Plunge Pontificates

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

History Book a Top-Seller in China, Japan and Korea

Written to counter the anemic history books being used in various schools in Japan, this history book has become a huge seller on the open market as well. Publishers are shocked, considering it is a history book, at the numbers sold.

An academic history book of the Japanese invasion of a number of Asian countries during WWII has become a best seller in China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK).

More than 110,000 copies have been sold in China, 70,000 copieswere sold in Japan and 50,000 in the ROK.

Rong Weimu, a Chinese editor on the non-governmental trilateraleditorial board, said here Tuesday in an interview with Xinhua, the sales in both Japan and the ROK were quite impressive considering the book is a historical publication.

"Many local education authorities in Japan and the ROK have listed the book as supplementary reading to textbooks," said Rong,who is also a senior researcher at the Institute of Contemporary History of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) .

The book, titled The Contemporary and Modern History of Three East Asian Countries, details the atrocities committed by Japaneseinvaders in China and Korea.

The book is aimed at countering the holocaust-denying textbookspublished by ultra-nationalistic press in Japan.

"In editing the history book," Rong said, "scholars from the three countries shared the same basic historical views although they have some minor differences relating to their cultural backgrounds and research methodologies."
I find this very impressive. Kudos to the historians for being able to set aside minor differences and produce a book covering these difficult subjects. An English version is rumored to be in the works, I'd love to read it.