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Was Iris Chang Suicided?

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posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 10:47 AM
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I don't know how many on ATS are interested in this case, but I am because I was reading her book at the same time she died. The coincidence of her death and the power of her book have somehow caught my attention. Now, with all the trouble recently between China and Japan, and the fact that Ms. Chang would certainly have protested any attempt by Japan to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, I'm thinking maybe the yakuza did find her a big enough problem/threat to get rid of her before she could make any more trouble for them. Or maybe her current subject matter uncovered something else that proved lethal to her.

There is a compelling case and history for depression, maybe even PPD being the cause of a true suicide on her part. The subject matter she dealt with alone can cause a form of PTSD. But isn't that an all too convenient explanation, as well?

What do you all think?

Iris Chang 1

Iris Chang 2






posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 10:52 AM
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I don't think someone could actually be 'suicided'. Maybe assassinated by her own research?



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 12:25 PM
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What I mean by 'suicided' is murder made to look like a suicide. Another possible definition could be mind-control leading to suicide.

Your comment about her research leading to her death is valid, also. She must have had to endure countless tales of suffering and woe to write her book. The shear weight of human misery alone could have brought her down

I'm sure the yakuza, though, regardless of their role, or lack of, in her death, aren't sorry she's gone.





posted on May, 15 2005 @ 12:15 AM
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There's always the possibility that guilt got the better of her. She did tell an awful lot of lies, after all...

Not that she was 100% wrong with many of the things she wrote, but she was very, very far from impartial. Which is why the CCP loved her so much.



posted on May, 15 2005 @ 08:23 AM
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I am by no means an expert on the subject, relying on her book, some reviews, and what biography I've read as evidenced in the links I've provided. No where until now have I heard her called a liar and mouthpiece for the CCP. Maybe you have some links to sources for your claims? She came across as more consumed with the human suffering caused by political discord, and in her own culture at the hands of the brutal WWII Japanese Military machine, than as taking some political stance.

What I thought she illustrated extremely well was the incredibly strict and violent discipline the Japanese soldiers were trained and maintained under. That these men were capable of such atrocity as the Rape of Nanking was a direct reflection of the whole indoctrination they went through to become part of the Imperial Army. They were conditioned to expend all effort in the complete destruction of the enemy. Turned loose on civilian populations, these hardened soldiers committed horrendous war crimes.

A further crime is the continued dispute about it today. Surely the database of evidence exists for there to be a definitive determination of what took place. There needs to be some rapprochement on this, so the controversy doesn't keep coming up over and over to fuel and inflame passions on both sides.

I don't see guilt over lies being a factor in Iris Chang's death, other than if she was killed by the yakuza or some other hardline faction, it would be for the lies they are guilty of, and trying to cover up.





posted on May, 16 2005 @ 07:12 AM
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"She came across as more consumed with the human suffering caused by political discord"

Agreed. But in the process of relating that suffering, she allowed herself to be led by the nose by those with ulterior motives, and made a number of assertions that were simply not true (in addition to a number of inaccuracies caused by sloppy writing and editing).

For instance:

Iris Chang: "In 1957 Japan even elected as prime minister a man who had been imprisoned as a class A war criminal"

This is simply not true. It is true that Kishi Nobusuke was arrested after the occupation of Japan, but Kishi was never tried, let alone convicted of any crime.

Iris Chang: "More than 260,000 noncombatants died, ...well over 350,000...a few statistics must be used to give the reader an idea of the scale of the massacre...the killing was concentrated within a few weeks."

The total population of the city at the time was only 200,000 (source: Chairman John Rabe, acting mayor of Nanjing, considered an extremely reliable witness in this regard), and the population actually increased to 250,000 barely a month after the incident took place. How can you kill 175% of the population? In fact, reliable accounts by witnesses who were actually there, make no mention of large-scale atrocities taking place, and the Nanjing Safety Zone Committee were in fact more concerned with the general population starving to death. The Committee in fact delivered a letter to the Japanese, in which the acting Mayor asked them to restore and maintain order in the city in order to save 200,000 Chinese from "starvation". This, at a time when Iris Chang says the Japanese were killing "civilians in every section of the city", and "streets, alleys, and ditches of the fallen capital ran rivers of blood, much of it coming from people barely alive, with no strength left to run away."

Iris Chang: "On January 17, 1938, Foreign Minister Hirota Koki in Tokyo relayed the folowing message to his contacts in Washington, DC: 'there can be no doubt that the evidence amounts to a crushing indictment of the Japanese army's behavior.' Even the Japanese Foreign Minister, Hirota Koki, reported after an inspection trip in January of 1938 that the "Japanese Army behave...in(a) fashion reminiscent (of) Attila (and) his Huns. (Not) less than three hundred thousand Chinese civilians slaughtered, many cases (in) cold blood."

This telegram was written and sent out from Shanghai by Harold Timperley, a correspondent and advisor to the Chinese intelligence service. It was not written by Hirota Koki, or anyone else in the Japanese government.


There's a great deal more, including evidence showing that photos used in the book (and elsewhere) were, in fact, doctored. If you are interested, I'll make the time to post further.

[edit on 16/5/05 by edgewood]



posted on May, 16 2005 @ 08:22 AM
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Of course I'm interested in whatever information you have the time and inclination to share. This topic is more on Ms. Chang and her untimely death than the specifics of her book, though.

Your comments do point to the controversy that still surrounds the issue of what really happened in Nanking in 1938, and that could be relevant in her death. If she was sensationalizing and embellishing, and I got the impression there was some of that going on in her book, that would further anger those who wished her silenced.

With the Imperial Army advancing from Shanghai toward Nanking, it is reasonable to expect the population of the latter city swelling with refugees and retreating Chinese Army soldiers in the days preceding it's fall. The population of Nanking could have grown by as much as half-again or more as people and retreating soldiers poured in from the surrounding countryside.

We have many other examples (Corregidor for one) of how the Imperial Army treated POW's and indigenous populations. We know of the great animosity and feelings of racial superiority they had toward the Chinese especially, essentially dehumanizing them. They were treated and perceived as no better than dogs or pigs. This allowed the soldiers free rein in their assault on the city.

War like this is never pretty, and atrocities are the rule, not the exception.

[edit on 16-5-2005 by Icarus Rising]



posted on May, 16 2005 @ 09:16 AM
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"With the Imperial Army advancing from Shanghai toward Nanking, it is reasonable to expect the population of the latter city swelling with refugees and retreating Chinese Army soldiers in the days preceding it's fall. The population of Nanking could have grown by as much as half-again or more as people and retreating soldiers poured in from the surrounding countryside. "

Actually, the population fell dramatically as the Japanese Army advanced, and pretty much all the defenders stripped off their uniforms and headed for the hills as fast as their legs would carry them. The city fell almost by default.

"We know of the great animosity and feelings of racial superiority they had toward the Chinese especially, essentially dehumanizing them."

True, in part. However, there are many, many examples of the Japanese Army actually protecting Chinese civilians from the ravages of the various Chinese military groups. The Japanese plan for Manchuko was not in any way similar to the Nazi plan for Eastern Europe, and despite a number of atrocities, the Japanese Army did not behave entirely without honour.


However, as you have correctly pointed out, this thread is about the death of Iris Chang. I merely suggested that there was, in fact, no conspiracy, and that her suicide may have been simply that: a suicide.



posted on May, 16 2005 @ 10:49 AM
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There has always been a great sense of honor and duty about the Japanese Military. There is little comparison to what the SS did in Europe. I certainly wouldn't go into that here. Honor and duty exist side by side in stark contrast with the terror and brutality of war.

It is quite possible that her suicide was nothing more than that, a suicide. And if so, it begs the question, why did she do it? She had a reportedly good marriage, a two year old daughter, a successful career as an author, it just doesn't add up. She had withstood the torrent of brutal images and personal horror stories she must have been exposed to in writing her book, and was deeply involved in research on another in the southeast US when something went wrong. What? What led her to kill herself in her car by the side fo the road near San Jose with a gunshot to the head?






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