The taking of Human skull Trophies during the Pacific War

Aug 2017
42
Canada
#1
I am unsure where to post this, but I feel the need to spread this out. I made a video on Youtube speaking about US marines taking human skull/teeth/other body parts of Japanese soldiers at human trophies during the pacific war. Understandably this drives a lot of emotions, but I repeatedly mention the Japanese performing much worse atrocities and that I was not attacking the US military, simply stating the incidents that happened (which are rather unique to The pacific war/Vietnam war). The comment section on the video is really disgusting. A lot of the comments I had to delete such as "those monkey ****'s deserve it" "those are not atrocities they were gooks" etc etc. I can't believe the amount of people stating that either I am a liar for telling this story or that these are not atrocities because "they did worse to us so its ok". The fact of the matter is, German/Italian skulls are not being taken in large quantity during this war...sigh, I was hoping anyone here who see's this might help support the idea that taking human body parts as trophies during WW2 is an atrocity (anyone who could help in the comments I will leave the link below).

I understand as American's its uncomfortable, but this happened, and a few bad apples do not represent the US military that valiantly defeated the Axis making the world better.

 

Nemowork

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
8,442
South of the barcodes
#2
Hardly unusual

Harry Truman (yes that one) has a few quotes from WW1 that the Germans were causing too many delays and they would spread things up a lot if the US army would just scalp a few kids and cut their hands off to spread the message.

Rod Steiger mentioned that after a Kamikaze hit his ship in WW2 that one of the sailors found the pilots legs bones, cleaned one fo them up and whittled himself a flute.

People do extreme things in war.
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,351
Australia
#3
Yeah, they will flog you for that . Boy did I cop it and get an avalanche of abuse for repeating an historical account of a shocked early Australian settler that came upon a camp of two white men who invited him to their fire and dinner. They had another fire going with a huge oil drum cooking on it. he asked what was in it and they said have a look. It was boiling Aboriginal heads ... getting the skulls ready for export .

And most went to 'academia' and places like the British Museum . They have handed some human remains back for traditional burial here .
 
Likes: walkman
Aug 2017
42
Canada
#4
While I was doing my undergrad I had a professor who specialized in Japanese history. He brought up the ongoing issue of Museums holding looted items, some that are literal body parts. I don't understand some of the people who made comments such as "they deserved it for what they did". The point of my video was, you can almost not find any instances of Allies (By god I wont use the word American lol) taking Italian/Germany skulls home to put on their mantel piece. To this day families in Japan are being given back their dead family members parts. The pacific war was disgusting and the Japanese certainly won the war time atrocity game. I am simply shocked at how a lot of people reacted to my video "those Monkey f--ks had it coming," "yeah taking a gook head is fine", honestly lol? The next time I touch a subject close to this matter I will definitely make it a lot more uncomfortable, people should be taught the horror's of war are not limited to one side or the other.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,664
Portugal
#5
While I was doing my undergrad I had a professor who specialized in Japanese history. He brought up the ongoing issue of Museums holding looted items, some that are literal body parts. I don't understand some of the people who made comments such as "they deserved it for what they did". The point of my video was, you can almost not find any instances of Allies (By god I wont use the word American lol) taking Italian/Germany skulls home to put on their mantel piece. To this day families in Japan are being given back their dead family members parts. The pacific war was disgusting and the Japanese certainly won the war time atrocity game. I am simply shocked at how a lot of people reacted to my video "those Monkey f--ks had it coming," "yeah taking a gook head is fine", honestly lol? The next time I touch a subject close to this matter I will definitely make it a lot more uncomfortable, people should be taught the horror's of war are not limited to one side or the other.
While probably not much known head hunting (and I am not talking about job finders) has a long tradition in war. The Portuguese often used head hunters as auxiliaries to control revolts in East-Timor, and if I am not mistaken that is common in many Pacific Cultures and societies (Pacific in the meaning of the Pacific Ocean region).

In the Portuguese colonial war (1961-1974/5) heads were cut and showed as symbols of victory, especially in 1961, apparently by both sides: A História Das Cabeças Cortadas - Guerra Colonial | GUERRA COLONIAL PORTUGUESA | Pinterest | Colonial, Portugal and Fiction

If I am not mistaken in Congo there were similar situations.

Previously in Brazil there is a famous photography Lampião and their band (bandits, named cangaceiros in Brazil) with their heads (1938): Lampião - Wikipedia

EDIT:

By the way, when I read in the title “Pacific War”, my first thought was about this one, I guess I was lost in translation: War of the Pacific - Wikipedia
 
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Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,594
Benin City, Nigeria
#6
simply stating the incidents that happened (which are rather unique to The pacific war/Vietnam war)
This sort of thing isn't unique. Armies throughout history, on multiple continents, collected skulls, body parts, hair, of defeated enemies. It was practiced in most regions of the world (the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, Polynesia) by certain cultures in those regions for centuries.

The notion that this practice had a limited geographical spread is just a myth.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,664
Portugal
#7
This sort of thing isn't unique. Armies throughout history, on multiple continents, collected skulls, body parts, hair, of defeated enemies. It was practiced in most regions of the world (the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, Polynesia) by certain cultures in those regions for centuries.

The notion that this practice had a limited geographical spread is just a myth.
Agreed. The examples that I provided were some that I recalled that were “recent”, late 19th and 20th centuries, but further we go back in time and further we dig, many more examples will show up.
 
May 2015
48
Schertz ,Tx
#8
Of course as you go back in history, you do find this of course. I don't see what joy you can get out of doing that. I mean you killed the guy. If you have to go to that extreme, take a ring , dog tag or something, but not body parts. My late father was a vet of three wars.WW2, Korea and Vietnam. His troop ship was supposed to go to the Pacific. They got as far as India and Australia , when they recieved orders to head for North Africa. He spent the rest of the war in Europe. He never came home with souvenir body parts, german medals, etc. He brought money back, some black marble bookends he bought in Rome,, things like that.harmless stuff.