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#1 marcus69x

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 09:59 AM

I was watching Mythbusters yesterday and there was a topic on Japanese Bamboo torture.

Apparantly the Japanese used to plant a Bamboo seed and then tie down POW's over the seed so that over a few days, the fast growing Bamboo shoot would slowly grow and pierce through the POW.

There's a reference to it here in the People's War:
BBC - WW2 People's War - JAPANESE TORTURE TECHNIQUES

If this is true, it must have been an excrutiating and horrible way to die.

Does anyone know of any official records of this actually happening?

cheers,
marcus
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#2 ww2ni

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 10:11 AM

I find this sickening and, to be honest, very difficult to forgive.
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#3 bamboo43

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 10:35 AM

This form of torture is not something I have ever read about during my research into the POW's of Rangoon Jail. I am sure it did happen at times on the Death Railway, most likely in the form of an example to others not to repeat the alleged misdemeanour.

I do know that the speed of bamboo growth is prolific in the region and that reports of fallen comrades had been investigated only weeks after the date of the incident, found no sign whatsoever of the described location or any remains of the soldier. This I'm sure has contributed greatly to the massive amount of soldiers with no known grave in the Burma theatre.
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#4 von Poop

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 11:59 AM

My Dad used to threaten 'bamboo under the fingernails!' when we'd been proper idiots as kids :D.
(Note 'threaten' - you obviously couldn't get the right sort of Bamboo in 1970s Yorkshire...)

What did Mythbusters conclude? I have a dim recollection of the episode.
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#5 marcus69x

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 12:09 PM

It was plausible mate. They made a body made from balistics gell with the same consistancy as the human body. At first they had it in a green house but it got so warm, the gel melted and the Bamboo only penetrated a few inches and died.

They then tried it again on the roof where it was open to the elements and it grew right through.

You can watch it here:
Mythbusters: Bamboo Torture (flv video) free file download at fliiby.com
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#6 spidge

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 12:23 PM

I am sure that they laid their victims suspended over mature growing Bamboo. That is, Bamboo that still had many feet to grow.

Weight of the body onto the upward growing bamboo.

I have only heard of this torture however the Japanese were capable of anything.
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#7 alieneyes

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 12:46 PM

From page 32 of RAF radio man Charles McCormac's "You'll Die in Singapore", the story of a 2,000 mile escape:

But we did, a few days later, when a live human body was splayed out over an area of young bamboo shoots, arms and legs lashed firmly to stakes driven fast into the ground. In the tropic heat bamboo grows quickly - several inches a day - and the shoots are strong enough to be neither stopped nor diverted by the live flesh of a human body


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#8 Gage

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 05:57 PM

Also saw this episode and it was eye opening to put it mildly.
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#9 Formerjughead

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 07:02 PM

(Note 'threaten' - you obviously couldn't get the right sort of Bamboo in 1970s Yorkshire...)

......


You should have brought that to his attention.
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#10 Combover

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 08:34 PM

I find this sickening and, to be honest, very difficult to forgive.


Exactly how I feel. I even have doubts about owning a Japanese car.
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#11 martin14

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 11:47 AM

Exactly how I feel. I even have doubts about owning a Japanese car.



Never have, never will.
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#12 Hebridean Chindit

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 10:07 PM

Dad was not keen on the Japanese, threatened to throw me out of the house when I came home with some TDK cassettes in the 70's, but here's a quirk for you...

From my book draft...

... The following was not recorded in my father’s notes but recounted to me directly, on one of the few occasions he discussed such things. He described to me a method of torture employed by the Burmese, against the Japanese…
If they ever caught one (a Japanese soldier), they would “plant” him. That is to say that they would tie him down to the ground on top of a bamboo shoot… Bamboo grows at a rate of twelve to eighteen inches a day in tropical climates; they hated them that much
I can only presume that he witnessed the results first-hand, as I have found no reference to this kind of treatment elsewhere; maybe it was an isolated incident, who knows… It is possible that he saw a dead Japanese soldier and bamboo had just grown up through his body, but he made a reference to being tied down…

I might need to amend my work here, but...

I'll ask the two Cameronians I'm conversing with if they know of any specific incidents...

Edited by Hebridean Chindit, 14 April 2011 - 10:14 PM.
addendum...

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If research was easy, it wouldn't need researching...

So, let's see... I started with dad's manuscript, which spread to his regiment's involvement with the Chindits, then onto a "Blackpool" history, which also spun-off into 230 Squadron and a brace of Sunderlands, and the 111th Indian Infantry Division, and 3rd Indian Division...


#13 marcus69x

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 06:45 AM

It is possible that he saw a dead Japanese soldier and bamboo had just grown up through his body,


Quite possible. Thats was one of my first thoughts on the subject.

It'd be interesting to know for sure if this was a used method or nothing more than chinese whispers through the decades.
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#14 At Home Dad

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 07:49 AM

Knights of Bushido is worth looking for. I had a copy
when I was a lad, it mentions the bamboo stuff.

The Knights of Bushido: A Short History of Japanese War Crimes: Amazon.co.uk: L. Russell, Lord Russell of Liverpool, Norman Stone: Books


hanging by your thumbs an inch off the ground above a plate of hot food...

barbed wire wrapped tight around your belly and then a hosepipe forced down your throat. The water bloats your stomach to an incredible size, restrained by the old
barbed wire....

they were a rotten bunch
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#15 bamboo43

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 08:31 AM

Knights of Bushido is worth looking for. I had a copy
when I was a lad, it mentions the bamboo stuff.

The Knights of Bushido: A Short History of Japanese War Crimes: Amazon.co.uk: L. Russell, Lord Russell of Liverpool, Norman Stone: Books


hanging by your thumbs an inch off the ground above a plate of hot food...

barbed wire wrapped tight around your belly and then a hosepipe forced down your throat. The water bloats your stomach to an incredible size, restrained by the old
barbed wire....

they were a rotten bunch


I have a copy of the book, it is a very interesting if somewhat harrowing read.
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#16 von Poop

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 10:40 AM

I want to know the growth habits of Bamboo.
Ballistic Gel, I can see allowing softish shoots to penetrate, but I'm not certain Skin would behave in the same way - does bamboo grow from the roots, or the tip?

Ah, OK - that's a much more substantial growing tip than I'd envisioned:
Growth Chart of Bamboo
I can easily see it working now...
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#17 Owen

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 10:45 AM

Timelapse footage of growing bamboo.

at 1m 36 s
BBC - Learning Zone Class Clips - Time lapse photography of bamboo growth - Science Video

and



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#18 von Poop

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 11:05 AM

Cheers - Convinced.
That's a solid spear of material from day one.
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#19 phylo_roadking

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 05:06 PM

Bamboo was suprisingly common in OTHER theatres - CRETE was and still is full of stands of bamboo - which caused dozens if not hundreds of terrible casualties in May 1941 when the FJ dropped onto them....! :P Many Germans just hung impaled and bled out, but in other places when the fighting moved away or by night, the locals came out and - "cleaned up".

I think it's Beevor's book on Crete that ends with a German veteran visitng the FJ cemetary at Maleme and recognising Manoli Petrakis....who eventually looked after the cemetary with George Psycoundakis "The Cretan Runner"; when the FJ vet identified himself, Petrakis said he'd never met him - the German replied he only knew him by his voice; on the first night of the invasion he'd hidden bleeding but quiet while Petrakis - one of John Pendlebury' few SOE trainees IIRC - led others through the stand of bamboo cutting the throats of all his impaled comrades...
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#20 Cobber

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 01:35 AM

Frightening ways, the Japanese in particular were very violent and horrid with torture in every area they conquered and occupied. This impaled on bamboo would hurt like hell untill death finally comes. I had never heard of it before, thanks for posting this information.
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#21 At Home Dad

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 03:27 PM

the 'mythbusters' test the myth





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#22 PA. Dutchman

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 04:08 PM

My father told me that before they left Hickam in 1942 to go into the Pacific they were shown the smuggled films taken in China at Nanjing. He described the Japanese using the Chinese POWs as live bayonet dummies, and the burying and burning of other Chinese POWs alive. The Commander wanted them to know what to expect if captured. Iris Chang wrote an outstanding book called the "Rape of Nanjing it mentions the smuggled films brought back to the states.

Nanjing Massacre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There is so much available about the Japanese Unit 731, if you can do a search or read that book.

The Japanese were actually dissecting American and Allied POWs alive and awake. The strapped them to the surgical table and cut them wide open. All this has been documented and confirmed in the book Unit 731.

Here is another link to these crimes against humanity by the Japanese.

Rape of Nanjing Photos

This link will take you to numerous other links concerning the tortures, dissecting of POWs, Nanjing, and many many other crimes at the bottom of the page the links are provided. It is an excellent resource and ww2Pacific should be thanked for posting these links and exposing the crimes. I have talked to American Veterans from Europe who saw terrible things, but some how never realized this was going on in the Pacific Theater. They were shocked.

Unit 731

httpwww.ww2pacific.com/unit731.html

Edited by PA. Dutchman, 27 April 2011 - 04:17 PM.

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#23 PA. Dutchman

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 06:23 PM

It is hard to forgive such things when no real apology has been offered these responsible. As well it was mainly American Military Authorities who allowed so many of these monsters to go free. We would have to find it in our hearts some place to forgive them as well I imagine.

Maybe you have seen this movie it is based on a true story of the Japanese and one of their camps and crimes.

It is called "Prisoners of the Sun" and it touches on the American Military Authorities protecting some of the higher ranking Japanese officers from any kind of punishment.
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#24 Hebridean Chindit

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 08:19 PM

It's a path I've walked - deep and about as disturbing as it gets... I strongly suggest not taking the route unless it is absolutely necessary for your research...
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:scot: Daa-daa-da-dada-dada-daa-daa-da-dada-dada...


If research was easy, it wouldn't need researching...

So, let's see... I started with dad's manuscript, which spread to his regiment's involvement with the Chindits, then onto a "Blackpool" history, which also spun-off into 230 Squadron and a brace of Sunderlands, and the 111th Indian Infantry Division, and 3rd Indian Division...


#25 PA. Dutchman

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 09:59 PM

My father was always one to take each person on their own. During an interview he did for our son for a History Project he mentioned how many Japanese Americans helped after the Attacks on 12/7/1941 in Hawaii. He was there and he saw their efforts to help with his own eyes.

We are of German decent on both sides. During WWI any people in our area with German names were always considered questionable. A lot of common things had their names changed to distance them from being of German origin.

A German member of the Nazis Party saved thousands of Chinese in Nanjing. He used his position to intimidate the Japanese to save thousands of Chinese along with the help of others. He was later relieved of his position when he asked Berlin to get involved. I believe his name is John Rabe and he has been called the Good Nazis. Because of his actions he was removed from his position and after the war the Chinese people found out how poorly he and his wife were living and began to send them some money and supplies to help them to survive.

There is also a Japanese Diplomat who was signing visas for Jews to go to Japan and many were saved through his efforts. He too was relieved of his position but he is now a Righteous Gentile of Israel. The Japanese allowed the Jews to live in a sectioned off area of a large city after the war started and most survived having gone to Japan.

I would want to see those responsible for these terrible crimes held responsible for their crimes. Those who protected them should also be help responsible. Not entire nations, but those who acted so badly, Axis and Allied together. Like any criminal of any kind of crime should be.

HERE ARE LINKS TO THE TWO MEN I MENTIONED

The Japanese Diplomat and his wife who saved thousands of Jews before WWII.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/sugihara.html
Chiune and Yukiko Sugihara


This is about the German John Rabe who saved possibly 250,000 Chinese at Nanjing

http://www.moreorless.au.com/heroes/rabe.html

Edited by PA. Dutchman, 27 April 2011 - 10:08 PM.

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Sincerely yours,
PA.Dutchman
Son of T/Sgt. Ray "Bud" Heilman
11 TH F. A. 1937-40
Schofield Barracks
11 TH BGH 42 Sq.1940-45
Hickam 12/7/1941
AAC Armorer 911
P.U.C.

#26 Hebridean Chindit

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 10:44 PM

Two great links... (welcome aboard, btw)

My father never forgave the Japanese for what he went through in Burma and for what he witnessed, and he never saw the worst of it... he passed nearly 10 years back...
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:scot: Daa-daa-da-dada-dada-daa-daa-da-dada-dada...


If research was easy, it wouldn't need researching...

So, let's see... I started with dad's manuscript, which spread to his regiment's involvement with the Chindits, then onto a "Blackpool" history, which also spun-off into 230 Squadron and a brace of Sunderlands, and the 111th Indian Infantry Division, and 3rd Indian Division...


#27 PA. Dutchman

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 11:41 PM

My heart goes out to you and what your father witnessed no person should have to witness.

In the United States a lot of loyal Japanese were treated like anything but loyal Americans. Even Germans and Italians were rounded up to some extent.

I have found some people unable to handle the truth of what the Criminals of the Japanese Military did to their POWs. It is beyond their ability to believe such things took place.

However we know they did these things and the fact the Japanese still hesitate to accept or take responsibility is still an issue for many, and for good reason.
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Sincerely yours,
PA.Dutchman
Son of T/Sgt. Ray "Bud" Heilman
11 TH F. A. 1937-40
Schofield Barracks
11 TH BGH 42 Sq.1940-45
Hickam 12/7/1941
AAC Armorer 911
P.U.C.




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