Rana Mitter*2 “The Japanese finance minister's Nazi comments hark back to a dark past” http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/02/japanese-finance-minister-taro-aso-nazi-comments
Nearly 70 years later, neither country has fully come to terms with the war and what it means for its own politics both domestic and international. In China, the war still sits centrally in the national culture. In Nanjing, a sombre museum-cum-shrine recalls the horror of the massacre that devastated the captured capital city in December 1937. Nationwide, hundreds of thousands of videogamers, in multiplayer online games, compete to defeat Japanese armies recreated in pixels. But the view of the war in China is still heavily distorted.
During the cold war, under Mao Zedong's rule, it was officially "forgotten" that much of the resistance, including the bulk of the fighting, was carried out by the Nationalist government under Chiang Kai-shek, rather than by the Communists. For example, in the desperate battle for Shanghai in autumn 1937, some 187,000 troops were killed – all serving in the Nationalist armies. Yet after Mao's victory in 1949, Chiang and his rump regime fled to Taiwan, and it became impossible on the mainland to suggest that they had any role in winning the war.
This situation began to change as the cold war thawed. Reunification with Taiwan was on the agenda, and it became a little easier to speak positively of some of the wartime efforts of the former regime. But the limits remain strict to this day. Official institutions in China still speak of the leading role of the Chinese Communist party in fighting the invaders. Wartime collaboration with the Japanese, which was widespread, is rarely discussed.
さて、Rana Mitter氏は最近China's War With Japan, 1937-1945: The Struggle for Survivalを上梓しているのだった*4。また氏のPaul French Midnight in Peking*5への書評をマークしておく；
In Chinese public culture, the war against Japan has become a melodrama, in which good and bad are defined in stark and often cartoon-like terms. This has encouraged a zero-sum view of Sino-Japanese relations that has raised tensions in the region. Yet the Japanese political sphere has to take its share of responsibility. In recent years, a particular strain of thought has gradually received greater respectability in some quarters: the idea that Japan's war in Asia was not an invasion but a "liberation" from the yoke of white imperialism.
This view has become embedded in Japanese popular culture through the enormously popular graphic novels of Yoshinori Kobayashi*3. His 1998 novel Senso-ron (On War) portrayed the Japanese army as liberators of their Asian brethren; it sold some 650,000 copies. Of course, Japan is a democracy with a lively public sphere, and there are many who condemn the view that Japan's wartime behaviour can be whitewashed, from leftist teachers' unions to members of the governing LDP party, who see the new nationalism as an embarrassing nostalgia for a dark part of Japan's history that hurts the country's international image. But the growth of Japanese revisionism on the wartime experience, if not checked, could inflame tensions further between China and Japan.
Rana Mitter “Midnight in Peking by Paul French – review” http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/jun/08/midnight-in-peking-paul-french-review
それから、Rana Mitter氏はMidnight in Pekingを補完する本として、戦間期に上海に駐留した或る英国人警察官の伝記であるRobert Bickers Empire Made Me: An Englishman Adrift in Shanghai*6と銭鍾書 の小説『囲城』*7を挙げている。
French calls the book a "reconstruction", and that is quite accurate in the sense that history and true-crime shows on TV use the same term to describe a way of putting together known facts in an accessible fashion. But the technique does mean that, although the book is based on archival materials, many never used before, it often verges on the speculative: we're frequently told what a policeman or a doctor was thinking or feeling in a way that sounds novelistic rather than purely historical.
The undeniably gripping plot also draws attention away from the wider context, perhaps inevitably. Titanic events, most notably the invasion of China by the Japanese, sit in the background, and the wider colonial history that brought these foreigners to China in the first place is sketched lightly.
*3:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshinori_Kobayashiが参照されている。小林よしのりについてはhttp://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20060124/1138069211 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20061021/1161440194 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20070305/1173063168 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20070427/1177703588 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20080130/1201705768 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20090306/1236305383 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20090602/1243971742 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20091004/1254657572 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20110901/1314899481 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20120503/1336029509 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20130226/1361847535 も見られたい。
*4:See Aelred Doyle “China's War With Japan” that's Shanghai Ausugt 2013, p.56
*6:See John Spurling “A long way from home” http://www.theguardian.com/books/2003/oct/25/featuresreviews.guardianreview12
*7:Referring Julia Lovell “Great leap forward” http://www.theguardian.com/books/2005/jun/11/featuresreviews.guardianreview29 See also http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20110608/1307500817 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20111011/1318271473