Shūdō Higashinakano (東中野 修道, Higashinakano Shūdō?, born October 19, 1947) is a professor of intellectual history at Asia University who maintains that the 1937 Nanking Massacre ("The Rape of Nanking") committed by Japanese troops during the Second Sino-Japanese War is a hoax.
Higashinakano came to public attention when he attacked Iris Chang's 1997 book The Rape of Nanking. He argued in an opinion column that appeared in Sankei Shimbun that the book was "pure baloney", asserting that there was "no witness of illegal executions or murders". Referring to the war crimes trial in Tokyo after World War II, he opined that "there existed no 'Rape of Nanking' as alleged by the Tokyo Trial." He claimed to have identified 90 historical factual errors in the first 64 pages of The Rape of Nanking, some of which were corrected in the 1998 Penguin Books edition of the book.
Higashinakano pursued his arguments in his book Thorough Review of Nanjing Massacre (published in English as The Nanking Massacre: Fact versus Fiction, 2006). In 2006 Xia Shuqin (夏淑琴), a Chinese woman whose testimony he sought to discredit in his book, took Higashinakano to court in China, winning 1.6 million yuan in damages. Higashinakano had claimed that she had not been a witness of the Nanking massacre and was not the child filmed by the missionary John Magee during the event.
The case was later pursued in the Japanese courts. On 5 February 2009 the Supreme Court of Japan ordered Higashinakano to pay JPY 4 million in damages to Xia Shuqin, asserting that he had libelously defamed her. Higashinakano and his publisher Tendensha appealed, but lost their case. Higashinakano was unable to prove that Mrs. Xia and the girl in the film were different persons, contrary to what he had claimed in his book.