Men Behind the Sun

Discussion in 'Asian Horror and Other Pleasures' started by Tye, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. Tye

    Tye Member

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    I've read a couple of interesting articles regarding this film (Japanese experiments on the Chinese during WWII) and wondered if any of you had seen it. From the sound of it, this film seems awfully relentless in it's depiction of gore/torture.
    Not sure if I'd want to see it considering the animal violence.
    Any thoughts?
     
  2. mcchrist

    mcchrist A new breed of pervert!

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    Well, I really liked it. It is pretty brutal stuff, but it is also very well made.
     
  3. Rockmjd

    Rockmjd Guest

    If you don't want to see it because of the animal violence, you probably won't want to see the alleged real child autopsy footage....anyone know if these were faked?
     
  4. I liked it also , very violent though but very well made .
     
  5. BloodMan

    BloodMan Kill Time B4 It Kills You

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    I think that child autopsy footage is real. I even read that the pressure room thing is a real corpse. Not sure though. Very well made film though. The animal violence is harsh stuff too. Should you see it... depends on how well and tough yer stomach is I guess.
     
  6. DVD Connoisseur

    DVD Connoisseur Active Member

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  7. aoiookami

    aoiookami Demon Fetishist

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    I've seen the movie, and did a semester of artwork in college regarding the events of Unit 731, the lab where everything took place. The movie wasnt -quite- as distrubring as I thought it would be. Although still very shocking in some parts. The most disturbing part to me was how they tricked the child into being disected alive.
    The only real thing in the movie however is the child autopsy, which they used a real corpse of a child that had died a day or two behorehand. I dont think any of the animal violence is real, even the infamous cat scene; it looked like they just progressively covered the cat in red jelly, and did quick cuts of it playing, catching and trying to eat the rats, and the rats licking the red jelly off
     
  8. Numania

    Numania Guest

    What about the rats leaving the building on fire? Ketchup and mustard mohawks???
     
  9. Deaddevilman

    Deaddevilman Guest

    An interesting coversation. This subject hold particular interest to me. It is true that Japanese schools teach nothing about WWII other then Japan's limited victories, Pearl Harbor being the biggest. Some of that is changing but I have no idea how far they've gone. Most Japanese just want to forget that entire part of their history. My wife's grandfather was in Manchuria for several years as a soldier but he refuses to speak about it. It's interesting that the director claims to have been blacklisted in Japan as you can find his movies in just about every video store.

    Numania - Yes I agree, the rats did look like they were on fire to me.
     
  10. aoiookami

    aoiookami Demon Fetishist

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    forgot about that particular scene. no need to patronize me.
     
  11. Deaddevilman

    Deaddevilman Guest

    A quote made just today.

    "The Japanese prefer to see themselves as victims in the war. But I couldn't let this piece of history remain in the dark."

    Yoshio Shinozuka, 83, a member of Unit 731 (a biological weapons operation) in northeast China in the 1930s and '40s, who now devotes himself to making amends by speaking on behalf of Chinese victims (AP)

    And an entire article from earlier this year.

    We Took Down Two Today
    Posted on Thursday, January 8, 2004. From testimony by Yoshio Shinozuka concerning atrocities committed by the Japanese army in China during World War II. Shinozuka was a member of Unit 731, which conducted human experiments on more than 250,000 Chinese civilians and prisoners of war. Shinozuka testified on behalf of a group of victims' families who sued the Japanese government, which has refused to issue an apology or to provide any compensation. In August 2002 a Tokyo district court dismissed the lawsuit and said that it had no legal basis. Translated from the Japanese by Mihoko Tokoro. Originally from Harper's Magazine, April 2003.
    SourcesPlease state how you joined Unit 731, the so-called Ishii Unit.

    It was March 1939. Recruiters came to junior high schools, vocational schools, and agricultural schools, and I volunteered to join the unit. We were ordered to report to the Epidemic Prevention Laboratory of the Imperial Japanese Army's School of Military Medicine in Tokyo. When I arrived I was told, "You are a member of the Junior Youth Corps of the Ishii Unit. You will soon be transferred to Harbin, China. It is a wonderful place."

    When were you transferred to Harbin?

    We arrived on May 12, 1939, and I was sent to Ping Fan. The first thing I noticed in Ping Fan was that there were moats and barbed wire around the buildings. At the time, I wondered why the security was so tight, since the head of the unit and many others there were just army doctors. The next day we were told that this area was designated as a special military area, and that even Japanese military planes were forbidden to fly over. Also, we were bound by a strict law to see nothing, hear nothing, and say nothing. We were told that if we ran away, we would be punished as runaway soldiers from the front lines.

    After you arrived in Ping Fan, what were you told about the duties of Unit 731?

    We were told to accompany frontline units and supply them with purified water. But in reality, starting in 1940, the division that provided purified water was located outside of Harbin.

    Would you please explain the structure of Unit 731?

    Each division was named after its chief. I was sent to the Yamaguchi division, which manufactured and tested germ bombs.

    What else did you do as a Junior Youth Corps member?

    We were sent wherever help was needed. That was our duty. There was mass production of germs for the Nomonhan Incident [border clashes with Soviet troops] and again in 1940, and also flea breeding in 1940.

    What was the state of Unit 731 at the time of the Nomonhan Incident?

    Many of the Unit 731 members went to Nomonhan. I figured their duty was to purify water. But those who were left behind started making germs. My assignment was to prepare culturing cans for germ growth. I was also in charge of transporting the microbes we called "stumps." Other members of the Junior Youth Corps who knew how to drive participated in the incident directly.

    What did they do?

    They said they flung the germs into the Horustein River.

    What types of germs were thrown into the river?

    I think they were typhoid, paratyphoid, and dysentery bacilli.

    Did you ever participate in the breeding of fleas?

    Yes. We were ordered to report to a dark room on the third floor. There were oil drums lined up on a platform. There were grains of wheat in them, and rats in small cages were placed in the wheat. Our assignment was to check them once a day and if we found the rats dead to replace them with live ones. The room was humid and hot. There was a Western-style white porcelain bathtub placed on the platform. The wheat chaff and fleas were mixed in it, and as we used a hair dryer and stirred them we noticed that the fleas were multiplying. Then the fleas were collected in glass containers.

    What were those fleas used for?

    Rats and humans are the most sensitive to the plague bacillus. Fleas are carriers. If you release fleas from an airplane, the fleas scatter everywhere. They settle on rats, and as the rats die the fleas settle on humans. Before a plague epidemic breaks out, you see many dead rats around. We learned this in plague class.

    The Junior Youth Corps was disbanded. Was that around July 1941?

    Yes, and then I was assigned to the Karasawa Unit and ordered to handle chemical warfare.

    What was the function of the Karasawa Unit?

    Mass production of pathogenic germs.

    What kinds of pathogenic germs did you produce?

    We cultured dysentery, typhoid, paratyphoid, cholera, plague, and anthrax. Especially after 1941, anthrax, plague, and cholera were produced in quantity. We were never told what kinds of germs we were producing. We just figured it out by the smells and shapes. Dysentery bacillus smelled like cucumber. Typhoid bacillus was rather beautiful: a colony of the bacilli reminded me of a group of pearls. Anthrax bacillus was muddy, and cholera bacillus was rough in texture. Plague bacillus was rather stringy, like if you stir up fermented soybeans and pull off the stringy material.

    In the Karasawa Unit where you worked, did you ever participate in live human dissections?

    Yes. It started in December 1942. Before that, we used mice. But in 1942 the experiments I attended were on Chinese people. There were special-unit members who wore lab coats and carried guns in the treatment room. They had boots and field caps on. They brought the human specimens to the treatment room, and I drew their blood. We would draw blood and then test for antibodies. Then we would inject the plague vaccine that had been developed by Unit 731. After that, blood would be drawn and tested again. The live plague bacteria would be injected. Then, after they got critically sick, the doctors would start a dissection.

    The people who were brought in by the special-unit staff looked sick and black. I was ordered to wash these people with a deck brush. I was somehow hesitant to use a deck brush on their faces. I remember now that I closed my eyes and washed the faces with the deck brush. My legs were shaking. As soon as the medic checked the specimen with the stethoscope, the chief pathologist started to dissect him. I put the pieces of organs in the culturing medium, which was placed in the culture dish. This was done, we were told, to verify the toxicity of the pathogenic germs we had produced, as well as to check the efficacy of vaccinations. Also it enabled us to obtain stumps for future germ production.

    How many times did you participate in such vivisections?

    I remember participating four times.

    How were those people's cadavers disposed of?

    There was a tall chimney in the building; it was a very big chimney. The special security squad burned the cadavers in there.

    Did you ever talk about the human vivisections among yourselves at night?

    We would go back to our quarters later than usual when we performed such atrocities. During our baths, other members who had similar duties would join us. Our usual conversations went like this: "How many logs did you take down today?" "We took down two today," or, "We didn't take down any logs today."

    You left the Karasawa Unit in June 1943. Please explain briefly what you did after that.

    I worked in a physics research lab. Then I became a technical worker in the neurology department of the Manchuria Medical School and spent a few months there before I got drafted and served as an infantryman in a division of Shen Wu Tun, near the Russian border. In 1944, I was transferred to the hygiene department and then to the medical department of Division 125 in Tong Hua, Liaoning Province. The war ended when I was there. When I was called to headquarters for the disarmament, I ran away. A year later, on February 3, 1946, I was arrested for starting a riot. When I was released in June 1946, the local police asked us if we wanted to join the Chinese army. They said there was probably no other way to stay alive. So I joined the People's Liberation Army. In the army, I was treated as one of the members. There was no discrimination. Then I started to think about what I had done before, and it made me feel very bad. In 1952, I was sent to Fushun War Criminal Penitentiary as an ex-member of Unit 731.

    Please explain how you were treated in Fushun War Criminal Penitentiary and how your beliefs changed.

    In the penitentiary, we were fed three times a day. In the People's Liberation Army, I had started to feel bad. Now, given the free time, I was able to rid my mind of the rationalizations with which I had been brainwashed ever since I was a primary-school student. With my own acts of atrocity dawning on me, I started to regret what I had done as something that no human should do. I started to wonder how I would feel if I got sick from germs dispensed without my consent. I wondered how not only the people who were experimented on but also their families must have felt about their being killed in experiments or vivisections. When I put myself in the victim's place, the atrocities I committed were unforgivable. I should face execution.

    The Japanese government has consistently denied and concealed the existence of the germ warfare mentioned in this lawsuit. What is your opinion about the country's attitude?

    All the war crimes I committed were performed under orders I received. They were carried out under the direction of my superiors. As for the head of the unit and other staff members, they also acted because they were part of a system. I still believe that Japan should be held responsible as a country. I hope that the nation will consider the feelings of the victims and consider their needs. The victims will never forget.

    I sometimes think the atrocities I committed were so inhumane that I am unsure if I am human or inhuman. Because of what I did, sometimes I feel I am in between.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2004
  12. BloodMan

    BloodMan Kill Time B4 It Kills You

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    Damn... Interesting read. Thats harsh.
     
  13. Tye

    Tye Member

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    Thanks for everyone's input!
    Also, thanks Deaddevilman for the article....
    Pretty grisly stuff!
    :(
     
  14. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    It's getting a UHD release from...

    Massacre Video:

    [​IMG]

    No further details or release date announced yet.
     
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  15. sinister

    sinister Active Member

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    The director of Men Behind the Sun talks a bit about it in this documentary :

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9059806/

    confirming that they did use real bodies from a mortuary in China. He couldn't believe that the people in charge basically gave them free reign to do whatever they wanted with the bodies.

    As for the UHD edition... I have no need to ever see this movie again, once on VHS back in the 90's was enough. :D I did read a book about Unit 731 though and the film only covers a small part of the shit they did. Plague balloon bombs landed on the US west coast, prisoner exchanges where they deliberately infected the Chinese prisoners with cholera before handing them over, infecting animals and wells with typhoid, cholera and plague as they retreated from China etc.
     
  16. Steel76

    Steel76 Well-Known Member

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    This gotta be the most unexpected UHD releases ever :D
     
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  17. sinister

    sinister Active Member

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    Indeed, almost as unexpected as my mate who has worked as an English teacher at a high school in Thailand for years telling me they have this movie on DVD in the school library for any pupil to watch or borrow. o_O
     
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  18. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    Tammy and the T-Rex UNCUT and Rad were even further from my mind! :p

    But what's great about this is that you just know there's some Blu-ray.com UHD geeks who will snatch this up only because it's Ultra HD, watch it, and be thoroughly disgusted by it, the world, and themselves. Reminds me when Criterion collectors blissfully picked up Salo only to divert their eyes and questioned their life's decisions that lead them to bringing this film into their home and projected into their family room.
     
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  19. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    LOLOL, now that is exactly true!
     
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  20. Steel76

    Steel76 Well-Known Member

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    I would love to see their reactions to this movie :D
    Can’t wait for the reviews ;)
     
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