talk about.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"Great rhetoric, Jimizo.

You effectively discredited all those who give a different view from that of PRC, because they are less respectable and nationalist loons."

Sorry if I wasn't clear. I'm trying to discredit the exaggerations of coming out of China and the people here claiming nothing heinous happened at Nanking.

You strike me as too reasonable and rational a person to be in either of those two groups.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Good for Murakami.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japan has apologized dozens of times already. When will other countries apologize for their mistakes? Slavery, killing an entire race of people and taking their land, starting wars and making refugees out of entire countries, using biological and nuclear weapons, while still having thousands of missiles on standby. Germany is a normal country now and they've done just as worse if not more then Japan! They've apologized once and moved On! Learn from it Japan! Follow Germany's example!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

They've apologized once and moved On! Learn from it Japan! Follow Germany's example!

Germany doesn't have US/China/SK as its neighbors who want to make Japan apologize endlessly.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

tinawatanabe: "Germany doesn't have US/China/SK as its neighbors who want to make Japan apologize endlessly."

They want it endlessly because they NEVER get it SINCERELY! I mean, look at you, tina -- you deny the massacre and atrocities happen to begin with, so how you can you honestly say Japan is sorry for what it did when you cannot even bring yourself to admit they did it? THAT is why you (and yes, you personally for denying it) will be asked for apologies. Same as compensation -- you refuse to call it compensation and have literally said it is money to "shut up".

6 ( +9 / -3 )

expecting some to pass a wall in their mind is never going to change. Much better to celebrate Murakami and those Japanese who understand

1 ( +4 / -3 )

My Japanese co-author Dr. Ryozo Kimihira and I are doing just that: A complete series of books on WWII-Pacific with dual accounts from both sides -- and the books will be available in both English and Japanese.

For Pearl Harbor, the US Army Medic at Hickam Field sees Japanese Flight Leader Zenji Abe fly overhead.

White Pearl, Red Sea, 230 pages, 280 illustrations.

Best Regards, Douglas Westfall, American Historian

4 ( +4 / -0 )

why they need to apologize now? it wasn't them who did it. the timing is wrong. would you keep apologizing if only your ancestor did something wrong but not you?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

In 2015, he said Japan must repeatedly say sorry to China, Korea and the other countries it invaded in the 20th century until its former victims have heard the apology enough. How many times Murakami-san? How many times will be enough? Well, give him Nobel Peace Prize instead of Nobel Literature Prize

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Now that the whole world is drifting towards the right, lets rewrite the history and makes as much as rights we can from the wrongs. Murakami should write another book on fake story that it was actually the Japanese women who were raped in Nanjing.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

mtuffizi: "would you keep apologizing if only your ancestor did something wrong but not you?"

If I were a government representative trying to make amends for the misdeeds of past governments/rulers, then yes. Same as Germany and other enlightened nations do. No one's asking for a personal apology, although they DO need to personally apologise for PRESENTLY saying that the past never happened.

If a German Chancellor, for example, suddenly denied the Holocaust happened and suggested Germany was the victim of WWII and they were 'defending Europe' against Jews taking over or some such nonsense, then you can bet that Chancellor had better personally apologise for the remarks. Fortunately, that would never happen, and in fact the person would be imprisoned. In Japan, they are heroes if they spout such nonsense, and elected to be "leaders". Murakami is pointing that out, and saying Japan must not forget if it wants to move forward. In much the same way as it remembers the atomic bombings, it must also address in detail and admit to its past wrong doings, and apologise, TRULY, to the ACTUAL victims. THEN people can truly make amends and move forward together.

No one blames the current society for the wrong doings of the IJA or Japan of the past, but the problem is that the current society plays a large part in white-washing and denying said history, and are therefore just as guilty as anything the people of the past ever did, and worse because they have clearly not learned anything and seemed destined to repeat it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The problem with the Japanese apology is that it is usually two faced. They regret things that happen, but there is always a face saving side clause, that subtlety but fairly obviously points the finger back at its intended recipient. It becomes ingenious, and leaves a sour taste. Agree however that every country has a history. And human history is basically a history of constant warfare and horrid deeds that we have inflicted upon each other since basically well, forever.

If however the message of genuine sorrow for hurting your fellow man comes from the heart though it usually works, and healing can begin. Anyone who has been in a fight but chosen the brave path to reconciliation knows this. Haven't we all at some stage been at this crossroad in own personal lives ? The Australian PM , Kevin Rudd, copped a lot of flack for his open and unmistakable admition of guilt to the Aboriginal people. It was sincere and a nice moment in our history that made me feel proud to be an Aussie, even if short lived. The stolen generation etc. Stuff was bad back then , real bad. You choose to recognize that simple fact and move on, or not. A warning and a plead to the nationalists for pause and reflection.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Germany doesn't have US/China/SK as its neighbors who want to make Japan apologize endlessly.

Think, "Why" Tina... think !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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