It seems that soldiers don’t often talk about their wartime experiences with civilians. And, we know that the Japanese government actively suppressed any opposition to their narrative of events in China.
How much did Japanese civilians at home know about the brutal activities of their soldiers in China?
The government certainly promoted a whitewashed portrait of the liberation of poor oppressed Chinese by the gallant Imperial Japanese Army. Japan was simply acting as a benevolent “big brother” to bring about a sphere of co-prosperity for East Asia.
When Japanese civilians paraded through streets celebrating “glorious victories”, did they at some level know what their boys overseas were actually doing?
Bitter controversy still exists regarding the actual number of deaths and rapes the Imperial Army committed in its 1937 rampage of several weeks in Nanking. But, it seems an inescapable fact that a massacre did occur.