World History

Japanese War Crimes Online Activity


We have just finished researching a number of the Holocaust-related sites available on the Internet, but did you know that during World War II, Japan took the similar actions toward people of non-Japanese descent?  As Peter Jennings stated in his video The Democrat and the Dictator, “there are some things the mind cannot explain, but only watch in horror.”  This online activity asks you to choose one of the following sites, review that site, and search for an unlisted site to add to the list for next year.  I must thank a number of students from the 2005-2006 World History Class for helping to point out and review most of the following sites; I hope that this particular activity will truly continue to be student-designed and executed.


Once you have chosen your site of interest, open up a new MS Word document and title it “Japanese War Crimes Online Activity.”  It is required that you complete the assignment as a Word document.  Make sure that you answer each and every question completely and in your own words!  Don’t forget your name, date and period at the top of your document.


 After you complete the initial site review, I ask that you choose an additional site relating to any other country’s war crimes during World War II (for example, some people believe that the United States’ atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were horrendous examples of war crimes against humanity), not already on this list of choices.  Remember: it cannot be an encyclopedia entry, including Wikipedia!  This entry should also be on MS Word.


As always, students may print out a hard copy of this assignment or email an attachment to


This assignment is worth 30 points total!  Please see the rubric for details! 



  1. Write the proper citation for this website.

Author (Last Name, First Name).  Title of the web page.   Copyright date (if available).  Available online at [insert complete web address].   Date visited [insert date]. 

  1. After noting the title and author of the web site, would you consider this site a reliable source?
  2. Give a one-paragraph description of the website’s focus.  A paragraph is at least 5 sentences long.
  3. How does this website convey information to the visitor?  (photos, artwork, essays, artifacts, primary sources, letters, personal narratives. . .)
  4. List 5 facts you have learned from this website.  List the facts in YOUR OWN WORDS!
  5. What was the most surprising thing (issue, event, idea, theory, ideology, story. . . ) you found on this website?  Your response should be in narrative form and 2-4 sentences in length.
  6. Would you recommend this website to someone researching a related topic? 



  1. URL
  2. 1-3 Sentence description of site’s focus and/or delivery method


















Although specifically about the Rape of Nanjing, this site also includes a number of links to other pages regarding other Japanese crimes.  Some of this site’s links are in Chinese.

This graphic site describes in vivid detail the horrors Korean women faced from the Japanese.  This site also contains explicit photographs that may not be viewed through the school filters.  In addition, the site has links to several sites on Japanese-led genocides and germ warfare.

The majority of this site focuses on the Rape of Nanjing.  Many of the listed links are to sites containing primary sources. Some links are in Chinese.

A website sponsored by the Pacific War Historical Society that records a number of sources and testimonials to the actuality of Japanese war crimes. This site also theorizes the reasoning behind such crimes ranging from the treatment of Allied POWs to the comfort women. This site contains a warning about the graphic nature of some of the content (photos and text).

This is a comprehensive and continually updated site containing primary source material and articles on the various aspects of the Japanese war crimes from descriptions of the actual crimes to the continued denials from the Japanese government.

This .pdf posting contains a number of essays published in 2006 regarding primary research into the subject of Japanese war crimes.

This is a database covering all aspects of  Japanese war crimes, including an explanation of why the United States did not promote as much rancor toward Japanese war criminals as it did towards Nazi war criminals.

Although this site was recommended by students, many of the links do not currently work.  One that does describes a museum to the victims of the rape of Nanjing.  Again, some of the links do contain graphic images.

This site focuses on the reasons why the “Japanese Holocaust” was not publicized nor prosecuted as vigorously as the German Holocaust.  Much of the site has links regarding Japanese use of WMDs before and during WWII.

This page contains an interview with Iris Chang, Author of The Rape of Nanking, considered by many to be the greatest sourcebook of this massacre.

This online documentary of the Japanese Atrocities focuses on the Rape of Nanjing, but does look at other atrocities during World War II and the aftermath of those atrocities in the world view of the Japanese government/military.  This site does contain some graphic material, as well as some actual footage available through Real Player.