Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6¼ x 9½
978-1-5381-0268-8 • Hardback • October 2017 • $110.00 • (£85.00)
978-1-5381-0269-5 • Paperback • October 2017 • $49.00 • (£38.00)
978-1-5381-0270-1 • eBook • October 2017 • $43.50 • (£33.00)
Yuki Tanaka was research professor at the Hiroshima Peace Institute of Hiroshima City University until his retirement in 2015. He is the author of Japan’s Comfort Women and the co-editor of Bombing Civilians.
List of Illustrations
Foreword by John W. Dower
Preface to the Second Edition: Crime and Responsibility: War, the State, and Japanese Society
Introduction: The War Crimes Tribunals and POWs
Chapter 1: The Sandakan POW Camp and the Geneva Convention
Chapter 2: The Sandakan Death Marches and the Elimination of POWs
Chapter 3: Rape and War: The Japanese Experience
Chapter 4: Judge Webb and Japanese Cannibalism
Chapter 5: Japanese Biological Warfare Plans and Experiments on POWs
Chapter 6: Japanese Atrocities on Nauru during the Paciﬁc War: The Murder of Australians, the Massacre of Lepers, and the Ethnocide of Nauruans
Chapter 7: Massacre of Civilians at Kavieng
Conclusion: Japanese Atrocities in the Asia-Pacific War
Tanaka offers a stunning review of Japanese atrocities, mostly against Chinese and Australian POWs, with some accounts of atrocities against Americans in Japan and the Philippines. More prominent are the needless murders of POWs and civilians in Sandakan and Kavieng and aboard the Japanese destroyer Akikaze. Throughout the book, Tanaka uses reliable reports and testimonies from the Australian War Crimes Commission as his sources, but there is a wide variety of secondary Japanese, British, and US sources. The essential focus is the present Japanese notion of victimhood and ignorance of the aggression and cruelty done in the name of the emperor…. Tanaka does an outstanding job presenting the development of emperor ideology that changed traditional Bushidō from the ‘way of the warrior’ to the dangerous cult of emperor worship. This very challenging book is expertly written and very welcome in POW studies.
Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries.
— Choice Reviews
How can we understand the inhumanity of war? Yuki Tanaka's book remains the most searingly honest attempt to make sense of the cruelty of the Japanese military forces during the Asia-Pacific War. Drawing attention to the relationship between atrocity and the everyday lives of ordinary people, it is a warning to us all.
— Joanna Bourke, Birkbeck College, University of London
Yuki Tanaka writes with compelling authenticity and refreshing candor on Japanese atrocities during World War II. His eagerly anticipated second edition of Hidden Horrors provides a seminal and authoritative analysis. This scholarly contribution is welcome and constitutes compulsory reading for any who take the subject matter seriously.
— Tim McCormack, Melbourne Law School and Special Adviser on International Humanitarian Law to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, The Hague
For years, Yuki Tanaka's book has been essential, harrowing reading on the effects of Japanese imperialism on Asia in the mid-twentieth century. This revised edition draws on new thinking and research to make its powerful case with even more clarity.
— Rana Mitter, University of Oxford
Praise for the first edition:
In a shocking brief . . . Japanese historian Tanaka challenges the idea of Japan as a victim in WWII. The core of his thesis is that in the aftermath of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, an ‘Emperor ideology’ based on the ‘family state’ came to dominate Japan. Responsibility was seen as unlimited, while rights existed only in a collective context; this set the stage for various tragedies and atrocities.
— Publishers Weekly
Praise for the first edition:
A scholar's harrowing . . . briefing on largely unpunished and long-ignored atrocities committed by Japan's military during WW II. Drawing on hitherto untapped archives, Tanaka documents a series of appalling war crimes that, with few exceptions, have escaped notice in standard histories of the global conflict. . . . After reviewing the frightful particulars of his case studies, moreover, the author offers anecdotal evidence of similar behavior by other belligerents, eventually concluding, however, that Japanese barbarity was sui generis. . . . Shocking annals that bear gruesome witness to the darker realities of what historian John W. Dower (who contributed a thoughtful foreword to the American edition) called a war without mercy.