RIBEN GUIZI  japanese
Confessions of Imperial Army Soldiers from Japan's War Against China
Fourteen veterans break Japan's unspoken code of silence,
remembering their brutal war crimes as enlisted men in China from 1931 to 1945.
A harrowing contribution to the study of Japan's bitterly contested history of World War II.
Japanese Devils (Riben Guizi) is an extraordinarily shocking and courageous film. It is difficult to imagine a more intimate. Powerful, and persuasive indictment of Japanese atrocities in the long-ago war against China ― or a more remarkable expression of public confession and contrition. The fourteen old Japanese who speak to us here are ordinary men, but that they were willing to acknowledge the monstrous crimes of their youth so that others might take warning is rare indeed. Japanese Devils transcends mere history to engage war, madness, and evil themselves. This is a document of major importance

John Dower, author, Embracing Defeat, winner, Pulitzer Prize

"For those responsible to divulge the truth of what they did is an unprecedented act; for those who now learn what happened and why is an unforgettable experience."

Donald Richie, Film Historian, Writing A Hundred Years of Japanese Films

To the small number of unforgettable books through which we and future generations will learn about the Second World War ―― The Diary of Ann Frank, Elie Wiesel's Night, Masuji Ibuse's novel about Hiroshima, Black Rain ―― is now added the documentary film Japanese Devils. As in Claude Lanzmann's Shoah, here are the words and faces of people who recall their terrible crimes against humanity decades after the fact but who have likely never spent a day without recalling their participation in them. The stories these Japanese soldiers tell should serve to make us wonder with horror, whatever our color or nationality, just how differently we would have behaved in their stead.

John W. Treat III, author,

Writing Ground Zero: Japanese Literature and the Atomic Bomb