- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Greenhill Books; New edition edition (July 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1853674990
- ISBN-13: 978-1853674990
- Product Dimensions: 23 x 3.5 x 15.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 576 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #249,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Knights of Bushido: A Short History of Japanese War Crimes Hardcover – Jul 2002
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About the Author
Lord Russell of Liverpool served in World Wars I and II and acted as Deputy Judge Advocate General for the British Army of the Rhine, giving legal advice on the prosecution of war criminals in the British zone of occupied Germany.
Top Customer Reviews
The author relies heavily upon what was uncovered during the war crime trials of the Japanese hierarchy, as well as testimony from both Allied and Japanese soldiers. The brutality and inhuman conditions of the POW camps, the horrid transportation by ship, and the long death marches (the most famous of which, Bataan) inflicted upon the Allies, the Chinese, the Pacific Islanders, the Indians, and everyone who crossed the path of the Japanese are detailed so meticulously you can see the human skeletons, feel the agony of the raped and slaughtered Chinese, and weep for those prisoners burned alive or bayoneted only because their care had become a burden.
I adore Japanese culture. Bushido is an honorable path for a warrior and the Samurai who practiced it, honorable men. But you cannot forget an atrocity for an honorable past or an affluent future.
With all the candid and realistic portrayals of WWII in Europe and the Nazi concentration camps we have seen come out of Hollywood in the last decade, I am surprised that there is no accurate screen memorial to the millions fallen under the boot of the Japanese.
This book is great for a WWII buff or student of Japanese or Asian culture.
Their barbaric actions in WWII did not represent the norm, but a shocking aberration. This fact makes the subject all the more important. The Japanese war crimes should be remembered to remind us of how a civilized, humane culture can suddenly change for the worse. All countries are capable of this kind of change; no one is above the darker aspects of humanity. This book, as with all books about war crimes, reminds readers of the low levels that any nation can stoop to.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com
Lord Russell curiously names this book "The Knights of Bushido". The term "Bushido" means the "Way of the Warrior". This was a Japanese code of conduct which described the concept of bravery, courtesy, and especially of the "ideal knight". Personifying "Bushido", the Japanese soldier was supposed to embody the "seven virtues" of this code, which were "rectitude" (integrity and moral excellence), "courage", "benevolence" (kindness), "respect", "honesty" , "honor" and "loyalty". After reading this book, it is very hard for the reader to juxtapose the Japanese code of conduct with the atrocities the forces of the "Rising Sun" committed, which was everything from murder and rape, to torture and cannibalism. Surviving The Sword: Prisoners Of The Japanese 1942-45 I initially tried to find this "Bushido" on exploring how the Japanese forced women to serve as "Comfort Women" (prostitutes used to serve and satisfy the sexual desires and burn off excess testosterone of the Japanese military machine. Cries of the Korean Comfort Women But in this endeavor, the Japanese pursuance of this theoretically honorable code was not to be found.
Lord Russell starts off with a horrifying example of the plunder the Japanese wrought in China, starting with the fictitious Sept. 18, 1931 "Mukden, China Incident", an incident that simply never occurred. Horror in the East: Japan and the Atrocities of World War II Falsely claiming that a Chinese Brigade had attacked a Japanese patrol on a railway in Mukden, the "Rising Sun" government used this as a spurious justification to invade and occupy Manchuria, and eventually land it's troops on Hong Kong, French Indo-China, Thailand, Malaya, the Netherland East Indies, the Philippines, New Guinea, all territory lying between Eastern India and Burma on the one hand, Australia and New Zealand on the other.
The reader of this book will aghastly digest Lord Russell's description of the massacre of 200,000 Chinese civilians and P.O.W's in the first six weeks of the Japanese "Central China Expeditionary Force" occupation of Nanking.The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II As Lord Liverpool described: "The Japanese troops were then let loose like the hordes of Genghis Khan to ravish and murder (in Nanking). Many were crazed with drink, but no attempt was made by their commander or their officers to maintain discipline among the occupying forces. They looted, they burned, they raped and they murdered. Soldiers marched through the streets indiscriminately killing Chinese of both sexes, adults and children alike, without receiving any provocation and without any rhyme or reason. They went on killing until the gutters ran with blood and the streets were littered with bodies of their victims. Rape was the order of the day, and resistance by the victim, or by members of her family who tried to protect her, meant almost certain death". Lord Russell informs the reader that the Japanese commanders gave their troops full license to commit wholesale murder, arson, looting and rape, of which incredulously 20,000 occurred in the first month of hostilities. Lord Russell followed the Japanese Armies swath through China, where they fought like barbarians. Contrary to being "Knights of Bushido" they brought death, suffering and destruction to innocent people and defenseless villages wherever they went.
Lord Liverpool takes up the majority of this book with his description of the general treatment of P.O.W.s. Blood & Bushido: Japanese Atrocities at Sea 1941-45 While clearly explaining the laws of both the "Hague and Geneva Conventions, which outlined P.O.W. treatment, Liverpool points out that the object of holding prisoners of war was to prevent them from rejoining their own forces and again taking up arms. However, Lord Liverpool gives one paradigm after another of how the Japanese murdered, beat, bayoneted and tortured P.O.W.'s. With Only the Will to Live: Accounts of Americans in Japanese Prison Camps 1941-1945 There are within the pages of this book countless stories of how prisoners of war were robbed of their possessions and how they worked day and night in horrifying conditions on prohibited tasks. Naked Island There are photos in this book that show that not only were they kept in filth and squalor, but to use the Japanese Prime Minister Tojo's expression of "No Work, no food" became the pretext for Japanese abuse and P.O.W. deprivation. Many of the P.O. W's were starved to death or reduced to living skeletons working 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, exposed to the disease ridden elements, with little sleep and scarce nutrition. The story of the "Bataan Death March" makes the reader of this book wonder if the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were sufficient retribution.
Other topics Lord Russell discusses are the murders of captured aircrews (all shot down and captured airmen who bombed Japan received the death penalty), the Japanese atrocities perpetuated on the P.O.W's engaged in building the "Burma to Siam Railway", and the absolute worst place for a P.O.W to be, inside a Japanese transport ship. Called a "prison hulk" or a "Hellship" , P.O.W.s were transported from place to place by the Japanese at sea in holds and coal bunkers of dilapidated vessels with no drinking water, food, air, lavoratory facilities nor medical attention. Death on the Hellships: Prisoners at Sea in the Pacific War Being unidentifiable with Japanese markings, they were subjected to allied attacks from sea and air and many P.O.W.'s suffered hellish deaths. Of the 126,000 British, American and Australian P.O.W's forced to ride them, over 19,000 died by "friendly fire" of pursuing Allied submarines and warplanes.
Lord Russell devotes another large part of this book to the prison camps per se, both military and civilian. Lord Russell documents the Japanese actions against the inmates, including, but not limited to vivisection, rape, torture and cannibalism, which accounts of are not printable in this review. Finally, Lord Russell finishes this book by recounting the barbaric actions of Japan's navy in the wake of it's attacks on Allied shipping, including the ramming of lifeboats, the machine-gunning of survivors and the bayoneting and beheading of captives.
Lord Russell allows the reader to feel that justice ultimately prevailed with his account of the war crimes trial results. The "Double Tenth"(Singapore) and "International Military Tribunal" (Tokyo) convictions and executions of the individual war criminals are examined. A Trial of Generals: Homma, Yamashita, Macarthur This is a tremendously enlightening book that all students of 20th Century history need to examine. However, Lord Russel makes it clear to the reader that all the atrocities described in this book are descriptive of the "bottom line". He leaves us with the following warning: "For every revolting incident which has been described, a hundred have been
Bushido is a culture that prevailed but can never be condoned.
I know from first hand experience that today's Japanese generation are NOT told about the things their own country and military leaders and supreme leader - the Emperor commanded and inflict on other human beings.
This book is a brilliant and detailed view of the "Knights of Bushido" and their actions.
Ask yourself why the British and Allied Forces War Graves are overgrown, strewn with weeds and seldom if ever tended. BUT the Japanese War Graves are shinto shrines to these "gods".
Read this book and was amazed at how this has been buried by today's Japanese hierarchy and kept from today's generation.
There's no lessons learned if this is NOT put on their curriculum.
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- Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Crime & Criminals > Criminology