World / Unspeakable cruelty of wartime Japan

Japanese corporal harvested brains for cannibalism: confession

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-08-14 19:22

Japanese corporal harvested brains for cannibalism: confession

Photo released on Aug 14, 2015 by the State Archives Administration of China on its website shows the image of Japanese war criminal Takashi Mikami. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING - A Japanese World War II war criminal helped harvest brains from live Chinese captives for a sergeant who believed eating them would treat his venereal disease, according to a confession published by the State Archives Administration on Friday.

The shocking admission from Corporal Takashi Mikami, who served in east China's Shandong province from 1942 until his capture in August 1945, comes in the fourth of a series of 31 handwritten confessions from Japanese war criminals being released online by the archives as China marks the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.

In the confession signed on August 1, 1954, Mikami also detailed how he slaughtered civilians and raped scores of women.

He explained that while stationed in Linqing county, Sergeant Getsuji "often ordered platoon members to collect living people's brains." In June 1942, Mikami asked Lance Corporal Yokokura to "get some brains during mopping up."

According to Mikami, Yokokura brought him the brain of a Chinese peasant. "I cooked it, kept it in a kettle and gave it to Sergeant Getsuji as medicine for his venereal disease," he wrote.

In Guantao County in August 1942, Mikami interrogated two Chinese peasants using torture. As one of the captives refused to talk, Second Lieutenant Oyagi said, "'Let the new recruits test their courage,' so along with five others, I bayoneted the peasant in the chest, killing him, and then buried him in a pit," according to the confession.

Mikami then told how he participated in a February 1943 attack on a village in Linqing in which the Japanese fired shells and tear gas and strafed those fleeing the village with machine gun fire.

"As a result, 370 Chinese soldiers and civilians were slaughtered. I entered the village and saw the situation in person. Dead soldiers and residents piled up. Most of them were holding towels over their mouths, with water coming out of their noses and their faces turning purplish."

Around August 27, 1943 in Tangyi county, Mikami "threw five grenades" at the walls of a village, "killing 15 civilians."

The war criminal also confessed to raping at least eight young Korean women in Shandong, many of them multiple times.

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