Update: The Nanking Atrocities and Kuni ga Moeru

posted on by George Phillips
The previous article on Kuni ga Moeru (The Country is Burning) indicates that the author used a photograph that cannot be accurately verified.

The picture, as well as the image used in the manga, are available at this website, and this site. WARNING: The pictures are graphic and may be inappropriate for some readers; discretion is advised.

The point of contention is that the uniform in the photograph is not the uniform worn by members of the Japanese army during the 2nd Sino-Japanese war, and the Pacific War. However, when it was used in Kuni ga Moeru, Motomiya redrew the photo so that the soldier is wearing the correct uniform.

The Japanese Protestors cite 4 greviences with respect to the manga:
1. That the Nanking Atrocities require academic study to determine what happened.
2. That the photo, attributed to the Japanese army, is a Chinese falsification.
3. That Young Jump misrepresented history and unfairly influenced youth via use of the false photograph.
4. That the presentation is hurtful to those involved at the time, as well as their families, and thus the manga cannot be excused.

Shueisha announced on the 13th that it will be suspending Kuni ga Moeru, while stating: "It has come to our attention that the photograph used [in Kuni ga Moeru] is a falsification."

[ED's Note: For purposes of clarification: The groups and individuals complained directly to Shueisha, who reviewed their complaints and determined that the appropriate course of action was to suspend Kuni ga Moeru. The Japanese government was not involved in the decision to suspend the manga. -C]

Thanks again to everyone who submitted links and other sources for this material.

This article has a follow-up: Shueisha to Censor The Country Burns (2004-11-13 13:47)
follow-up of Politically-charged Manga Suspended in Japan
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