Unit 731

Much of Sunday was spent nauseatingly delving into a pre-war Japanese medical research team, known as Unit 731, which carried out horrific experiments on Chinese prisons of war in Manchuria. Which, in order to dehumanise them, they termed “logs”.

A lot of the experiments were even worse than ones the Nazis did. Not only were prisons of war exposed to biological chemicals – causing them to die in horrific agony – but vivisections and amputations were regularly carried out on the prisons of war, without anaesthetic.

As you can imagine, it took some effort to keep my lunch down.

I have decided that Unit 731 will form the introduction of my book – although exactly how much gore to include, I have not yet decided.

The reason being is that, although Unit 731 did absolutely horrendous experiments (far worse than many other crimes during the war), they were ultimately granted amnesty by the US in return for the results of the research. They never stood trial.

A good example of victor’s justice, I thought. One set of rules for one side, a whole other set for the other.

(The decision to grant amnesty must, of course, be seen against the background of the emerging cold war – the yanks were genuinely, and perhaps justifiably, worried of the carnage that could ensue should the research of Unit 731, which counts among its accomplishments a cure for frostbite, fall into the hands of the Soviets).

I have now managed to track down an existing member of Unit 731, who I hope to meet when I finally return to Japan. But he is about 95 now, and needs an oxygen inhaler to breathe. So I hope he’ll be able to talk to me.

His current frailty, and closeness to death, makes me wonder what he reflects upon now, about the crimes that he did. He has spent many years repenting for the crimes, touring the country and giving talks about the evilness of Unit 731. So I guess that should stand him in good stead when he meets the big man upstairs.

I leave you with lyrics that I discovered from Slayer, the thrash metal band. Good lyrics – incomprehensible if you here them sung (screached?) by the band, but actually pretty deep and meaningful. I haven’t managed to understand, though, whether Slayer is trying to justify the actions of 731 – or denounce them.

I am the last of the dying insane
You would scream at the things I’ve done
Knowing that the dead still see
My blood it runs like mercury

Your last breath the sword comes down
She dies first speaking death to me
Philosophy, the vision, the view within
Duty, science, abstract cruelty

What are your final thoughts?
Do you want to kill me, or die in shame?
From my point of view
Justified action, the enemy burns

The fun of massacre in the brain
Bioweapons and I are the same
Look at their face, hatred in their blood
Pile up the dead, my humanity

X-rays burn all that you can see
Nobody knows what a body can stand
Skulls on fire yet mercy is worse
You seek only your pleasure in death

What are your final thoughts?
Do you want to kill me, or die in shame?
From my point of view
Justified action, the enemy burns

Bacterial target, eyes exploding
Melting flesh through your mind
Become your madness insanity wins
Infant’s flesh on the walls

Testing limits threshold of pain
Ripping out teeth to observe
I want blood

(Lead – Hanneman)

(Lead – King)

Knowing now the dead still see
My blood it runs like mercury
Knowing now the dead still see
My blood it runs like mercury
Knowing now the dead still see
My blood it runs like mercury
Knowing now the dead still see
My blood it runs like mercury

Human brain experiment
On prisoners open skull
Vivisection, live dissection
Repulsing to the core

What are your final thoughts?
Do you want to kill me, or die in shame?
From my point of view
Justified action, the enemy burns

Fuckin’ burns

Pathogens seek horrible end
Churning factories of death
Crematoriums see your crime
You will see me in hell

I am the last of the dying insane
You would scream at the things I’ve done
Knowing that the dead still see
My blood it runs like mercury

Your last breath the sword comes down
She dies first speaking death to me
Philosophy, the vision, the view within
Duty, science, abstract cruelty

What are your final thoughts?
Do you want to kill me, or die in shame?
From my point of view
Justified action, the enemy burns

The fun of massacre in the brain
Bioweapons and I are the same
Look at their face, hatred in their blood
Pile up the dead, my humanity

X-rays burn all that you can see
Nobody knows what a body can stand
Skulls on fire yet mercy is worse
You seek only your pleasure in death

What are your final thoughts?
Do you want to kill me, or die in shame?
From my point of view
Justified action, the enemy burns

Bacterial target, eyes exploding
Melting flesh through your mind
Become your madness insanity wins
Infant’s flesh on the walls
[ Slayer Lyrics are found on http://www.songlyrics.com ]
Testing limits threshold of pain
Ripping out teeth to observe
I want blood

(Lead – Hanneman)

(Lead – King)

Knowing now the dead still see
My blood it runs like mercury
Knowing now the dead still see
My blood it runs like mercury
Knowing now the dead still see
My blood it runs like mercury
Knowing now the dead still see
My blood it runs like mercury

Human brain experiment
On prisoners open skull
Vivisection, live dissection
Repulsing to the core

What are your final thoughts?
Do you want to kill me, or die in shame?
From my point of view
Justified action, the enemy burns

Fuckin’ burns

Pathogens seek horrible end
Churning factories of death
Crematoriums see your crime
You will see me in hell

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