16 May

Nanjing is currently the capital of Jiangsu province in eastern China, but in the past it has been the capital city of 10 dynasties and was previously the capital city of China. ‘In 1928 Sun Yat-sen, founder of the Kuomintang (the Nationalist Party), a southerner, revived Nanking as the capital city.’ (Hamilton, 2004. p 22). Although it is currently officially known as Nanjing, it has historically been referred to as Nanking; which translated means the southern capital.

Nanjing still plays an important part in China today, despite the fact it is no longer the capital city of China; an example of this can be illustrated by Nanjing housing many universities, one of which is Nanjing University which is currently part of the C9 league which is China’s equivalent of the Ivy League in America. The university can be traced to 1902, at a time when Sanjing Normal School was founded. Other foundations of the University include Nanking University, which was set up in 1888.

 Nanjing also played an import part in China’s history and with foreign relations as ‘on December 13, 1937, Nanking, the capital city of Nationalist China, fell to the Japanese.’ (Chang, 1997, p1). The events that followed are referred to as the raping of Nanking, impacted heavily on relation between China and Japan, in 2011 a cinematic production of the story of Nanking has been narrated in a film called The Flowers of War, which was based on the novel 13 Flowers of Nanjing by Chinese-American author Geling Yan.




Chang, I.(1997) The Rape Of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust Of World War II New York: Basic Books

Fogel, J. A.(2000)  The Nanjing Massacre in history and historiography. University of Michigan Library

Hamilton, W. S. (2004)  Notes from Old Nanking 1947–1949: The Great Transition  Pandanus Books

The Flowers of War (2011) [film] Zhang Yimou China: EDKO Film, Beijing New Picture Film, New Picture Company

Rabe, J. (2000) Good Man of Nanking, New York : Vintage Books 


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