Shanghai exhibits sword used in killing contest by Japanese to prove massacre
Several Shanghai-based institutes joined hands to mark the National Memorial Day (December 13) for Nanjing Massacre victims by exhibiting some physical evidence that could prove the history, reported thepaper.cn on Wednesday. According to historical records, Japanese army intruded into Nanjing—the then capital city—starting a 40-odd-day slaughter on December 13, 1937. About 300,000 people were ruthlessly killed while over 20,000 women were raped.

Photos: thepaper.cn
 
On Tuesday, nearly one hundred historical objects and documents—among which there is the samurai sword used in the notorious contest between two Japanese Army officers to kill 100 people—were exhibited for the first time at the Shanghai Songhu Memorial Hall for the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.

It's reported by thepaper.cn that the exhibition is held jointly by the Songhu Memorial Hall, Shanghai Anti-Fascist Research Society, Party History Research Center, Archives Bureau, Jinshanwei War-resistance Heritage Park and Jiangdongmen Memorial Hall.
 
 
On December 18, 1947, the two killers were tried and convicted by the Nanjing War Crimes Tribunal, and then were executed in Nanjing. It's reported that all the original court records and the samurai sword exhibited this time were preserved and then brought to Taiwan by Shi Meiyu, then the chief judge of the tribunal. Shi Nanyang, a descendent of Shi Meiyu donated a total of 76 historical objects and documents which include the sword.
 
 
 
Also exhibited is the newspaper photo showing the two killers, Toshiaki Mukai and Tsuyoshi Noda, posing with their swords, which has also been compiled into China's history textbooks. Actually, it was through a series of wartime Japanese-language newspaper articles which celebrated the “heroic” killing that the brutal crime was unveiled.

The two men were described by the reports as vying to be the first to kill 100 people with a sword. And the competition was believed to have taken place en route to Nanking, right before the infamous Nanking Massacre.


In the first article of the series dated December 5, 1937, it was reported the two had respectively slaughtered 72 and 89 Chinese people while five days later, in another one dated December 10, both of them achieved the goal by killing separately 105 and 106 people. Chinese historians thus reached the conclusion that the massacre did not start from Nanjing but began earlier when the Japanese army debarked in Shanghai.

“It's not clear to whom the sword belonged, Toshiaki Mukai or Tsuyoshi Noda, although one thing is certain, which is that the sword had been presented as a critical evidence to the Nanjing War Crimes Tribunal, Zhang Yun, professor of the National Defense University, told thepaper.cn.

Professor Gao Wenbin, now 96 years old, managed to visit the Tuesday's exhibition in Shanghai. Being the only person in the world who had participated in the Tokyo Trial and who's still alive, Gao called on younger generations to remember the history.

At the time, Gao worked as a translator for the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and was assigned to the Tokyo Trial with the Chinese delegation. He was also the first to find out the report about killing contest in the newspaper Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shimbun. Gao immediately made three copies of the news article and sent two of them to Shi Meiyu, who then proposed to China's allied nations' headquarters to arrest the two sanguinary Japanese army officers.

Along with the valuable donations by Shi's family, a compilation quoting 42 people who had survived the massacre was exhibited to the public for the first time. Transcripts of interviews, notarization, pictures taken by witnesses, copies of their ID cards, household registers and residence documents, the list of victims and sketch map of sites victims were killed at are all included.

Su Zhiliang, a Chinese historian, noted it is “vital” to collect related historical documents and objects from various sources in a bid to disclose atrocities committed by the Japanese army. He introduced during a later seminar some newly acquired historical materials by the museum of the Shanghai Normal University, which includes a flag of Imperial Japanese Army stained with blood, combat record compiled by the then technical R&D institute under Japan's Ministry of Defense, diaries of Japanese veterans, and photos of Japanese army worshipping at spirit tablets of deceased soldiers.
 
 
Many academicians believe sufficient historical materials have proved the massacre did not start from Nanjing but from Shanghai. Tang Peiji, professor of the Tongji University, told the seminar that the Japanese army had long targeted Shanghai. “There is evidence indicating that Japan had got a deliberate plan to occupy Shanghai. Its army had launched full scale invasion of Shanghai since the Pacific War,” he said. 

He further explained that the Japanese army's atrocities surged when they were in Shanghai and then escalated into a full-scale massacre when they got into Nanjing city. “The main reason is the army had encountered the most tenacious resistance in Shanghai since they intruded into China, and they had to increase military force to over 300,000.”
 

Tang Peiji believed the prolonged combat had infuriated Japan so that the terror of the Fascist army was sent into full blast. “Shanghai persevered in its resistance for 14 years, which had put it in line with the two other heroic cities—Madrid and Moscow.”

China held the first national day of remembrance for those killed by the invading Japanese armies in 2014 when President Xi was quoted as saying that no one can deny the Nanjing Massacre. 
 
 

 


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