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3.5 out of 5 stars13
3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 5 February 1999
A sad episode in human history, this book details the inhuman and sadistic human experimentations perpetrated by the Japanese military, primarily on the populace of China. The evil deeds included vivisection, freezing human subjects to study frostbites, and spreading airborne biological agents to target populations. A clear indictment of Japanese military which lost its accountability to its government and the people, as it had happened in Nanking, China.
While I was reading this book, I was also reading "77 Samurai" by Lewis Bush, which is about Japan's first embassy to the United States. The two books presented interesting contrasts. "77 Samurai" gave a portrayal of Japanese people who were ready to open their doors to the outside world, after a self-imposed seclusion of 250 years, eager to learn everything they could. Less than one hundred years later, they were embarking on their conquest of China, Korea, and Souteast Asia with wanton disregard of human lives, as detailed in this book. These two books present the benevolent and the evil sides of human race. The question is, how can the same people act so differently and are the rest of us any different?
The books contains many first-hand accounts from the participants of the experiments in Unit 731, which lends the book much credibility.
Disturbing contents but very well written. A great read!
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on 28 September 2008
As someone who loves learning history and particularly military history I was happy when I found this book. I have read much WW2 history and have come upon references to Unit 731, and was intrigued and wanted to find out more. I was aware of the medical experiments carried out by the Nazis, but so very little is written about the Japanese.

Unfortunately when I started to read I was disappointed almost from the start. There was no background into why the project started, who were the key players and why these crimes were never raised at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East trials at the end of the war. The narrative was sloppy and disjointed. I was appreciative of the fact that, unlike the Nazis, the Japanese did not leave any survivors and that nearly all the records and buildings used by the medical fraternity were destroyed.

All in all I found this book disappointing and unfulfilling and knew no more than I did before I started reading this work. If you want to read a better account of the medical experimentation of the Japanese Imperial Army I would recommend Sheldon H Harries "Factories of Death".
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on 15 June 2015
Your hear alot about the experiments done by the Nazi in WW2 but not much about the Japanense very good read if you are intrested in this sort of thing if guresome in some places.
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on 1 December 1997
Unit 731-Testimony, is an all too brief glimpse of an event of WWII that has until recently lain hidden in the shadows of history.
The first part walks you through the history of how Japan's efforts to improve medical treatment and prevention for it's soldiers slowly became perverted to a search to perfect biological and chemical weapons by experimenting on living human subjects.
The second part is a collection of testimonies given by people who participated in these units. Some of these people told thier story over and over again as a part of a travelling museum that toured Japan to educate it's people to the horror which was carried out in their name, yet is not taught in their schools.
As fascinating as it is disturbing, Unit 731-Testimony raises more questions than any single volume could possibly answer.
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on 9 March 2013
This is the second book I've read about Unit 731, maybe not the best, but it has quotes from some of the Units personel so on that basis is well worth a read for people who want to know more about the darkest side of that period...ignore the negative reviews..basically Japanese versions of Holocaust deniers.
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on 20 January 2015
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on 9 March 2016
Disappointed, really. Nothing new in this book that can't be sourced from the internet.
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on 5 October 2003
This book is extremely disturbing; might haunt you during your sleep. It is a conspiracy theory based on documents found, and from interviews of victims and war criminals (Not convicted) while degree of the truth contained is unknown, I believe it is NOT entirely propaganda.
It’s very interesting that in Germany and in Austria, if you state that the Holocaust never happened, you will be arrested. But in Japan, people can deny the Nanking and Unit 731 freely. Why is this? Is the Japanese government is too ashamed to apologize? Is there not enough evidence to convince the public? Is Japan too fed up with previous false claims made towards its war crimes in WW2?
I think it’s all of the above. The Unit 731 existed and probably has committed many of the crimes stated in this book. But there is not enough evidence to prove how horrible this was. Japan does not want to and need to apologize. (From political aspect; not my opinion) Also because Japan thinks they are the victim of WW2 since the atomic bombs killed city full of innocent civilians in Hiroshima and in Nagasaki. By apologizing to the WW2 victims; Japan would have to make compensations. Most likely by giving financial support or WORKING VISAS.
Giving working visas to poor workers from Asia, is the last thing Japan wants since great portion of these workers come to Japan for prostitution, theft, burglary, drug trafficking and as spies. Yes every drug dealer I have seen was a foreigner, and every red-light district type places had foreign workers coming in and out, 2 of my neighbors houses were broken into by a foreign criminal organization. BUT I used to work for a Chinese family owned company in Japan; they were honest, hardworking and warm loving people. There are also an enormous number of honest hard workers but the Japanese gov't does not believe they benefit from them. **Word "foreigner" is used to avoid singling out nationalities.
I strongly urge people to understand this complex situation before saying "ITS ALL LIES!" or "JAPANESE ARE HORRIBLE PEOPLE"
I saw the Chinese movie about the Unit 731. I literally cried when I saw the intro statement "Friendship is Friendship"
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on 18 June 2004
yes setseun, it is all made up against such a "grate" people, if you dont mind me quoting you. The documents, the eye witness accounts, even the mass graves of the innocent people murdered, its all just made up. the chinese put FAKE corpses there, thats right! moron. if you're country really WAS a 'great' country you would have the 'honour' that you talk about all the time, to admit it like a MAN. you coward.
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on 14 March 1999
NO, Japan goverment NEVER admit this happened in history; They just "entered" China; just entered!
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