The Sino-Japanese War and Chinese History in Amy Tan’s Novels and Lisa See’s Shanghai Girls

  • Walter S. H. Lim


Early-twentieth-century China was a country in turmoil, witnessing such events as the Boxer Rebellion, the collapse of the Qing Dynasty, the Sino-Japanese War, and the Chinese Civil War. Of these events, the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–45), which resulted in the Japanese occupation of Shanghai, Nanjing, and Northern Shaanxi, has captured the attention and imagination of historians, film makers, and fiction writers.1 In particular, the Rape of Nanjing has become the center of focus in this war, not least because of the atrocities perpetrated by the invading Japanese army against the inhabitants of Nanjing, atrocities that have become the subject of historical scholarship and literary representation. When Chinese immigrants in America describe the Sino-Japanese War, they not only identify a major source of national trauma in twentieth-century Chinese history but also clarify that any sense of Chinese American belonging in the United States can never be free from American political involvement in the Asia-Pacific world.


Chinese History Pearl Harbor Japanese Occupation Communist Revolution Japanese Invasion 
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© Walter S. H. Lim 2013

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  • Walter S. H. Lim

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