Morbid Fact Du Jour For January 24, 2017

Today’s Competitive Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

In December 1937, the Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking, China. Within three weeks, more than 300,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers were systematically raped, tortured, and murdered.  The following is an excerpt from the definitive chronicle of the atrocity, The Rape of Nanking.

Looking back upon millennia of history, it appears clear that no race or culture has a monopoly on wartime cruelty. The veneer of civilization seems to be exceedingly thin – one that can be easily stripped away, especially by the stresses of war.

How then do we explain the raw brutality carried out day after day after day in the city of Nanking? Unlike their Nazi counterparts, who have mostly perished in prisons and before execution squads or, if alive, are spending their remaining days as fugitives from the law, many of the Japanese war criminals are still alive, living in peace and comfort, protected by the Japanese government. They are therefore some of the few people on this planet who, without concern for retaliation in a court of international law, can give authors and journalists a glimpse of their thoughts and feelings while committing World War II atrocities.

Here is what we learn. The Japanese soldier was not simply hardened for battle in China; he was hardened for the task of murdering Chinese combatants and noncombatants alike. Indeed, various games and exercises were set up by the Japanese military to numb its men to the human instinct against killing people who are not attacking.

For example, on their way to the capital, Japanese soldiers were made to participate in killing competitions, which were avidly covered by the Japanese media like sporting events. The most notorious one appeared in the December 7 issue of the Japan Advertiser under the headline, “Sub-Lieutenants in Race to Fell 100 Chinese Running Close Contest.”
 

Sub-Lieutenant Mukai Toshiaki and Sub-Lieutenant Noda Takeshi, both of the Katagiri unit at Kuyung, in a friendly contest to see which of them will first fell 100 Chinese in individual sword combat before the Japanese forces completely occupying Nanking, are well in the final phase of their race, running almost neck to neck. On Sunday [December 5]… the “score,” according to the Asahi, was: Sub-Lieutenant Mukai, 89, and Sub-Lieutenant Noda, 78.


The Proud Competitors Mukai and Noda

A week later the paper reported that neither man could decide who had passed the 100 mark first, so they upped the goal to 150. “Mukai’s blade was slightly damaged in the competition,” the Japan Advertiser reported. “He explained that this was the result of cutting a Chinese in half, helmet and all. The contest was ‘fun’ he declared.”

Such atrocities were not unique to the Nanking area. Rather, they were typical of the desensitization exercises practiced by the Japanese across China during the entire war. 


Beheading for fun

Culled from: The Rape of Nanking

By the way, you’ll be happy to learn that Mukai and Noda were both executed after the war. 

 

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