The Sad Story Of A Japanese Gaming Legend Who Pretends War Crimes Never Happened

Here at Total Recall, we deal in history. Partly because I love my video games, but also because as a graduate in the field I love my history as well. So it saddens me deeply when I see people involved in video games trying to mess with real, actual history.

Which leads me to something I read earlier today that I'd never known before, and which has really bummed me out: Koichi Sugiyama, one of the most accomplished and well-known video game composers in the business, likes to pretend some of Japan's most atrocious crimes during the Second World War never happened.

There are few things worse on this planet than historical revisionists. It's one thing to analyse events and argue their relevance or influence (as most historical study and debate usually entails), but it's another to try and pretend things that happened never actually happened, all in the name of a political agenda.

It's why, for example, people trying to claim the Holocaust is make-believe can be locked up in countries like Germany. Reckless historical revisionism can be, for a lot of people, some serious shit.

There's no doubting Sugiyama's achievements in video games. The guy's work composing the theme to Dragon Quest, for example, will forever mark him as a legend in the field. Actually, in all of Japan, as the catchy song has become one of the nation's most iconic tunes over the last 30 years. Anime fans will also have a lot of nice things to say about him for his work on the original Gatchaman.

But as this great piece on 1UP points out, there can come a point where a person's personal life, views and actions negatively impact our opinions of them as a content creator. An example used is Roman Polanski; a great filmmaker, no doubt, but a lot of people won't watch his movies because he had sex with a 13 year-old girl.

In this case, and for me, my tipping point comes alongside Sugiyama's views on history. In particular, Japan's conduct during both the Second Sino-Japanese war of 1937-45 and the Second World War.

Looking past the fact that Japan was invading other countries as an aggressive Imperial power, the nation's actions during both wars have long been condemned by veterans and historians alike, as they are punctuated by frequent acts of extreme cruelty.

Examples include the Nanking Massacre, also known as the Rape of Nanking, in which an estimated 250,000 to 300,000 of the Chinese city's civilian population were butchered by Japanese troops over a six-week period. Another is the widespread use of "comfort women" by Imperial forces, a practice which saw tens of thousands of women across Asia seized by Japanese troops and forced into work in army brothels.

As the Wu-Tang Clan so poignantly say, what's been done can't be undone, son.

And that's before we even get to the more general, widespread abuses committed by Japanese troops against both civilian populations and captured enemy forces during the Second World War.

Now, war is a horrible thing. Awful acts are committed on all sides. The Allies, for example, didn't just bomb Japanese cities, they often firebombed them, levelling entire settlements and killing hundreds of thousands of civilians. There's also the matter of the United States detonating not one but two atomic bombs over cities predominantly occupied by innocent people.

But we're not here to argue over the acts of the war. Those were, well, acts of war, and have been dealt with one way or another since. As the Wu-Tang Clan so poignantly say, what's been done can't be undone, son. As awful as the Allied bombing campaign over Japan was, there has never been any doubt that it took place.

What Sugiyama and his fellow revisionists (or, to use a more correct term, negationists) are doing is something different. They think the scale of Japanese atrocities is simply a concoction of the West, that the years of testimony and research supporting the use of "comfort women" (something acknowledged by the Japanese government itself in 1993) is actually a collection of "fallacies, distortions, biases and factual errors". Some of his colleagues in negationist movements like the "Committee for Historical Facts" even believe the Rape of Nanking simply didn't take place.

These men, all of them politically conservative and many of them of an age to remember the war, can be found lightly scattered amongst Japanese politics. Shinzo Abe, for example, Prime Minister of Japan in 2006-07, held similar views. They are deeply committed to their beliefs, to the extent that on June 14, 2007, they took out a full-page advertisement in the Washington Post, in which they argued that the use of comfort women was "anything but the truth".

(This report even states Sugiyama initiated the whole thing).

This is not simply "revising" history. That happens all the time, as new research uncovers evidence that alters our accepted views on an event. This is "ignoring" history, putting your head in the sand. Trying to have something stricken from the record. Which is one of the worst things we, as human beings, can do.

I could say I understand what it's like to grow up being told your entire life you and your people were the "bad guys" in the Second World War, but that would be lying. As an Australian with family who served in both the Australian (some involved with the Japanese bombing of Darwin) and British armed forces, I've grown up with my nation's conscience - at least in this instance - being relatively clean. Having to face up to the acts committed by my ancestors or, in Sugiyama's case, peers (he was born in 1931), must be a great challenge.

History is, quite literally, our story. It can be both the catalogue of our actions as a species and a reflection of our interpretation of those events. I think it's one of the most important things on the planet, because it shapes who we are, how we view the world and how we relate to our friends and neighbours.

To purposefully attempt to deny indisputable events, then, really gets under my skin. And, as the 1UP piece highlights, has sadly coloured my views on Sugiyama's achievements as an artist. I don't think he's an asshole. I don't think he's a monster. By all accounts he's a really nice guy who has done a lot of great work for music and video games.

Nor am I saying his views effect the quality of his work. The Dragon Quest theme is catchy as all hell. What's being affected here is my ability (or lack thereof) to fully appreciate it with the knowledge he has some pretty messed up political views.

Which says as much about me as it does him; many of you probably won't give a shit! History is for books, and if you dig his music, then you dig his music, etc. But just as there will be people who won't play Fez because they don't like Phil Fish, or won't play a DICE game because it's published by EA, this crosses a particular line of mine. It's not like I won't ever play Dragon Quest ever again, but the next time I hear that iconic theme music, it just sadly won't be the same.


Comments

    Bad Guys?

    Rule #1. THERE ARE NO GOOD GUYS IN WAR. Only winners and lossers. And the winner gets to right the history book. Just rember that.

      Yes yes, we've all read that quote too, but that adds nothing to the conversation here. Are you seriously suggesting Sugiyama's denials are justified?!

      This wasn't a piece on who's the 'bad guy', but the act of acknolwedging something awful took place, instead of sticking your head in the sand. Example : at least Germany had the good grace to take responsibility for it's actions and try to make amends for it. No assigning blame or avoiding the fact. own it, and move on.

      This would be relevant if the Rape of Nanking was something shared through the last 5 or 6 decades. However, it was pretty much unknown in the west until Iris Chang wrote and released the book The Rape of Nanking in 1997. Regardless, Japan were definitely the "bad guys" in that they had no respect for the rules of law and the Japanese government went out of their way to hide the atrocities. In fact, the things they did in Nanking were so atrocious that a highly ranked Nazi member contacted Hitler directly to try and stop the Japanese soldiers murdering, torturing, and raping innocent civilians -- he was so disgusted. He was, in some ways, considered the Schindler of Nanking.

      Read the book.

        And if you do read it, be prepared to feel nauseated after. There's some horrible s**t in that book.

        I highly recommend it, as the Sino-Japan part of WWII isn't focused on much in Australia. Just don't eat before reading.

      Oh, we're just gonna spout quotes about war that have nothing to do with this particular piece. I'm down.

      "WAR does not determine who is right, only who is left" - Bertrand Russell

      "WAR. WAR never changes" - All the Fallouts!

      "If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles." - Sun Tzu, Art of WAR

        Fallout: "War. War never changes"
        MGS4: "War. War has changed"

          "The more things change, the more they stay the same."
          - Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

        WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?
        ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

        HUH!

          GOOD GOD Y'ALL

      This isn't about bad guys/good guys. It's about denying that something ever happened, and that's problematic.

        They don't actually teach anything about the Japanese atrocities in WWII in Japanese schools, so most Japanese people aren't actually aware of the comfort women thing, or human vivisections etc. Much could also be said over the conduct of English and American soldiers towards some German towns - It's not spoken about so how are people supposed to be made aware of it?

          That isn't really that surprising. I know going through schooling I was never taught about attempted genocide of aboriginals in Australia and the whole "stolen generation" has only just come to light in public consciousness recently.

            Australian primary schools teach kids about the stolen generation, the dream time etc. I don't think any Aussie kid grows up without learning about at least some of the undeniable crimes that were committed in founding this country. Now, I have family in Japan and have visited them twice, they do not study ANY of this unpleasant material in history, and from what I can clean, have an unhealthy focus on the Atom Bomb. Yes, it was an extremely tragic and horrifying way to end the war, but these texts completely gloss over Japan's crimes and instead colour WWII to be an underdog story of a persecuted people.

            Compare this to Germany, where up until the 2006 World Cup, most Germans were uncomfortable about waving their flags because open nationalism was still frowned upon. Modern Germans have acknowledged and are shamed by the sins committed under the Nazi regime. To this day, Germans are still suspicious of cults of personality like Scientology because the country has suffered so much, and so many of their people died.

            There are two ways to go about unpleasant history, learn the hard truths, acknowledge what happened and vow to never make these mistakes again like Germany, or you stick your head up your collective butts and just deny everything like Japan.

              I completely agree with almost everything in this comment, except the last sentence - many people, particularly but not exclusively those involved with the political left, are keen to see history recounted correctly.

              Also, though Germany is an extreme case, they should be seen as a model for how to react to the horrific actions that we are all heir to, even if we are not related to those involved.

      How does one right a book?

      when it comes to WW2 we can make an exception to that rule.

      well really, that rule is pretty much bullshit. it suggests that there's no accountability for war, for who the aggressors were, and that fighting back is never justified.

    I'm hoping you're not a winner because your spelling/grammar/typing is atrocious. Please don't "right" the history books.

      This was meant to be a reply to Jagji56 :S

        Just rember that...

    Why do I get the feeling that weaboos would back these people up?

    I think I missed something in this article - the part where you actually identify what Sugiyama has done or said. We all get that revisionism is dangerous, but all I see is an attack on a developer disguised as an attack on revisionism with a tenuous unsupported claim that Sugiyama holds this view.

      "What Sugiyama and his fellow revisionists (or, to use a more correct term, negationists) are doing is something different. They think the scale of Japanese atrocities is simply a concoction of the West, that the years of testimony and research supporting the use of “comfort women” (something acknowledged by the Japanese government itself in 1993) is actually a collection of “fallacies, distortions, biases and factual errors”. Some of his colleagues in negationist movements like the “Committee for Historical Facts” even believe the Rape of Nanking simply didn’t take place."

      I take it you skimmed past that paragraph?

      And this one as well?

      "Nor am I saying his views effect the quality of his work. The Dragon Quest theme is catchy as all hell. What’s being affected here is my ability (or lack thereof) to fully appreciate it with the knowledge he has some pretty messed up political views."

      Are you joking? Unsupported Claim?

      First line, just under the video: it's a RESPONSE to a 1UP piece about Sugiyama, link included. It's not his fault if you were too ignorant to click the link. Spoiler alert: It's BRIGHT PINK.

      From the 1UP piece: Sugiyama published a paid advertisement in the Washington Post disavowing Japanese war actions including the Rape of Nanking and the use of "comfort women.". That has a link too.

      Actually click on the link Plunkett provides regarding the full page ad in the Washington post, go down to the bottom of the ad and read the fourth name under the 'we, the undersigned members of the committee for historical facts, endorse the public comment presented above.'

      It sadly is a supported claim. . .

        Thanks for the clarification. Yes I did skim over the Washington Post link.

    its sad when people refuse to admit that these attrocities took place when there is so much evidence to back it up although im not surprised since japanese teachers use to tell students that the americans were the aggressors in WW2 and that the attack on pearl harbour didnt actually happen though im not sure if they still teach this

    Though because of the severity of the incident... i sort of understand how one wants to ignore the facts or not carry it around all the time. And to maybe 'spare' the younglings from their forefather's sins. I can only assume theyre unlike some cultures which can sit still with their own atrocities.

    Maybe like a convict trying to hide their convictions, its not 'right' - but it makes sense.

    The same thing happened to me with Charlton Heston, when I found out he was the the President of the NRA and actively believed it was/is the right idea to arm every citizen to the teeth and that the Govt should never take his guns away from him and the only way they could, would be from his dead cold hands.

      Charlton Heston now has no guns.

      I don't think you should so severely judge Charlton H arguing his case (backed up by his countries constitution ... regardless of it's merits). It seems very different to the denial of war crimes.

      History is there to be learned from. It's what allows us to advance as a race. Ignoring aspects of history you don't like is stupid. No-one is asking him to take responsibility for things he hasn't done, but his refusal to acknowledge these crimes taints him with the hideous crimes themselves.

        +1... and I think ignoring the mistakes of the past, SSSHU, is just as bad as denying they happened. Gleno, spot on when you say "History is there to be learned from."

    I honestly don't see what the problem is. I understand that the issue is that he believes his country and his people did nto commit vicious war-crimes, but I'm not quite sure how that makes him any less of a man or person.

    I certainly don't think of his music any differently now after understanding his political views. Whilst the scope of his beliefs is significantly larger than most, I liken it to "not respecting another man's artwork because he's from a different religion".

    I understand they are different. I understand that there is proof that these hideous actions occurred. I understand that he is not acknowledging them.

    What I don't understand is how that makes him any less of a person. I haven't seen any evidence of him actively trying to convince other people that his beliefs are correct, so I consider his a harmless, albeit disrespectful, opinion.

    It reminds me of something I was once told:
    "Everyone has the right to their opinion, no matter how wrong it is."

      I don't think it's a matter of opinion when someone is denying a known fact.
      I don't think less of him, per se - but it does throw a slightly different colored light on him. What good can be gained from denying such events happened? People are obliged to acknowledge such things, and where applicable, take responsibility so we can learn from them and hopefully ensure they never, ever happen again.

      I personally think a lot of it just a cultural difference, and a lot of older Japanese folk of his generation are renowned for being very hard headed, traditional and honor bound. Admitting such things occurred would be also admitting they were wrong - this indicates a failure or a besmirching of honor by general standards.

      I just think he's in denial because he can't handle the fact the acts in question were wrong, and reprehensible. Even though he obviously didn't partake or advocate such things, it doesn't change the implications of denying their existence.

        I agree that he's probably just trying to maintain an honourable view of his motherland, and won't accept that wrong has been done. I just don't think it's anything to judge him so severely by.

          I disagree. He is obviously delusional.

          An honourable view is being able to admit to mistakes in your history and learn from them to become a better society.

          But these people are just a vocal minority of old guys in Japan . When I was over there all the young people dismiss them as loons. They're like Japan's equivalent of Alan Jones.

            "An honourable view is being able to admit to mistakes in your history and learn from them to become a better society."
            Yes, but I meant he wanted to keep an honourable image of his motherland, Japan. I must have written ambiguously. I didn't mean to suggest that his views are honourable.

            "But these people are just a vocal minority of old guys in Japan . When I was over there all the young people dismiss them as loons. They’re like Japan’s equivalent of Alan Jones."
            Pretty much. I still don't believe that anyone has the right to judge them and their work based on their views.

      Love the quote. Reminds me of this one...

      "If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind." - John Stuart Mill "On Liberty"

        The movie "12 Angry Men"

        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050083/

        I like that quote. It just reaffirms my view that a man should be judged on his actions, not his words or beliefs.

      You'll be singing a different tone if you've actually lost your extended family to the Japanese war criminals, like I did. Holocaust deniers are the scum of the earth and should be exposed whereever they hide.

        I don't understand why you hate the person who denies that the atrocities happened, but don't mention the people who actually committed them.

        I lost a lot of my family in the Yugoslavian war. I couldn't care less if someone believed it never happened. I could, however, care if they had been one of the people who had killed during the war.

        I don't see how "Holocaust deniers are the scum of the earth". What did they do to you to warrant such hate? Perpetuating hate against the innocent achieves nothing.

          Actually according to my GF who has both a degree in sociology and a degree in sociale - the act

            Apologies - social work - the act of denial is an act of psychological abuse against both the victims and their descendants. Further this act of denial is arguably in itself a hate crime.

              EVEN further !!!" By not judging him/them by rational and accepted standards YOU are enabling and perpetuating a hate crime. What possible reason do we have NOT to judge?

                "What possible reason do we have NOT to judge?"
                The fact that it's none of our business to judge what another person believes or does not believe.

                  There are multiple reasons to judge what someone believes.

                  For instance, if someone believes that they are the supreme being, everyone else is beneath them, and the only way to continue the species is to father as many children as possible and remove every one they deem sub-human, then you'd be quite right to do your best to stop them.

                  Re Hitler WWII. :P Peoples beliefs define how they act, define how everyone around them acts. Using Japan as an example, if you told an entire nation all day every day that Pearl Harbor never happened, and that the USA unlawfully attacked Japan, then you would have an entire nation of people resenting the USA, possibly even taking up violence against them. Re bin Laden '03.

                  It's equivalent to standing by and watching someone get beaten to death and doing nothing about it. You're enabling the crime, I think it's Accessory in the USA, and you're telling the friends of that person (or descendants in the case of comfort women, or the women themselves) that the crime never happened and it's all in their head. Or say someone came up and robbed you at knife point and you ended up hospitalised. Then when you got out, everyone around you said the crime never happened. You see how that quickly becomes a discomfiting thought?

                  Or say there's a Jew, Gypsy, homosexual, whatever today who has absolutely no living relatives and is the last in their family tree. Their cousins died, their parents died, and they only barely escaped death in the concentration camps. Then someone says that never happened, and everyone believes it. When that JGhw dies, they've effectively been erased from the history books. Keeping in mind that quote (since everyone seems big on those), those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. If Nazism never happened, then the next time a belief system like that comes up there will be no warnings, no red flags, just seemingly overnight a rampaging hoard will rise up.

                  But we know our history, we develop profiles of the people who commit crimes, we learn from those mistakes and watch out for the warning signs. Train stations being lit at night, dangerous roads being given lower speed limits, violent neighbourhoods having an increased police presences, and support to the people who suffered from those crimes.

                  "I’m inclined to believe that history has a way of repeating regardless of the beliefs of the population."
                  That sir is a defeatist attitude! Regardless of how right it is. :P

          Would you care if the majority of people (or even say... 33% or people?) started to believe that the Yugoslavian war never happened? That is the danger of historical deniers. Like a cancer their beliefs can spread. Its why we have to continually call out people who deny historical fact, if only to demonstrate to others that these people are wrong. Because if historical fallacies become accepted fact, then we face a greater risk of repeating history.

            Most people aren't even aware there was a Yugoslavian war, so I can say without hesitation that I still, honestly, do not care.

            As long as people haven't committed the crime themselves, they are free to believe whatever they please.

            "if historical fallacies become accepted fact, then we face a greater risk of repeating history."
            Possibly. I don't see any evidence of it, but I concede that it could happen. Either way, previous wars have not stopped the Iraq War or any other war after WWII. I'm inclined to believe that history has a way of repeating regardless of the beliefs of the population.

    Very good read. If he keeps writing like this Luke might fool me into thinking he's a journalist. Well done Luke, great article.

    Wait, did I just feed someone a S*** sammich?

      Luke has never called himself a journalist. He sees himself as a content provider: http://kotaku.com/speakup/forum?comment=47179435

      Maybe I already fooled you into thinking I'm not...

        Whether or not, this was an excellent article. Well done *applauds*

      Agreed, good article. Thanks for the read.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revisionist_History

    Sorry, as a History graduate myself I have to highlight this point. Not all Revisionist History is simply denying facts originally reported. Sometimes thos original facts are proven to be false as time progresses. Usually the historians that look at the an event from a later point in time (a generation or so) usually enter an existing debate with alternative or revisionist views on those first published, taking into account additional facts that are highlighted without the subjectivite influences that are usually unavoidable directly after the event. For instance more German soldiers were willing to share their experiences of WW2 decades after the war than directly after which can alter existing history of military events such as D-Day.

    This is a case of History 'denial.' It is a very sad reality and only breeds further ignorance as people fail to learn from the generations that came before.

      That's what Luke was saying:

      "There are few things worse on this planet than historical revisionists. It’s one thing to analyse events and argue their relevance or influence (as most historical study and debate usually entails), but it’s another to try and pretend things that happened never actually happened, all in the name of a political agenda."

      "This is not simply “revising” history. That happens all the time, as new research uncovers evidence that alters our accepted views on an event. This is “ignoring” history, putting your head in the sand. "

    This is a pretty common Japanese opinion and one that I believe is being taught in their schools.

    Chat to any Chinese mainlander and they will tell you how much the despise the Japanese, not as much for past attrocities, but for current attitudes.

      Maaan.... You should really come to Korea ~.~

        What do you mean? o.o

          Korea has been invaded a fair few times in its history. Most recently, Japan invaded ~1910, then stayed there till the end of WWII, at which point Russia accepted the surrender of the Japanese in the northern area of the country, and the USA accepted the surrender of the southern side of the country. They remained in control till the end of the Cold War, and now they're split in two and taking pot shots at each other.

          During Japanese control, they conscripted males as labourors and females as sex slaves. So same 'ol, same 'ol, except on a big scale for a small country. Culture was stomped on (ban on language, theft of historical artifacts, revised schools which taught "All hail the Japanese motherland!!", Korean history didn't exist.. You know, the usual cultural suppression and wanton destruction that invariably accompanies elitist countries invading those they deem populated by lesser beings.

          I think the only comfort they have is that they're not Ukrainian, and thus have been independent longer than enslaved.

    It's called cognitive dissonance. The truth is so hard to bear, they believe that it's all a fabricated lie. A bit like global warming deniers. They actually peddle the line "those darn researchers only want more funding", and totally neglect the fact what's more likely? Scientists all working together to get some more funding based on a lie which will be exposed eventually? Or the bilions (trillions?) of dollars on the line from energy companies resisting change?

      Sadly, global warming is a little more difficult to prove, and not a particularly relevant comparison to certain historical events, which either a) occurred, or b) did not occur.

      "Global warming" is completely false, because it was coined to describe a bunch of scientist's climate model during the late 80's, which has laready been disproven but still remains at large because many confuse it as an interchageable term for climate disparity. What you're looking for is 'climate change'.

        The planet has warmed MORE than was predicted in the late 80s.

    Hmm... As an indoctrinated Korean, I really don't know what to say... This just reminds me of the textbook revision controversies.

    This reminds me of the Australian public school system, I doubt you'll hear much about how our history really went until you do independent research or you have a teacher who doesn't want to teach the current political agenda.

    I love how Luke spends weeks posting brief, vapid articles about meaningless things, drawing all of his haters in, and then...*BAM*, he hits them with something about WWII revisionism in Japan.

    I think at some point you have to disassociate the creative work from the creator. If I'd listened to a piece of his yesterday and thought it was beautiful, it's still beautiful today regardless. If you have different feelings about /supporting/ the creator, that's a different story, but I don't think that it should change your opinion of the work, (I don't think I'd buy a Chris Brown song, but I don't think I'd feel bad about liking one.)

      It's the same with Wagner. Wrote some of the most incredible music to ever penetrate human earholes but was a pernicious anti-semite. His music is still banned in Israel because Hitler took a lot of inspiration from his work, but I think most classical music fans disassociate his views from his output.

        I don't think you can go back more than 30-40 years in any country and find someone famous who wasn't a racist/sexist/homophobe.Those were different times. I'm not going to hold a grudge due to casual racism of the era, but I am pissed at the likes of Morrissey or Mel Gibson who in 2012, should really fuckin know better.

        At the same time... I'm able to disassociate Gibson from his work, and enjoy his movies even if he is a raving lunatic/asshole extraordinnaire.

    The awful moment when you discover that one of your heroes has values that don't line up with your own, values that you consider repulsive. Sucks don't it? But not everyone can fit in with our arrogant, western, thought patterns.

    If anyone thinks the US has covered up and denied atrocities they're naive, and anyone who's been brought up to believe that these things didn't happen can't be accused of horrible.

    Imagine you'd been brought up to believe something was true.

    I had heard of these issues before but didn't know that they were more than just a fringe community.
    My great grandfather died as a POW working on the Burma Railroad, the letter said he didn't survive a makeshift operation set up by some other POWs to remove his appendix. I'd imagine many Australians have similar stories in their families. Despite that, I can understand why one might want to deny their ancestors actions which caused such events, although that does not excuse their denial.
    However the Japanese are not solely guilty of improper rumblings after the fact. The attitude of some people on the "winning side" talking about war, especially the use of atomic weapons, also causes my stomach to churn and wrath to awaken.
    It makes me want to commit my own little hate crime every time I hear the sentence "fuck [INSERT NAME OF COUNTRY] we should just nuke the bastards back to the Stone Age. It worked on Japan!"

    Honestly I don't give a two shits about what someone/thing thinks about what happened or supposedly happened, and punishing such individuals is completley hypocritical about what certain countries tout about 'democracy', it just seems like some people are butt-hurt because someone isn't hammered in-line to think the way we want in a politically correct world.

    It's only when you stand on a soap box and 'recruit' followers do you begin to become a passive agressor and you're views are no longer opinions but are actions.

    The history we are fed is so blatantly inaccurate and perverted that I wouldn't be surprised it those things weren't true. I'm not saying that's the case, but greater lies have been perpetuated over time. There is no accurate history...only the viewpoints from which it is written. Nazis shrinking heads and making lampshades from skin was once a solid fact taught in schools, but that has long been refuted as allied propaganda. And the allies did this to a great degree. Once a lot of lies have been exposed the truth becomes grey. No, we can't ignore history and only accept things we saw with our own eyes, but we must be very careful to interrogate information before accepting it as gospel--take it all with a pinch of salt . Point in case: most news on the tv, newspapers and internet today is actually targeted advertising (for various political, financial and social agendas). Nothing gets on the news unless it benefits somebody...and the news becomes history. My personal belief is these Japanese atrocities did occur to a significant degree--and should therefore be reviled--but the figures themselves are open to alteration for profit. (as with another infamous incident I will not mention) . And which country HASN'T committed massacres and used comfort women? Not many.

      WHAT!? You mean to say that human-skin lampshade on my mantlepiece is fake?! Oh man, I paid a lot of money for that...

      bono - not an anti-semite but #1 with anti-semites.

      Is this the game we are playing here?

      Certain people inflating certain numbers so they can make a few more shekels ('cause that's what they love to do!)?

      *WINK*

    I think that some Japanese delusional beliefs about war crimes are a reaction to the white washing of the allies behavouir, the soviet troops acted in exactly the same way in manchuria in 45 but you dont hear about that.US troops didnt take Japanese prisnors in many battles, the fire-bombing and nuking of entire cities of civililians are never really critisized.
    I think that "rape hotels", human vivisections and using people as bayonet practice is just more visceral and hard to stomach but not really any worse or more of a crime against humanity.

      I think that “rape hotels”, human vivisections and using people as bayonet practice is just more visceral and hard to stomach but not really any worse or more of a crime against humanity.

      ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

      It's true that few Japanese soldiers were taken prisoner in World War 2. But a major part of that is that they were indoctrinated to believe that it was better to die than to be captured.

      First any student of history worth a damn would criticise how the Soviets acted in foreign territory. They raped and looted their way across east Germany and everyone hated them for it.
      But seriously? Systemic and sanctioned rape, human vivisection and live bayonet practice in my opinion are worse than bombing a city. At least there is a weak military grounding in bombing a city (its still an atrocity but these were times of existential threats and a time of total war), where as torturing POWs and the other horrible things Japanese troops did is inexcusable.

      In answer to Boomzilla's comment of Ally firebombing in WW2, as unfortunate as it was that we did it it was an established part of war at the time as was what the Japaneses did was.If you look at the History Of War up to WW2 pretty awful stuff was done by both sides of the conflict and sweeped under the rug.It was only after we discovered the extent and scope of the things done by the Nazis did we really start changing how we allow Wars to be fought.To anybody who offers a rebuttal on the Rules Of Engagements prior to WW2 and the Genvea Accords they really were not followed even after WW2 because one of there provisions was that DIRECT civilian attacks were not to happen.If that was followed the United States should have been tried for the attacks on Nagasaki and Hiroshima which were not attacks on military or industrial centers as could be argued for Tokyo in Japan and Dresden in Germany, but purposeful attacks against Civilian Targets that were meant to force Japan to capitulate which they did.I am from the United States by the way.

    Never forget unit 731 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_731

    these discussions are all taking place in a vacuum. in Japan, people don't get tip in the morning and think about this shut. they think about keeping section chief happy, or passing meaningless rote memorisation tests, or let vapid TV take their attention. nobody wants to stand up in a country r that despises grandstanding and remind them all that their country did terrible things. so there are only advocates on one side of this. Japan should have followed Germany's lead and faced ask this squarely long ago. its now a millstone around their necks whenever they deal with Korea or China or Russia or southeast Asia.

    I'm not sure I learned about all the atrocities committed by Australian troops during WW1, WW2, Vietnam etc when I went to school. But then again the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, (clearly aimed at killing civilians) are never referred to as war crimes either. So I guess both sides are in denial to one extent or another.

    Luke you sound like a parrot on a soapbox, masturbating while reciting everything that's ever been taught to him.

    The reason revisionists even exist is because people like you are happy to believe everything you've read or been told about history. Revising history isn't a bad thing when the accepted "history" is wrong or just plain made up.

      AussieSniper, your name is so tough and manly I want to give you a big kiss on the bottom!

      Now which revising do we need to do in your opinion?

      Is it the one about those naughty j00s making things up so they can profit from movies or is it the global conspiracy between climate scientists and communists to steal our freedoms?

      I'd just like to add that picturing you at your keyboard wearing your warpaint and urban camo PJs really excites me, and I'm a big hairy guy who doesn't excite very easily :)

        Oh yeah, that AussieSniper. He's a MANLY man, alright. ;) My vagina is tingling at the thought of how manly and brave he is writing these things on an online forum directed at people he'll never meet.

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