• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Historical Amnesia in Japan

Extracts from this document...


Juliana Kennedy DeVry University HUMN - 410 X September 9, 2002 Historical Amnesia in Japan During World War II, Japan set up a lab headquartered in northeast China to research biological and chemical warfare (Time, 1). This lab was manned by Japan's imperial army's Epidemic Prevention and Water-Supply Unit, better known as Unit 731. The chief responsibility of Unit 731 was to develop biological and chemical weapons based on the experimentation practiced on Chinese, Korean, Russian, and American POW's (Time, 1). When a POW entered Unit 731, he did not leave alive. The victims were subject to a myriad of gruesome torments under the guise of "research". Often prisoners received injections of biological or chemical nature; he would then be observed to follow the pathology of whatever ailment or poisoning that was induced. ...read more.


When the prisoner's extremity became rigid or gangrene it was summarily lopped off. This sometimes continued until the prisoner was nothing more than a torso with a head. If the trauma of losing his limbs without anesthesia did not kill him the next round of experiments certainly would. The Japanese experimented with electricity, diseases, chemicals, endurance to heat, cold and hunger (Japanese Times, 3). Unfortunately, the list keeps going. In an effort to cover up this "research", the Japanese bombed the facility and ordered that the 150 lingering "maruta" killed at the end of World War II. The Japanese used the euphemism "maruta" or "log " when referring to a prisoner (U.S. News, 1). ...read more.


Historical amnesia in Japan has also been evidenced by the enduring silence of surviving members of Unit 731 (Time, 2). A small number of members have come forward, describing what took place in the lab. However, the explanations always came with justification, "it was ordered" (Japan Times, 5) Japan's insincerity of confronting its past certainly warrants criticism. Their unrepentant mind-set definitely plays a part in the historical amnesia of Japan. The danger her is that it can happen again. If nations are simply allowed to whitewash their histories, they will never learn from their past. It is important to acknowledge your history. It may be overly optimistic to assume that recognition of past indiscretions will prevent repetition in the future, but the repetition despite recognition is better than repetition due to denial. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. American History.

    - Women were more involved in this than men were [though they often forced their husbands and families into it as well]. For women, revival meetings and reform societies offered unique opportunities for participation in public life and politics. *The Pursuit of Perfection: Nineteenth Century Reform Movements* - Some of the most significant nineteenth century reform movements include...

  2. Discussing Japan.

    Nowadays Japan faces another problem with their energy resources. How can the richest country in the world have virtually no energy at all? Japan now has to either look towards renewable energy sources like Hydro-Electricity and Geothermal power or import all their energy which would be extremely expensive considering the amount they will have to be bring in.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work