It wasn't a case of the Japanese (for the most part) wanting to eat human flesh, it was driven on by their sheer hunger in many instances. Cut off from Japan, with Japanese Command not resupplying the troops, what was a person to live off? People have this notion that tropical islands are lush and full of fruit and other things to eat, while this in reality is not the case. Tropical Islands, like all Jungles, have poor soil for growing things like crops. Apart from fishing, there is really no reliable food source on an Island. We've all read accounts on how emaciated (sp?) Japanese troops were...accounts of them being too weak to lift their guns up high enough to shoot, starvation, etc. I think this is why they resorted to cannibalism in several instances.
I recall reading in one book (I forget which...maybe one about Burma) that a US Patrol was attacked and a few men were killed. The US troops pulled back, regrouped, and then pushed on trying to recover the bodies. Maybe an hour or two had passed, but it was enough time for the Japanese to basically splay open the dead bodies, for their livers and hearts, and also fut flesh from their legs - all for food - since they had no rations themselves.
This is one BookHidden horrors: Japanese war crimes in World War II
By Toshiyuki Tanaka Hidden horrors: Japanese war crimes ... - Google Books
I read the same thing, many times it was a necessity for survival. Protean was badly needed and many of the Animals in some Pacific Islands were not eatable, supplies running low or long periods without being resupplied.
In the beginning of the Japanese Chines conflict in 1937-38 I read accounts of Cannibalism from Japanese Soldier also.
I can give 4 links with this same information blow.
Almost all of them were sent to POW camps in Siberia or Central Asia where, due to being chronically underfed by their Soviet captors, many apparently resorted to cannibalism. Fewer than 5,000 of the prisoners taken at Stalingrad would survive captivity. During the 872-day Siege of Leningrad, reports of cannibalism began to appear in the winter of 1941-1942, after all birds, rats and pets were eaten by survivors. Leningrad police even formed a special division to combat cannibalism. Wapedia - Wiki: Cannibalism
"Later that evening, a senior Japanese officer, of the rank of major general, addressed a large number of officers. At the conclusion of his speech, a piece of fried flesh was given to all present who ate it on the spot." Facts and scary pictures of Cannibalism
"The Knights of Bushido" by Lord Russell of Liverpool, published 2002 by Greenhill Books, London, at pages 235-239.
Before a military tribunal on Guam after the Japanese surrender. Japanese army officer, Major Matoba describes a number of occasions on which the flesh of murdered prisoners of war was consumed in the Japanese officers' mess. This disgusting behaviour took on the character of a festive occasion, with the flesh being washed down with sake.
Very senior army and navy officers attended the officers' mess when human flesh was consumed and Major Matoba claims that they encouraged this vile behaviour.
I knew this happened due to Food shortages, and not only in WWII. But never new the details of the Military extent of it. Like I stated in the begging of the Thread I found it very disturbing.
Yuki Tanaka, Japanese researcher in his book "Hidden Horrors" mentioned report from Archemi village.
He omitted names having in mind family of KIA soldier.
Report of Lt. McFie written 20 May 1945:
"In the morning 9-th of March 1945 about 0900, together with late sgt Sewell we found body of private Josh KIA 8-th of March.
The body was in following state:
(a) all cloth was removed
both hands cut off close to armpits
© stomach was removed together with heart, liver and entrails
(d) all muscles cut off from the bones
(e) we could not find hands, heart and entrails
(f) the only untouched body parts were head and feet.
Japanese mess tin full of apparently human meat was about five feet from body of Pvt Josh, right between two dead Japanese soldiers."
Private Thomas William Josh, 27 years old from Marrickville, (Sydney suburb), textile worker, married... was eaten by Japanese.
Reports about Japanese cannibalism are quite common.
Look at page of War Diary of Australian 2/3 Machine Gun Battalion: http://www.awm.gov.a...x=13&submit.y=5
Quite often Australians and Americans were finding corpses of Japanese soldiers which had muscles cut off by their colleagues
obvious signs of widespread cannibalism.
Here's two photos of dead Japanese soldiers with muscles cut off for consumption:
Due to the Horrific disturbing nature, I removed the pictures.
Just Google Japanese Cannibalism in WWII you'll see many links
Edited by Spaniard, 15 April 2010 - 11:31 PM.