As presales of the Chinese version of Japanese writer Haruki Murakami's new book "Killing Commendatore" have begun, Chinese scholars praised the book for acknowledging the Nanjing Massacre.
Zhu Chengshan, former curator of the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre, called the book a work of conscience.
Zhu said Murakami's book acknowledged that a large number of civilians were involved and killed in the war, and questioned the confusion on the number of victims.
Murakami stands in the position of justice and conscience, he said.
The novel, released in Japan last year, was Murakami's first multi-volume offering in seven years, and has become an instant best-seller.
One theme of the novel is a painter and his neighbor exploring the riddles surrounding a painting titled "Killing Commendatore" which was stored in his attic.
While talking about the life of the painter, the neighbor mentions a number of things that happened around 1937 to 1938, which were "fatal" to Japan, and life-changing to the artist and his family, including the full-scale commencement of Japan's invasive war against China and the Nanjing Massacre.
"Yes. It's the Nanjing Massacre. Japan seized the city of Nanjing after fierce battles and killed a lot of people there, both during the battles and after that. The Japanese troops had no time for the captives, so they killed most of the surrendered soldiers and civilians," Murakami wrote through the voice of the neighbor.
Japanese troops captured Nanjing on Dec. 13, 1937 and killed some 300,000 Chinese civilians and unarmed soldiers over six weeks.
The novel has drawn strong criticism from ultra-right wing factions in Japan, who deny the massacre ever happened and questioned Murakami's purpose in writing such a book.
The Chinese version of the book is expected to be released on March 10.