Nanjing: Japanese War Criminals Eulogised at Local Buddhist Temple Cause National Outcry! (22.7.2022)

Translator’s Note: I have read through around ten versions of this story all published in the Chinese language and available on ‘Baidu’ – the Chinese language internet. During February of 2022, a keen-eyed Chinese tourist (named ‘Zheng Zhijian’ [政知见]) – whilst visiting the Xuanzang Temple in Nanjing – noticed with bewilderment that four Memorial Tablets had been inserted (amongst the many others) which eulogised ‘five’ convicted and executed Japanese War Criminals (three of these tablets contain one name each – whilst the fourth tablet pictured to the far-right – contains two-names)! All of these Japanese War Criminals had participated in the Nanjing Massacre committed during the late 1930s – and all had been executed for their crimes during the late 1940s! The Imperial Japanese Army even invaded and desecrated the very same Xuanzang Temple during the early 1940s! The tourist concerned reported this matter to the Temple Authorities in February, 2022 – and the Temple Authorities removed and burned the offending objects. However, the Chinese ‘tourist’ concerned only posted about this experience on their WeChat Account (WeChat ID: Bqzhengzhiju) on July 21st, 2022. No explanation is given as to why there was five months between the ‘experience’ and the ‘post’. It appears that officials of the ‘Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau’ then ‘rushed’ to the temple on July 22, 2022, a day after the Chinese citizen made their post – and carried-out an investigation whilst initiating punitive actions in accordance with the law. The Nanjing Municipal Communist Party Committee and the Municipal Government – when learning of this situation – took immediate and direct educational action. There is some discussion regarding ”Wu Aping’ (吴啊萍)’ – the alleged sponsor of these tablets – being a pseudonym supposedly referring to an vital Japanese Port (situated southwest of Honshu, in the Hiroshima Prefecture), which was important for the Imperial Japanese Navy during the 1930s and 1940s, and which is still important for the current Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force! If this is correct, then the story of this person being a ‘woman’ and a ‘nurse’ are obviously fabrications – but no one is sure at the moment. ACW (26.7.2022)

A Chinese tourist was visiting the Xuanzang (玄奘) Buddhist Temple (situated in Nanjing, Jiangsu province) noticed (amongst the many Memorial Tablets), a row of at least four (some sources suggest ‘five’ – but this confusion might stem from ‘Noda Takeshi’ being executed alongside his co-accused Mukai Toshiaki who was also involved in the infamous ‘beheading’ competition – with only ‘Noda Takeshi’ being ‘Remembered’ in this instance) tablets eulogising prominent Japanese War Criminals – all of whom were tried and executed for their crimes during the late 1940s. it costs around 30,000 to 50,000 Yuan to enshrine tablets. It is stated that this matter was first reported by the tourist in question during February, 2022, and that the Temple Authorities immediately acted to remove the offending objects. On July 22, 2022, the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau (situated in the Xuanwu District of Nanjing) visited the temple and confirmed that a number of ‘illegal’ Memorial Tablets had been ‘enshrined’ at the Xuanzang Temple (situated in Jiuhuashan Park) – and that appropriate punitive action had been taken in accordance with the law!

The Former Head Monk of the Xuanzang Temple – Venerable Chuanzhen (传真)

The Head monk was immediately dismissed from his post – whilst numerous other religious personnel, Officials and Cadres were suspended and/or dismissed! A woman named ‘Wu Aping’ (吴啊萍) – originally from Fujian province – paid for these tablets to be raised in 2018! These tablets were not identified as offensive (and ‘illegal’) until 2022 (perhaps due to the Covid-19 Emergency which saw society in China and throughout the world closed-down during much of this time – with no visitors allowed at the temple)! Wu Aping is believed to have been a ‘Nurse’ before mental health issues led to her leaving her work and becoming a lay-Buddhist assistant in a remote Buddhist temple. When arrested and interviewed – Wu Aping explained that she was told that if she paid for these tablets – her mental health issues would be cured! There are many unanswered or unclear questions surrounding this case. For instance:

a) Why was Wu Aping told this highly offensive superstitious nonsense in the first place (was there any one individual or a specific group behind it)?

b) Why did Wu Aping follow this highly offensive nonsense?

c) Why was Wu Aping not given the correct medical help when required?

d) Why did a famous Buddhist temple situated in the city of Nanjing (named after famous ‘Tripitaka’ – the Chinese Buddhist monk who walked to India to bring back the Buddhist Sutras) which was brutally occupied by the Imperial Japanese Army (which murdered 300,000 men, women and children between 1937-1938) – allow such tablets to be raised?

The four prominent Japanese War Criminals ‘Memorialised’ on the tablets featured in the photograph above are as follows (presented using their Baidu Encyclopaedia Entry):

Matsui Iwane (1878-1948)

Matsui Iwane was a high-ranking General in the Japanese Imperial Army, a General in the Imperialist Faction – and a Class A War Criminal! This lunatic was considered a ‘China Expert’ who was stationed in China for thirteen years where he carried-out all kinds of atrocities! He considered the Chinese people to be an ‘inferior race’ and advocated the fascist ideology of a ‘Greater Asia’ (an Asia ‘purged’ of all ‘Europeans’ and then viciously controlled and brutally administered by the ‘superior’ Japanese race)! He was also one of the main Japanese militarists responsible for the Nanjing Massacre and directly contributed to the murder of at least 300,000 Chinese men, women and children! He was sentenced to be hanged as a Class A War Criminal by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (held in Japan) – and this sentence was carried-out on November 12, 1948.

Tani Shouo (1882-1947)

Tani Shouo is pictured above moments before being executed by Nationalist soldiers with a shot to the back of the head. Tani Shouo’s War Crimes were considered so evil, terrible, hateful and abhorrent – that his execution was considered by many to be far too humane and painless. According to statistics, at least 50,000 Chinese civilians and prisoners of war were killed by orders issued by Tani Shouo and carried-out by his Divisional Officers and soldiers. His 6th Division killed a high number of Chinese people during the Nanjing Massacre – second only to Nakajima’s 16th Division. Later, his fate can be imagined. After being tried by a Military Court – he was justly sentenced to death. He was shot at the Yuhuatai Execution Ground in Nanjing on April 26, 1947.

Tanaka Junyoshi (1905-1947)

Tanaka Junyoshi was considered an expert in Japanese swordsmanship. He decided to use this skill by murdering more than 300 Nanjing people with a Japanese, curved long-sword (Katana). He carried-out these murders between Zhonghua Gate and Shuixi Gate. He was escorted back to China to be tried and eventually executed. His behaviour was very abhorrent. He was known as the “Executioner” during the Nanjing Massacre! On January 28, 1948, War Criminal Tanaka Junyoshi was taken to the Execution Ground at Yuhuatai (Nanjing) – where he was shot.

Takeshi Noda (1912-1948) & Mukai Toshiaki (1912-1948)

Takeshi Noda was a Junior Officer of the Japanese Imperial Army and a Class C War Criminal. During 1937 – before and after the capture of Nanjing – both he and Mukai Toshiaki held a horrific killing game (these two names are recorded on a single tablet)! Each challenged the other to a competition using the long, curved and single-edged Japanese ‘Katana’ sword – to see who could behead 100 Chinese civilians the quickest! Takeshi Noda eventually won the competition – and extended the required number to 105 victims! The Japanese murder of Chinese people was so popular that Tokyo newspapers regularly ran articles eulogising the martial arts skills and bravery of those doing the murdering! On January 28, 1948, Takeshi Noda (and his co-conspirator Mukai Toshiaki pictured above) were taken to the Yuhuatai Execution Ground – where they were shot.

The Eulogising of convicted (or suspected) War Criminals – or those who have committed Crimes Against Humanity – is ‘illegal’ under Chinese law!

Chinese Language Articles:

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