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Thread: Japanese cannibalism

  1. #1
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    Default Japanese cannibalism

    "Because of the strain involved, scouts were rotated at short intervals. I do not remember the name of the scout who led the second platoon, but it was he who relieved me. Within three minutes after taking the lead, he was hit by a burst from a machine gun. The Japanese had dug in on a coral hill and were waiting for us. We took whatever cover we could find, moved into firing positions, and battled throughout the day and into the night. Daylight came and we put feelers out to see if the Japanese were still there. They had moved out and the scouts body was gone.
    We moved up the hill into the evacuated Japanese positions. There, we found him. His body had been carved as though he were a mere piece of beef. All the flesh was gone from his legs, arms, buttocks and chest and his heart and kidneys were missing. We had no doubt that they were eating our dead.
    No prisoners, we vowed to ourselves"

    This was written by Chester Nycum, paratrooper from 503 PIR on Noemfor.
    Full account here: http://corregidor.org/Heritage_Battalion/nycum/ch5.html

    Reports about Japanese cannibalism are quite common.
    Look at page of War Diary of Australian 2/3 Machine Gun Battalion:

    http://www.awm.gov.au/database/awm52...=13&submit.y=5

    Yuki Tanaka, Japanese researcher in his book "Hidden Horrors" mentioned report from Archemi village. He omitted names having in mind family of KIA soldier.
    Report of Lt. McFie written 20 May 1945:

    "In the morning 9-th of March 1945 about 0900, together with late sgt Sewell we found body of private Josh KIA 8-th of March.
    The body was in following state:
    (a) all cloth was removed
    (b) both hands cut off close to armpits
    (c) stomach was removed together with heart, liver and entrails
    (d) all muscles cut off from the bones
    (e) we could not find hands, heart and entrails
    (f) the only untouched body parts were head and feet.
    Japanese mess tin full of apparently human meat was about five feet from body of Pvt Josh, right between two dead japanese soldiers."

    Private Thomas William Josh, 27 years old from Marrickville, (Sydney suburb), textile worker, married... was eaten by Japanese.



    Quite often Australians and Americans were finding corpses of Japanese soldiers which had muscles cut off by their collegues - obviuos signs of widespread cannibalism.

    Here two photos of dead Japanese soldiers with muscles cut off for consumption:





    Photographs courtesy of Mrs. Aiko Herzig.

    So guys, next time you'll order your Friday arvo sushi, think for a split second about some bad lucky fellows in Pacific...

    Cheers,

    Lancer44

    .


    "Accuse them of murdering three men and a dog, and they will triumphantly produce the dog alive."
    --Fr. George Tyrell, about Jesuits ca. 1900

  2. #2
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    Japanese canabilism was wide spread towards the end of the war. The supply chain broke down to almost neglibable activity as crucial stores were lost, Japanese industry took a pounding and, of course, many of the Logistics soldiers were forced in to combat to protect the home islands.

    As has been shown time and again, Japanese soldiers would rarely give up. The eating of human flesh was just one way to keep yourself alive to fight for the Emporer. Such activities are not the sole domain of Japanese snipers either, there have been many documented cases of the consumption of human flesh (the ultimate taboo) to stay alive. The plane crash from "Alive" for example. For centuries ship wrecked sailors have drawn lots, to decide who was for dinner.

    It all comes down to... How much do you want to live? If they are dead already, I like to think I could carry out this practice with little after effect.

    There has long been a "custom of the sea"

    From wikipedia
    The case of R v. Dudley and Stephens (1884) 14 QBD 273 (QB) is an English case which is said to be one of the origins of the defense of necessity in modern common law. The case dealt with four crewmembers of an English yacht which were cast away in a storm some 1600 miles from the Cape of Good Hope. After several days one of the crew fell unconscious due to a combination of the famine and drinking sea-water. The others (one objecting) decided then to kill him and eat him. They were picked up four days later. The fact that not everyone had agreed to draw lots contravened The Custom of the Sea and was held to be murder. At the trial was the first recorded use of the defence of necessity.

    In Japan, there was a strange perspective on the value of human life, taking in to account things like the Kamikaze, and even today they have a different outlook compared to most Europeans. When a Japanese student killed and ate a Dutch woman a few years back, he was treated with revulsion in Europe, yet on realease to Japan he has been freed and has even written a cookery book and hosted a cookery programme as a celebrity!!!

    From wikipedia
    Another well-known case involved a Japanese student of English literature, Issei Sagawa, who grew fond of Renée Hartevelt, a 25-year-old Dutch woman he met while studying at the Sorbonne Academy in Paris in 1981. He eventually murdered and ate her, writing a graphic yet poignant description of the act. Declared unfit to stand trial in France, his wealthy father had him extradited back to Japan where he eventually regained his freedom. The way he reveled in what he did made him a national celebrity, and he has written several bestselling novels and continues to write a nationally syndicated column. The story is the subject of a verse in the 1986 Rolling Stones song "Too Much Blood" and the 1981 Stranglers song "La Folie".
    For the wiki page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannibalism
    If you post idiocy, don't get upset if you are seen as an idiot.... I don't.

    Here endth the lesson.




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    Seen a little on TV.

    You talk the talk, but do you walk the walk?



  3. #3
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    Hi 1000ydstare,

    First part of your post is a plausible explanation, well known for years, starvation, breakdown of japanese supply chain etc.
    At the end when you mentioned celebrity status of student which ate his Dutch girlfried you are perhaps closer to truth.

    Yuki Tanaka in his book Hidden Horrors clearly proved that cannibalism was common in late 1942, during New Guinea campaign when Japanese Imperial Army had much better supply than Americans and Australians.
    So, if you want to justify cannibalism in Bouganville in 1945 simply by starvation, how you can explain that on Kokoda Trail Australians had been finding their strangled troopers with buttocks cut off?

    Yuki Tanaka searching in archioves of Australian War Crimes Section discovered that informations about widespread cannibalism among Japanese forces filtered to high command circles of Australian Army almost immediately in 1942, but were never declassified.
    Resposible for this decision was Judge William F. Webb, later President of Tokyo Tribunal. Webb did not allowed info about cannibalism to be used as propaganda tool. He wanted to protect KIA soldiers families and rightly expected that they can be subject of immense psychological stress.
    Another official reason for suppression of information was possibility of lynching Japanese POWs in Australia. Such event could endanger lives of Allied POWs not only in Japanese but also German hands.

    Late December 1944 Australian Imperial Forces captured top secret Japanese order signed by General Major Aozu, which clearly stated that Japanese soldier which willingly consume human flesh are criminals and will be penalised by death. However order mentioned that consumption of enemy dead is excluded and all right.
    After the war Australian War Crimes Section collected many testimonies proving that cannibalism was common and took form of organised activity approved by Japanese officers.
    Unfortunately cannibalism become unpunished crime. War Law and International Law is based on precedents. Canibalism according to Law was not a crime per se...
    General Lieutenant Joshio Tachibana and eleven other Japanes officers were charged by Tokyo Tribunal for beheading two American pilots in August 1944 on Chichi Jima island in Bonin Archipelago. Tachibana ordered execution. One of the pilots, US Navy radio operator was slaughtered and eaten by defendants.
    US Tribunal sentenced to death Vice Admiral Mori and major Motoba for execution of five American pilots. Major Motoba pleaded guilty and admitted that he ate Americans because he hate them. Mori and Motoba were sentenced for "manslaughter and preventing of honourable burial", but not for cannibalism...

    Tanaka explained cannibalism of dead Japanese soldiers by their collegues as form of bonding and mystical ritual preserving the dead.
    Consumption of Allied soldiers was explained as form of gaining power and combatting battle stress.

    Anyway the whole story is weird and strange.

    Cheers,
    Lancer 44

    .


    "Accuse them of murdering three men and a dog, and they will triumphantly produce the dog alive."
    --Fr. George Tyrell, about Jesuits ca. 1900

  4. #4
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    The bonding side of it is the one of the reasons I have read about. It was seen as a way of the whole Army sharing the burden as it were "The boys at XXX are doing it, and so are we."

    Some have suggested the pyschological impact on allied soldiers, but by the time this sort of thing got widespread, the Japanese cruelty to soldiers would have already been known.
    If you post idiocy, don't get upset if you are seen as an idiot.... I don't.

    Here endth the lesson.




    Have you seen any combat?

    Seen a little on TV.

    You talk the talk, but do you walk the walk?



  5. #5
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    Default by the END OF THE war! BULLTWang!

    the Japanese during their advance after Isurava, on the Kokoda track, ate their own dead and killed and ate Australian POW's. NB this became SOP as they began retreating from this 2nd* defeat.

    So much for the Japanese Army's 'staff work'.

    *Milne Bay was their first defeat in jungle warfare in WWII - (leaving aside Kalkin Gol which wasn't in 'jungle') - a few weeks earlier and also in New Guinea. But there they could got back in the ships left, and bugger off.

    In Assam and Burma from late 1944 on - SOP again.

    I would not be at all surprised if they did this in China - from the 30's on.

    Sushi! You betchah!

    And > than 90% of their people STILL know nothing of the story of WWII!

    A democracy?

    hmmmmmm!?
    Skeptical mensurer, and audio scavenger.

  6. #6
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    In what little I have read of the Pacific war I have encountered several times authors explaining that the Japanese did not have plans in place for decent logistics. The soldiers were often given instruction called "local provisions". In many area they went especially in China, the locals didn't even have enough food for themselves let alone an invading army. This was one cause of cannibalism early in the war. Does this seem correct to those of you with more knowledge of the Pacific theater?

  7. #7
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    There was a Japanese-made movie made long ago whose title I can't remember that depicted the situation from the Japanese point of view. Rough stuff.

  8. #8
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    Is hard not to be sicked by some of this japanese activities,

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twitch1
    There was a Japanese-made movie made long ago whose title I can't remember that depicted the situation from the Japanese point of view. Rough stuff.
    Title was "Yuki, Yuki, te shingun". (I don't know what it mean.)
    Nothing to do with Yuki Tanaka, Japanese researcher which wrote a book.
    In this documentary some Japanese veterans confessed to cannibalism and admitted that not neccessarily hunger was behind it.

    If you look at it from the most primitive, physiological point of view, eating ones enemy is an ultimate victory - eating first, total destruction and finally turning into a fecal matter.

    It is hard to understand after that many centuries of western civilisation...


    Lancer44

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    "Accuse them of murdering three men and a dog, and they will triumphantly produce the dog alive."
    --Fr. George Tyrell, about Jesuits ca. 1900

  10. #10

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    By stating this, I'm not trying to say whether cannalism is moral or not, or pass any kind of judgment in one favor or another.... however, if you are stranded in some crazy jungle with no food, wouldn't some westerners also consider to eat the dead to stay alive? I don't know if I would do that personally, but I think I would certainly consider, I think. Your body and your mind will tell you to do whatever you need to do to survive. It's human nature.
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    Quote Originally Posted by temujin77
    By stating this, I'm not trying to say whether cannalism is moral or not, or pass any kind of judgment in one favor or another.... however, if you are stranded in some crazy jungle with no food, wouldn't some westerners also consider to eat the dead to stay alive? I don't know if I would do that personally, but I think I would certainly consider, I think. Your body and your mind will tell you to do whatever you need to do to survive. It's human nature.
    I agree with you. But as I said there was cannibalism even when Japanese had adequate supplies.

    During first fights on New Guinea alongside Kokoda trail Australians and Americans had worse supplies than Japanese, but reports exist about finding Australians strangled, with their buttocks cut off for consumption by Japanese.
    I will dig up something I had seen in AWM in Canberra and present here.

    Lancer44

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    "Accuse them of murdering three men and a dog, and they will triumphantly produce the dog alive."
    --Fr. George Tyrell, about Jesuits ca. 1900

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lancer44
    I agree with you. But as I said there was cannibalism even when Japanese had adequate supplies.
    Yeah, no excuse there... that's definitely atrocity in its very meaning.
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  13. #13
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    I have read that the Australian Infantry came across many dead Japanese soldier with eaten off limbs. Very demeaning if you ask me!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiddenrug
    I have read that the Australian Infantry came across many dead Japanese soldier with eaten off limbs. Very demeaning if you ask me!
    Hi Hiddenrug,

    I noticed reading Australian Daily Intelligence Reports at Battalion levels, that Australian Infantry also came across many unburied Japanese soldiers in close proximity to inhabited Japanese huts. Everywhere, near Gona, Buna, on Bougainville...
    Conclusion was, that when Japanese wounded died, his "mates" just carried him a few metres away and tossed into jungle.

    For people from European civilisation it is unbelievable... Proper honourable burial of fallen fellow soldiers is something absolutely fundamental.
    My father was in North Africa where troops in action moved very quickly.
    He told me that leaving unburied collegues was extremely rare. Even if such thing happened, they always tried to come back and find the place. Most often fallen Allies were properly buried by Germans or Italians with marked graves, crosses and secured dog tags.
    It may seem unbelievable, but in Polish Carpathian Brigade were Jewish soldiers which did not deserted and opted to stay in the Polish Army.
    One of them was killed together with a crew of Bren Gun Carrier near Gazala. Their mates could not bury them - they had to run away from ambush.
    When they came back after Germans retreated, they found graves with crosses. One grave had just stick and David's star drawn on the piece of scrap steel attached to it.
    So, Germans, nazis - (anyone can say) - went into trouble to dig a grave for a Jew in 40 degrees C heat.

    Japanese soldiers did not bother to bury their own killed mates. They preferred to cut a fresh meat from them to prepare their evening bake.

    Lancer44

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    "Accuse them of murdering three men and a dog, and they will triumphantly produce the dog alive."
    --Fr. George Tyrell, about Jesuits ca. 1900

  15. #15
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    Very Valid points. My great uncle was a sniper on kokoda and he would tell my old man about taking " Pot-shots" at the Japanese toscare them off. Could tactics like these change the way the enemy thought about disposing of bodies?

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