Retired Teacher from Japan Helps Fellow Japanese Understand Nanjing Massacre

December 16, 2017
Editor: Joyce Dong
Retired Teacher from Japan Helps Fellow Japanese Understand Nanjing Massacre

Tamaki Matsuoka introduces the history of the Nanjing Massacre to fellow Japanese. [People's Daily Online]


A retired teacher from Japan has been introducing the history of the Nanjing Massacre to fellow Japanese for almost 30 years, calling on Japan to apologize for its atrocity committed in China, People's Daily reported on December 15.

The 70-year-old woman, Tamaki Matsuoka, is a thorn in the side of Japanese right-wing politicians, but a symbol of Japan's conscience in the eyes of the survivors of the mass killing.

To investigate the massacre and introduce the history to the international public, including Japanese, is the center of her life. So far, Matsuoka has paid 97 visits to Nanjing since the first one made in 1988.

In the 1980s, when she was a teacher, Matsuoka noticed that Japanese history textbooks over-stressed the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and neglected the trauma of China brought by the Japanese invasion.

"I believe the Japanese government is being dishonest," said Matsuoka. In order to learn the truth about the history, she went to China and visited the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders and the Museum of the War of Chinese People's Resistance against Japanese Aggression.

"I was totally astonished after hearing the stories from the survivors of the holocaust," Matsuoka remembered.

The trip to China completely changed the life of Matsuoka, who bears a rage against the Japanese right-wing politicians who have been dishonest about the mass killing. She decided to collect information about the Nanjing Massacre herself after coming back from China.

Though she was threatened and even attacked by right-wing forces, nothing stopped her from carrying on. She investigated both Japanese veterans and Chinese victims, saying the double proofs have shut the mouths of the right-wing politicians.

Over the years, she has visited more than 250 Japanese veterans, and led about 700 Japanese citizens to visit the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders.

In addition, she has also introduced her investigation to the Western countries. By cooperating with non-governmental organizations in Canada and the US, she unpacked the history of the Japanese invasion in China through documentaries and speeches.

"The world should remember the history of the Nanjing Massacre," Matsuoka said, adding that it is necessary to declare a commemorative day to prevent the tragedy from happening again.

"Everything I'm doing is for the better development of Japan, and I sincerely hope the country could include its invasion into China in its textbooks, so that the next generation could learn from history and make a brighter future," Matsuoka said.

(Source: People's Daily Online)

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