The Japanese were very brutal to their prisoners of war. For instance, Bergerud states that the U.S. Marines on Guadalcanal were aware that the Japanese had beheaded some of the Marines captured on Wake Island prior to the start of the campaign. This led to the poem The U.S. sailor with the Japanese skull, which described one method for preparation of skulls (the head is skinned, towed in a net behind a ship to clean and polish it, and in the end scrubbed with caustic soda). There was a seasonal elevation of the Kwai owing to high rainfall. One man died for every sleeper laid. The colonel sees Jap heads on the poles and says, 'Jesus men, what are you doing? Allied prisoners liberated from Japanese POW camps looked like those liberated from Auschwitz. American atrocities in Vietnam are fairly well recorded. In many cases (and unexplainable by battlefield conditions) the collected body parts were not for the use of the collector but instead meant to be gifts to family and friends at home, in some cases as the result of specific requests from home.  This was, however, done reluctantly, and the punishment was not severe. This was because it was considered shameful and sacrilegious to surrender rather than die.  According to Paul Fussel, pictures showing this type of activity, i.e. “Other airmen had parts of their organs removed, with one deprived of an entire lung to gauge the effects of surgery on the respiratory system. Burma Railway construction. The Moro Muslim Datu Pino sliced the ears off Japanese soldiers and cashed them in with the American guerilla leader Colonel Fertig at the exchange rate of a pair of ears for one bullet and 20 centavos. At least, with an organised beating, you knew “it would end… The unknown things were more frightening.” The prisoners were expected to bow to the ground and say “Good day” in Japanese every time they passed a guard. [Source: Justin McCurry, The Guardian, August 13, 2015 ], “As an inexperienced medical student, Tono’s job was to wash the blood from the operating theatre floor and prepare seawater drips. Atrocities by U.S. In 1942 the Japanese won the Battle of Bataan in the Philippines and began the Bataan Death March, a forcible march of American and Filipino prisoners of war that resulted in thousands of deaths...sorry that I pined a gruesome historical event today but since I lived in the Philippines and have studied its history this is a subject of interest to me.  Harrison also makes note of the Congressman that gave President Roosevelt a letter-opener carved out of bone as examples of the social range of these attitudes. We live like animals, we eat and are treated like animals–what the fuck do you expect? Unfortunately, those awful incidents weren’t isolated cases. Support Our Channel : https://www.patreon.com/PeriscopeFilm WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT. A german eyewitness: "That's not the way soldiers are supposed to act. We were forced by a firing squad to take an oath not to escape etc.” *-*, Jan Bras was the son of a Dutch planter in Indonesia. It is amazing---he has killed him with one stroke. +, In his book "Tennozan: The Battle of Okinawa and the Atomic Bomb," George Feifer noted that by 1946 there had been fewer than 10 reported cases of rape in Okinawa. Military officials denied the mass rapings, and all surviving veterans refused the New York Times' request for an interview. Other footage from Hell in the Pacific shows American soldiers using bayonets to hack at Japanese corpses while looting them. In Japan the media made "a big deal of those who... had gone back to the Japanese lines and then killed themselves, or those who had heroically given their lives in suicide missions. Later, he was interned in a camp and sent to work in the perilous coal mines at Fukuoka. In some cases, including those of the Americans on Chichi Jima, the leaders responsible were tried for war crimes … , According to Simon Harrison, all of the "trophy skulls" from the World War II era in the forensic record in the U.S., attributable to an ethnicity, are of Japanese origin; none come from Europe (a seemingly rare exception to this rule was the case of a German soldier scalped by an American soldier, falsely attributed to a Winnebago tribal custom, films shot by the Special Film Project 186 near Prague, Czechoslovakia, on May 8, 1945, display an M4 Sherman with a skull and bones fixed to it).  The taking of so-called "trophies" was widespread enough that, by September 1942, the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet ordered that "No part of the enemy's body may be used as a souvenir", and any American servicemen violating that principle would face "stern disciplinary action". The GI War against Japan: American Soldiers in Asia and the Pacific during World War II. Most were forced to work, under extremely harsh conditions, in coal mines, shipyards and munitions factories. Those that did become prisoner were found unconscious or wandering in the jungle or were lured out of the caves and bunkers by skilled negotiators. [Source: Wikipedia +], Professor of East Asian Studies and expert on Okinawa Steve Rabson said: "I have read many accounts of such rapes in Okinawan newspapers and books, but few people know about them or are willing to talk about them." The death rate among Japanese POWs was 27 percent, compared to 4 percent for Allied prisoners held in German and Italian camps. The mortality rate was as high as 27 percent, according to the POW Research Network Japan, and many of those who survived went home emaciated. The bodies were commonly desecrated. Well written story of a little known episode on American history - war crimes committed by the Japanese on prisoners or war. Fueled by racism, fanaticism, and finally desperation as their defeat seemed inevitable, the Japanese in World War II perpetrated several acts on par with Nazi war crimes. ), According to one Marine, the earliest account of U.S. troops wearing ears from Japanese corpses took place on the second day of the Guadalcanal Campaign in August 1942 and occurred after photos of the mutilated bodies of Marines on Wake Island were found in Japanese engineers' personal effects. There were also 1,336 reported rapes during the first 10 days of the occupation of Kanagawa prefecture after the Japanese … Author Marc Landas' research is well documented and the story easily read. ', On February 1, 1943, Life magazine published a photograph taken by Ralph Morse during the Guadalcanal campaign showing a severed Japanese head that U.S. Marines had propped up below the gun turret of a tank. In acts of shocking brutality, Japanese soldiers and marines massacred tens of thousands of civilians as American troops advanced into Manila in early 1945 February 1945: a starving child in Manila clings to a box of U.S. Army rations. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit. Their ship was subjected to heavy bombardment and Bras remembers hearing the sound of the bombs dropping in the ocean around them as they made the perilous crossing.“Yes, we were scared,” he says now. The US plane, part of the 29th Bomb Group, 6th Bomb Squadron, had been returning to its base in Guam from a bombing mission against a Japanese airfield. The phenomenon of "trophy-taking" was widespread enough that discussion of it featured prominently in magazines and newspapers, and Franklin Roosevelt himself was reportedly given, by U.S. Representative Francis E. Walter, a gift of a letter-opener made of a Japanese soldier's arm (Roosevelt later ordered that the gift be returned and called for its proper burial). “Two soldiers stood guard outside the room. They issued an order reminding Marines that mutilation was a court-martial offense ... You get into a nasty frame of mind in combat. D’Aquino was a U.S. citizen. You see what's been done to you.  In January 1944 the Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a directive against the taking of Japanese body parts. Rapists were mainly Red Army soldiers, many of them - non-white soldiers from the Asian republics of the Soviet Union.. John B. Powell, the editor of the China Weekly Review , was a typical case of the treatment meted out to prisoners: “When the questioning began, they had to remove all their clothing and kneel before their captors. Natalie, surprised at the gift, named it, Moro Muslim guerillas on Mindanao fought against Japan in World War II, 1929 Geneva Convention on the Sick and Wounded, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, Debate over the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, "Missing on the home front, National Forum, Fall 1995 by Roeder, George H Jr", With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa, "Guadalcanal: Rare and Classic Photos From a Pivotal WWII Campaign". When I turned to look at Al he had tears running down his face. Life received letters of protest from people "in disbelief that American soldiers were capable of such brutality toward the enemy." What a place. Other ulcer sufferers, reluctant to submit to this nibbling process, wore the only dressing available---a strip of canvas from a tent soaked in Eusol. I went over to where I thought no one would see me and sat down. Some of the collected souvenir bones were modified: turned into letter-openers, and may be an extension of trench art.  According to Hoyt, "The thought of a Japanese soldier's skull becoming an American ashtray was as horrifying in Tokyo as the thought of an American prisoner used for bayonet practice was in New York.  Newspapers reported of cases such as a mother requesting permission for her son to send her an ear or a bribed chaplain that was promised by an underage youth "the third pair of ears he collected. The caption says: "When he said goodbye two years ago to Natalie Nickerson, 20, a war worker of Phoenix, Ariz., a big, handsome Navy lieutenant promised her a Jap. “They were being used to inflict as cruel a death as possible on the prisoners. Then in 1992, a Japanese historian named Toshiyuki Tanaka found incontrovertible evidence of Japanese atrocities, including cannibalism, on Indians and other Allied prisoners. “Of the 30 Kyushu University doctors and military staff who stood trial in 1948, 23 were convicted of vivisection and the wrongful removal of body parts. Dower states that in "many instances ... Japanese who did become prisoners were killed on the spot or en route to prison compounds." Australian prisoner of … In 1958 they settled in Wrexham in Wales, where Bras worked as a GP for nearly 30 years.  Years later, Morse recounted that when his platoon came upon the tank with the head mounted on it, the sergeant warned his men not to approach it as it might have been set up by the Japanese in order to lure them in for a look. They are thick skinned, these keto [hairy foreigner] even the skin of their bellies is thick." After a raid on the island’s airfield by American bombers on March 1943, the Japanese beheaded and bayoneted five interned Australians in retaliation. When rice supplies ran low prisoners were killed so there was more food for the Japanese soldiers. Throughout it all, Jan Bras survived. The mixture of underlying American racism, which was added to by U.S. wartime propaganda, hatred caused … [Source: Justin McCurry, The Guardian, August 13, 2015 ]. According to Richard Aldrich, who has published a study of the diaries kept by United States and Australian soldiers, they sometimes massacred prisoners of war. The mutilated bodies were found by their comrades during the german counter attack on the near-by town of Ternopil. “The experiments had absolutely no medical merit,” he said. A SMALL CROSS-SECTION OF JAPANESE WAR CRIMES. For example, in the entry for August 14, 1944, he notes a conversation he had with a Marine officer, who claimed that he had seen many Japanese corpses with an ear or nose cut off. He is matter-of-fact when he talks about this, and refuses to dwell on either the pain or the injustice. The Allies routinely left our own survivors of our own merchantmen sunken in the battle of the Atlantic to submarine torpedos. Teeth and skulls were the most commonly taken "trophies", although other body parts were also collected. INDEX TO SELECTED IMPERIAL JAPANESE NAVY WAR CRIMES. Those that couldn't keep up were executed on the spot. During their occupation of the island, the Japanese committed a string of atrocities, and a few stood out for their brutality. Prisoners of war endured gruesome tortures with rats and ate grasshoppers for nourishment.  Johnston states that "one could argue that greed rather than hatred was the motive" for this behavior, but "utter contempt for the enemy was also present. He is a very brave man indeed...The Major had drawn his favorite sword...He taps the prisoners neck slightly with the back of the blade, then raises above his head with both arms and brings it down with a powerful sweep." Except, that is, in the place it matters most -- Japan itself. Pretty soon Al came over and sat down beside me and put his arm around my shoulder. Small wonder that a Japanese soldier, or civilian, for that matter, would do whatever it took to keep from falling into Allied hands. Another had one of his lungs removed and then was stitched back up to see what would happen. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Japan was able to pursue its military objectives against the allies, including the conquest of the Dutch East Indies. Masaie Ishihara, a sociology professor, supports this: "There is a lot of historical amnesia out there, many people don't want to acknowledge what really happened." For example, at a hospital for injured British soldiers, the Japanese soldiers slaughtered 170 recuperating soldiers and a few hospital staff. , Moro Muslim guerillas on Mindanao fought against Japan in World War II. Roughly 60 percent were missing their skulls. ", Some Allied soldiers collected Japanese body parts. And he said, 'I'm looking for a money belt. Skulls from World War II, and also from the Vietnam War, continue turning up in the U.S., sometimes returned by former servicemen or their relatives, or discovered by police. He beat me up terribly, but he didn’t kick my testicles or my stomach. The prisoners carried out these tasks after torturous, 16-hours work stints, during time they could have spent sleeping. , "Stern disciplinary action" against human remains souvenir taking was ordered by the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet as early as September 1942. Soon after landing, the Marines "mopped up" the entire village, but found no signs of Japanese forces. Five were able to survive by faking their own deaths. Last week Natalie received a human skull, autographed by her lieutenant and 13 friends...., Another example of that type of press is Yank, which, in early 1943, published a cartoon showing the parents of a soldier receiving a pair of ears from their son. He alleged that Indian POWs and local New Guineas were killed and eaten by Japanese. However, the image of the severed head generated less than half the number of protest letters that an image of a mistreated cat in the very same issue received. ", Some writers and veterans state that body parts trophy and souvenir taking was a side effect of the brutalizing effects of a harsh campaign. These tragic photos and stories that capture the horrors of the Nanking Massacre (a.k.a. The editors responded that "war is unpleasant, cruel, and inhuman. A number of firsthand accounts, including those of American servicemen, attest to the taking of "trophies" from the corpses of Imperial Japanese troops in the Pacific Theater during World War II. At night, he was plagued by fleas and could barely sleep. As the War went against the Japanese, food became a major problem both on the Home Islands and Japanese field armies. The Japanese were very brutal to their prisoners of war. “It’s difficult to accept, but this really happened. One of the first to level charges of cannibalism against Japanese soldiers One of the first to level charges of cannibalism against Japanese soldiers was Jemadar Abdul Latif of the Indian Army who was rescued by the Australians at Sepik Bay in 1945. High stockade. The Sea and Poison (1957) by Shusaku Endo is a novel based on the real-life vivisections of American prisoner of war at Kyushu University. Japanese war crimes occurred in many Asian and Pacific countries during the period of Japanese imperialism, primarily during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II.These incidents have also been described as an Asian Holocaust and Japanese war atrocities. +, Ferguson suggests that "it was not only the fear of disciplinary action or of dishonor that deterred German and Japanese soldiers from surrendering. Photo credit: Pinterest. “Until now, I regret it,” Bras says. As the war went against the Japanese, food and medical supplies ran short and disease spread. Imperial Japanese military personnel deliberately killed 33 American airmen at Fukuoka, including fifteen who were beheaded shortly after the Japanese Government’s intention to surrender was announced on August 15, 1945. , Pictures showing the "cooking and scraping" of Japanese heads may have formed part of the large set of Guadalcanal photographs sold to sailors which were circulating on the U.S. Well, this Jap didn't. Apparently, suffering in the hands of the Japanese did not lead to abhoring the practice and not doing it to others. You'd find a dead Marine that the Japs had booby-trapped.  Although there were objections to the mutilation from among other military jurists, "to many Americans the Japanese adversary was no more than an animal, and abuse of his remains carried with it no moral stigma". The teenager was taken to a so-called “comfort station”—a brothel that serviced Japanese soldiers—in Japanese-occupied China. Five were sentenced to death and another four to life imprisonment. The primary enemy was Japan and many soldiers on both sides perished. The surprise “sneak” attack on Pearl Harbor provided the perfect opening. ‘Just’ 10 Japanese Atrocities From World War II. Once the Americans reached Saipan, Okinawa and other Japanese islands with civilian populations, mass rape was added to the menu of war crimes. Schwartz was sent to Kawasaki, south of Tokyo, and spent more than half of his 1,367 days as a POW at a camp there. Many people wondered why it never came to light after the inevitable American-Japanese babies the many women must have had. And the thought of putting on a white coat filled him with dread. More often, however, rape victims underwent crude abortions with the help of village midwives. The head is dead white, like a doll...A seaman...turns the headless body over on its back and cuts the abdomen open with one clean stroke. When the Japanese invaded the Dutch East Indies during the second world war, he was transported by “hell ship” and cattle wagon to work on the construction of the Burma railway. A young Marine recruit, who had arrived on Saipan with his buddy Al in 1944, after the island was secure, provides an eyewitness account. He said he suffered his share of beatings but told the Washington Post, “I consider myself the luckiest POW. “I often think of it.”, Gruesome Experiments on American Airman at Kyushu University. , On May 22, 1944, Life Magazine published a photo of an American girl with a Japanese skull sent to her by her naval officer boyfriend. These mass rapes against German women were one of the greatest crimes against women throughout history. At the end of the wars Japanese soldiers at prisoner of war camps were told to behead, stab or shoot the 100,000 or so remaining Allied prisoners the moment an invasion began. ... had sex with American men until ... the atrocities. In an official U.S. Navy film, Japanese troops were described as "living, snarling rats". In a memorandum dated June 13, 1944, the Army JAG asserted that "such atrocious and brutal policies" in addition to being repugnant also were violations of the laws of war, and recommended the distribution to all commanders of a directive pointing out that "the maltreatment of enemy war dead was a blatant violation of the 1929 Geneva Convention on the Sick and Wounded, which provided that: After each engagement, the occupant of the field of battle shall take measures to search for the wounded and dead, and to protect them against pillage and maltreatment." Many were killed in fire bomb attacks and atomic bomb blasts or died while being transported to Japan. Books: Hidden Horrors by Yuki Tanaka and Prisoners of the Japanese by Gavan Daws. At the War Crimes Trial in Tokyo, document No 2726 consisted of 14,618 pages of sworn affidavits, each describing separate atrocities committed by the invading Japanese troops. 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