History of KoreaⅧ. The Sorrow of Losing One’s Country2. Independence Movements Continue on

D. Japan, risen by war, is defeated by war

Japan transformed into an imperialistic nation in the late 19th century and tried to resolve all matters through military power. The Japanese army invaded Manchuria in 1931 and took over the territory. In 1937, Japan started the Sino-Japanese War and marched into mainland China. While occupying Nanjing, China,the Japanese military forces killed nearly 200,000 citizens (Nanjing Massacre) and received strong condemnation as barbaric invaders. When the Second World War erupted, the Japanese boldly attacked Hawaii in America (attack on Pearl Harbor) and started the Pacific War (1941).

As the war continued to expand across Asia, the Japanese treated Korea as the warehouse for their military goods and extorted all sorts of supplies. They plundered soldiers (forceful conscription), laborers (draft), women (military sexual slavery in wartime) and metals (requisition). Japan was least hesitant to vainly sacrifice lives of young Japanese men and irrationally challenged America, which had far superior military forces in comparison.

Japan continued to expand the war at the great sacrifice of their youths. When the Allied Forces demanded that Japan surrender, the Japanese refused, and America was left without any choice but to bomb Hiroshima with the first atomic bomb to be used in the history of mankind (Aug. 6, 1945). Despite the tremendous damage the bombing wreaked, Japan continue to resist the American military power. America dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. On this day, Japan cried while Korea sighed in relief.

Research Activities

Find out and make a presentation on the reasons why Japan was the first country in the history of mankind to be bombed with nuclear warheads and the implications of the damage wrought by the bombings.

Destructions after the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima
Japan’s surrender