Today’s Spurting Yet Truly Morbid Fact!
A dehumanized enemy is easy to kill, and Japanese soldiers during World War II were instructed that they were not dealing with humans at all but kichiku, or “devils.” The idea of treating the Chinese as beasts was not informal scuttlebutt but a command from officers whose directives had to be considered orders of the emperor. Army lieutenant Shozo Tominaga recalled:
The next-to-last day of the exercise, Second Lieutenant Tanaka took us to the detention center. Pointing at the people in a room, all Chinese, he announced, “These are the raw materials for your trial of courage.” We were astonished at how thin and emaciated they looked. Tanaka told us, “They haven’t been fed for several days, and so they’ll be ready for their part in tomorrow’s plan.” He said that it was to be a test to see if we were qualified to be platoon leaders. He said we wouldn’t be qualified if we couldn’t chop off a head.
On the final day, we were taken out to the site of our trial. Twenty-four prisoners were squatting there with their hands tied behind their backs. They were blindfolded. A big hole had been dug – ten meters long, two meters wide, and more than three meters deep. The regimental commander, the battalion commanders, and the company commanders all took the seats arranged for them. Second Lieutenant Tanaka bowed to the regimental commander and reported, “We shall now begin.” He ordered a soldier on fatigue duty to haul one of the prisoners to the edge of the pit; the prisoner was kicked when he resisted. The soldier finally dragged him over and forced him to his knees. Tanaka turned toward us and looked into each of our faces in turn. “Heads should be cut off like this,” he said, unsheathing his army sword. He scooped water from a bucket with a dipper, and then poured it over both sides of the blade. Swishing off the water, he raised his sword in a long arc. Standing behind the prisoner, Tanaka steadied himself, legs spread apart, and cut off the man’s head with a shout, “Yo!” The head flew more than a meter away. Blood spurted up in two fountains from the body and sprayed into the hole.
The scene was so appalling that I felt I couldn’t breathe. All the candidate officers stiffened. Second Lieutenant Tanaka designated the person on the right end of our line to go next. I was fourth. When my turn came, the only thought I had was “Don’t do anything unseemly!” I didn’t want to disgrace myself. I bowed to the regimental commander and stepped forward. Contrary to my expectations, my feet firmly met the ground. One thin, worn-out prisoner was at the edge of the pit, blindfolded. I unsheathed my sword, a gift from my brother-in-law, wet it down as the lieutenant had demonstrated and stood behind the man. The prisoner didn’t move. He kept his head lowered. Perhaps he was resigned to his fate. I was tense, thinking I couldn’t afford to fail. I took a deep breath and recovered my composure. I steadied myself, holding the sword at a point above my right shoulder, and swung down. The head flew away and the body tumbled down, spouting blood. The air reeked from all that blood. I washed blood off the blade then wiped it with the paper provided. Fat stuck to it and would not come off.
At that moment, I felt something change inside me. I don’t know how to put it, but I gained strength somewhere in my gut. Until that day I had been overwhelmed by the sharp eyes of my men when I called the roll each night. That night I realized I was not self-conscious at all in front of them. I didn’t even find their eyes evil anymore. I felt I was looking down on them. Later, when the National Defense Women’s Association welcomed us in Manchuria, they mentioned to me that they had never seen men with such evil eyes. I no longer even noticed.
Culled from: Flyboys
Ghost Photo Du Jour!
The Spectre of Newby Church
The photo you see here was taken by Reverend K.F. Lords in 1963. The focus of the picture was the altar in the Church of Christ the Consoler found in Skelton-cum-Newby in North Yorkshire, England.
At the time the Reverend had seen nothing out of the ordinary but, upon processing, the photos showed a curious and frightening extra. A hooded/cowled monk like figure is clearly visible (though a little transparent) standing to the right of the altar.
The figures arms seem to be folded together in a typical ‘monk-like’ pose and its long robes clearly cover the feet and drape over the step it is standing on.
But most intriguing of all is the long cloth facemask that occludes the figures face except for two eye holes. It is this mask that gives it the air of something one may see in a horror movie (it is often referred to as a ‘Scream’ mask).
Understandably the Reverend was shocked to see the figure in his photo.
On looking over the image, photographic experts have concluded that the image is not the result of double exposure, although Rick Burden, founder of the Ghost Hunters of Australia website, believes to be “probably fake.”