Artwork of Empathy & Resistance
RAPE OF NANKING. 1998.
Mixed media (96 X 36 X 10”).
Note: links to other sculptures and mixed media works by the artist will appear on this page at a later date.
The injustice of the Japanese/Japanese-American relocation paled in comparison to the crimes perpetrated against Blacks and Native Americans. And what about what the Japanese did to millions of Asians during WWII? Imperialism is imperialism whether through the mystique of the cowboy or the samurai. The militarism of Japan has always been anathema to me, likewise American foreign policy--two of kind. I have no loyalty to either country: I am Japanese because I grew up in a Japanese household; American because I lived almost entire among the white population. I fought for my country; I was betrayed by my country; I have no loyalty to this country.
Reading Iris Chang's RAPE OF NANKING made me realize the horror of Japanese inhumanity against the Chinese. I felt complicit and made this installation RAPE OF NANKING to showcase Chang's book and personally apologize to the Chinese people.
Fr. THE RAPE OF NANKING: The Forgotten Holocaust of WWII. Excerpts from portions from book used in the installation:
“We will never know everything that happened in the many cities and small villages that found themselves prostrate beneath the boot of this conquering force...
If one event can be held up as an example of unmitigated evil lying just below the surface of unbridled military adventurism, that moment is the Rape of Nanking. This book is its story.”
The Rape of Nanking should be remembered not only for the number of people slaughtered but for the cruel manner in which many met their deaths…Chinese men were used for bayonet practice and in decapitation contests… 20,000-80,000 Chinese women were raped… soldiers went beyond rape to disembowel women, slice off their breasts, nail them alive to walls. Fathers were forced to rape their daughters, and sons their mothers… Not only did live burials, castration, the carving of organs, and the roasting of people become routine, but more diabolical tortures were practiced… So sickening was the spectacle that even the Nazis in the city were horrified, one proclaiming the massacre to be the work of “bestial machinery.”
Yet the Rape of Nanking remains an obscure incident. Unlike the atomic explosions in Japan or the Jewish holocaust in Europe, the horrors of the massacre at Nanking remain virtually unknown to people outside Asia. “
“Though I had heard so much about the Nanking massacre as a child, nothing prepared me for these pictures—stark black-and-white images… In a single blinding moment I recognized the fragility of not just life but the human experience itself. The pictures…illustrated that not just one person but hundreds of thousands could have their lives extinguished, die at the whim of others, and the next day their deaths would be meaningless. But even more telling was that those who had brought about these deaths…could also degrade the victims and force them to expire in maximum pain and humiliation. I was suddenly in a panic that this terrifying disrespect for death and dying, this reversion in human social evolution, would be reduced to a footnote of history…unless someone forced the world to remember it.”
“Japan carries not only the legal burden but the moral obligation to acknowledge the evil it perpetrated at Nanking. At a minimum…
Top: fr. photo taken of a victim during an interview for the book.