Writing the wrongs of Japan’s atrocities
“I visited him for more than 20 times and witnessed the change of his attitude. At first, he showed little remorse, talking about the atrocities he committed with his fellow soldiers and showing off the spoil of war he plundered from China,” she said.
“But after seven or eight years, as he learned more about the tragedy the Japanese army had brought to the victims, he started to feel sorry. He asked me at his deathbed to write down his war experience and let people know what had happened,” she added.
Matsuoka hopes that more Japanese could find out the truth about the history through her books and documentaries and therefore learn from the history and prevent the wars from happening again.
“Without knowing the terror of the war, they cannot understand the preciousness of the peace,” she said.
But the current situation in Japan worries Matsuoka, as people’s historical view was led astray by the government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has called for the younger generations not to be burdened by historical issues.
“We have caused tremendous suffering to the people in other countries while suffering ourselves during the war. It would be selfish to just stress our own sufferings while trying to erase the fact that people of other countries suffered,” Matsuoka said.