Background History:During the Second Sino-Japanese War (September 18, 1931 – September 2, 1945), the Japanese military inflicted massive and inhumane atrocities in China, as well as other parts of Asia. The number of Chinese killed was about 25-30 million, and millions of Chinese women and girls were raped. This atrocious history included the Nanking Massacre, Comfort Women (euphemism for sex slaves), biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction, vivisections on live humans, and slave labor. (More information about the Second Sino-Japanese War can be found in the “History Overview” page).
Seventy years have elapsed since these atrocities,among the most massive and inhumane massacres in the history of mankind. Yet, Japan still has not acknowledged or apologized to the victims. Instead, the Japanese government has continued to try to whitewash this part of history, making statements like “the Nanking Massacre was just the natural consequence of war,”“it was fabricated by the Chinese,” “comfort women were paid prostitutes,” etc. Japanese leaders, including her prime ministers, pay tribute at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo where 14 Class A convicted and executed war-time Japanese criminals are enshrined. This is analogous to the German chancellor paying tribute at a memorial site for Adolf Hitler. This part of history is also not discussed in Japanese textbooks so that generations of Japanese growing up never learned about this part of history.
Origin of a Collaborative Project:This project was initiated in 1991 whenMr. Tong Zeng, a Chinese activist,wrote an open letter that was published in several newspapers in China asking those Chinese people who had experienced atrocities under the Japanese military during the Second Sino-Japanese War to write to him describing the atrocities. Within a couple of years, he received about 10,000 such letters from the victims or their relatives. This is why this project/website is called “10000 Cries for Justice.”[This paragraph may be revised after we receive information from Mr. Tong and Ms. Meng.]
For a more detailed description of the origin of the project and how it became a Beijing-U.S collaborativeproject, see the “About Us” page.
Project Objective and Significance:The objective of the project is to create a digital archive of the thousands of letters that Mr. Tong received 20+ years ago, and make them available to the world via a bi-lingual public website.This digital archive provides powerful evidence to refute all the false claims made by the Japanese government.
This electronic archive documenting the first-hand experience of the victims provides a powerful tool to learn from history. The consequence of not learning from history is that people will follow the same path and history will repeat itself. We don’t want this type of history to be repeated anywhere on earth.
*Quote from American/Spanish Philosopher George Santayana
Project Tasks:The project consists of the following tasks:
- Scan the letters and envelopes to create image files.
- Transcribe the Chinese characters of each letter and envelope to get a digital file which will allow searches on the contents.
- To facilitate doing searches on these digitized letters, we create an index file for each letter. The index file contains nine fields: assigned unique ID of the letter, date of letter, sender’s address, date of event, location of event, name of writer, name of victim(s), type of atrocity, and details.
- To make this archive information readable to Chinese who do not understand Simplified Chinese and to people who do not know Chinese, we convert each Simplified Chinese file into a Traditional Chinese file, and translate about 10% of the Chinese files, with more translations to be added in the future.
- Create a naming convention to identify uniquely all these files.
- Develop a public website to allow access to this electronic archive of these valuable first-hand letters written by the victims or their relatives. The website has three versions: Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and English. The Chinese versions and the English version contain the same contents, but may contain somewhat different related recent world news or references articles, since not all such articles are readily available in both Chinese and English.
- To provide some search capabilities to extract certain events or to find statistics associated with different types of atrocities.
Overview of Website Pages:Including the “Site Overview” page, this website has nine pages. Here is a brief description of the contents of these pages:
- “Site Overview” page: Provides a brief description of the origin and objective of this project.
- “About Us” page: Provides a brief description of the main people behind this project, as well as the non-profit educational organization “10000 CRIES FOR JUSTICE” registered in the state of California in the U.S.
- “History Overview” page: Provides a brief overview of the history of atrocities committed by the Japanese military in Asia during the Second Sino-Japanese War.
- “Letters” page: Describes the letters written by the victims or their relatives, including their naming convention and their index files. It also shows several sample letters.
- “Form-Letters” page: Describes the form-letters and their difference from the letters. It describes their naming convention and the positions of the index file fields in the form-letters. It also shows several sample form-letters.
- “Related Recent World News” page: Contains several recent news from around the world that are relevant to the subject matters of this website.
- “References” page: Contains reference articles that provide more information about the subject matters of this website.
- “Search” page: Describes some search capabilities that can facilitate users finding information and related statistics
- “Contact Us” page: Provides contact information for how users can contact us.