Since the very beginning of my history education, I have been given tons of videos about the War against Japan during the
World War II. As a result, I has believed Japanese is in debt to Chinese and they as a nation have to pay back sometime in
the future. This belief lives in my head withougt any tiny doubt, before I take my current writing course. And now I believe
the courage is not that I am willing to contribute my blood and soul for the revenge againt Japan, but the willingness to let
go of the fury.
It’s in one class when we were provided to watch a video about the Hiroshima atomic bomb. At the beginning, I felt very
sick about that idea. Why should a Chinese watch a video that is on Japanese side?! But since attendance is required, rule
is rule. At the start of the video, some shocking pictures were poured to me. In order to remain “uncontaminated” in thought,
I repeatedly told myself that they just deserved it, there shouldn’t be any complaint or mercy for them. However, as the
video went on, I felt my argument became weaker and weaker. In those pictures, the faces were identical to those I have seen
before, with Chinese as victims instead. Despite different language, they shared almost all other characristics, black hair,
black eyes, yellow skin, the most important, the infinite pain and grief in their eyes left by war. The expression in those
Japanese victims’ eyes were just as heavy and unbearable as that in Chinese survivers in the World War II.
After that class was dismissed, I happened to walk out with Professor Nugent. On the way out, we had a brief conversation
bomb in Hiroshima. By instinct, I expressed my support of the excution of bombing Hiroshima with nuclear weapon. And after
some argument on that, I came to the point that there had to be someone undertaking the responsibility of Japanese previous
mistakes and crimes, and I asked “if the current generation of Japanese is not responsible, then who is?!” I expected the
end of this argument with that question. Without even thinking, “humanities is responsible for it”, that was her answer,
short but shocking.
That night, it was the first time that I try to re-examine the validity of my previous standpoint. Yes, the crime Japan
has done to China is unforgivable. However, if we finally do something terrible to Japanese for revenge, then what Japanese
is going to think. If we keep revenging each other, then when is the end. All these questions lingered in my head. Finally,
I guess I came to a conclusion. History is for both for me to remember and to forget. I learn history to remember the
lession it teaches me. On the other hand, I learn history to avoid the same mistakes happen in the future, that is to forget
all those previous debts between person to person, nation to nation.
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