Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ravi Shankar & Ali Akbar Khan in concert 1972,Hindu Chants and Anoushka

Anoushka Shankar - Your Eyes (Sitar Solo)


This is the first video I've actually been able to observe him using the lower tuned strings
"But every insight from this realm of thought is felt as initial, and promises a sequel. I do not make it; I arrive there, and beho ld what was there already. I make! O no! I clap my hands in infantine joy and amazement, before the first opening to me of this august magnificence, old with the love and homage of innumerable ages, young with the life of life, the sunbright Mecca of the desert."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tom Bethell

Ravi Shankar 1979 in Dubrovnik

Yogeshwari (especially the alap) by the late Ravi Shankar is a great musical experience. And being able to appreciate it is an equal gift. Most people, in my experience, don't "get it" at all. they are looking for a melodic line, or a "beat," or harmony. This is pure "note," constantly explored, with many subtle "warps," near approaches and slides. Western music doesn't have anything quite like it. Nonetheless, the main notes here are the tonic and dominant of the major (western) scale.

Ravi Shankar at Monterey Pop (June 1967)
Unfortunately, I had to disable comments on this video because of the many ignorant and unreasonable comments that didn't capture the spirit of this video at all. It's not about who is/was the greatest sitar player ever! Some people even didn't notice that Ravi Shankar was approximately 90 years old when this video was made, so of course he couldn't sing as well as he used to do when he was much younger. But again, that's not the point.
Uploaded on Sep 21, 2011
As part of India & Pakistan's Golden Jubilee celebrations, Pandit Ravi Shankar, accompanied by his daughter Anoushka Shankar, perform live for the BBC at The Symphony Hall, Birmingham.

Anoushka Shankar plays 'Pancham Se Gara'

Innovative sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar plays 'Pancham Se Gara' by Ravi Shankar with Tanmoy Bose (tabla) and Kenji (Tampura) at the Neurosciences Institute.

Ravi Shankar & Ali Akbar Khan in concert 1972   video audio
Wonderful to see him carry the image of his guru with him in the box at 27:30. Love this rendering of the Tilak Shyam a very short version on one of his CD, and now this beautiful presentation with just the right accompaniment by Sri Kumar Bose.  Sets a perfect mood of devotion and communication with the divine One within all. Thank you for this.

Laura Close 
Well like you probably know Indian Classical music is very different from western music.
With Indian classical music listening and absorbing the music is very important, also watching the movements of the players is important.

Hindu Chants

Published on Mar 14, 2014

Traditional Music Channel

Rāgas and their seasons[edit]

Many Hindustani (North Indian) rāgas are prescribed for the particular time of a day or a season. When performed at the suggested time, the rāga has its maximum effect. For example, many of the Malhar group of rāgas, which are ascribed the magical power to bring rain, are performed during the monsoon. However, these prescriptions are not strictly followed, especially since modern concerts are generally held in the evening. There has also been a growing tendency over the last century for North Indian musicians to adopt South Indian rāgas, which do not come with any particular time associated with them. The result of these various influences is that there is increasing flexibility as to when rāgas may be performed.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

In Praise of Noach

Chassidic Dimension - Volume 2: Noach
Tishrei 29, 5775 · October 23, 2014

In Praise of Noach
The Torah portion Noach begins with the words: “These are the children of Noach. Noach was a righteous individual….”1 But only in the second verse does the Torah mention his three children, Shem, Cham and Yafes.
Rashi2 explains this seeming incongruity by noting that the phrase “Noach was a righteous individual….” is a parenthetical statement inserted in the first verse — “Since he [Noach] is mentioned, his praises are extolled, for it is written,3 ‘the mention of a righteous individual should be accompanied by his praise.’ ”
This, however, gives rise to the following question: Noach’s name was already mentioned in Bereishis ;4 seemingly, it is there that his name should have been accompanied by praise. Why does the Torah refrain from praising him until the portion Noach ?
Additionally, what is the reason for and the benefit of lauding the virtues of a righteous individual?
The Gemara5 informs us that Lashon Hara , slander, harms not only the teller and the listener, but the person being talked about as well.
Now it is quite understandable that spiritual harm befalls both the speaker and the hearer of slander, for both are engaged in an act which our Sages liken to the combined sins of idolatry, incestuous relationships and murder.6But why is the object of the slander spiritually affected? Why should he suffer when he had no part in this sin?
Consider. Speech reveals that which was previously concealed as thought. Speaking of another’s evil may thus have a detrimental effect on the slandered person; if the person’s evil had not been spoken about, it might have remained “concealed” and not come to realization.
The reason this is so is that man’s every action — especially speech, whose purpose is to reveal the concealed — has an effect. This may be felt either in a physical sense or on a spiritual plane, where the damage is perceived with higher and more refined senses.7
Thus it is related8 that a person was once quarreling with another in the Baal Shem Tov’s shul. In the heat of the moment, one of the disputants shouted that he would tear the other to pieces. The Baal Shem Tov revealed to his disciples how this act of dismemberment actually took place on a spiritual plane.
Yet “a good attribute is far more efficacious than a harmful one.”9 If speaking of another’s evil has a detrimental effect, then surely speaking of another’s good qualities has a salutary effect on the person being spoken of; he is more likely to realize his goodly potential and qualities.
If this is so with regard to praise by human beings, how much more so with regard to G-d’s praise of an individual, especially when this praise is included in the Torah itself!
This is why “the mention of a righteous individual should be accompanied by his praise”; by praising a person, one is actually assisting him in his righteous behavior.
The reason why Noach is first praised in the portion Noach rather than inBereishis will be understood accordingly:
While it is true that Noach’s name is mentioned earlier, it is specifically in the portion Noach that the Torah speaks of Noach with regard to the good deeds and spiritual service he attained on his own, as opposed to that with which he was favored from Above.
Since the reason for praising a righteous individual is to assist him in his divine service, and since Noach’s service begins in the Torah portion Noach, it follows that it is here that his name be “accompanied by his praise.”
The lesson to be derived in terms of our own service is obvious: A Jew should do his utmost to perceive the goodness of his fellow, and speak of his good traits and qualities. By doing so, he assists in revealing the goodness of the other, and at the same time helps the other in his spiritual passage through life.
Based on Likkutei Sichos , Vol. V, pp. 36-46.
1.Bereishis 6:9.
3.Mishlei 10:7.
4.5:29-30; 5:32; 6:8.
5.Erchin 15b.
7.HaYom Yom p. 100.
9.Sotah 11a.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Simon and the Oaks

Review Summary

With its exhilarating World War II narrative and performances that touch notes intimate and grand, “Simon and the Oaks” has an exquisite, and epic, ache. Simon’s parents are working-class Swedes, but he develops a surrogate family in his schoolmate Isak and Isak’s father — wealthy, German and Jewish. To help their troubled children, these contrasting sets of parents blend into an affecting unit that expands over the years, eventually forming a business together and spanning generations. What’s extraordinary is the absolute love these adults show for the children, even amid their searches for, and confrontations with, identity. Matters of the heart are thwarted in a most Chekhovian manner, except with added melodrama that includes a few nervous breakdowns (and one thrilling burning mansion). — David DeWitt
Most all of the actors are mesmerizing; Helen Sjoholm, as Simon’s mother, in particular is a deep well of complex feeling. Bill Skarsgard (Stellan’s son, Alexander’s brother) is less involving as the older Simon. That’s partly because the movie’s concluding scenes, perhaps reflecting their literary origin (a novel by Marianne Fredriksson), rob us of some emotional payoffs. Early scenes are problematic too, suggesting a magical realism that is mostly abandoned later.
Disappointments, yes, but hardly damning. “Simon and the Oaks,” with its big ideas of destiny and selfhood, is rooted in hearts doomed to break.

Simon and the Oaks

(Simon och ekarna)
2011NR2hr 2m
Our best guess for Edward:
3.3 stars
Average of 6,337 ratings:
3.3 stars
In this World War II-era drama, working-class Simon forms a bond with Isak, a wealthy Jewish boy bullied by his classmates and terrified of the Nazis

This is a wonderful film and I have to disagree with the other reviews. This film tells a complicated story set mostly in Norway before, during and after WWII. The story revolves around a young Norwegian boy and how his family copes with a secret involving the boy; how the boy interacts with another boy he meets at school and how the two families cope with events of the War and the Holocaust. The acting is superb, the cinematography incredible and I found myself intensely caring about the characters - all hallmarks of an excellent film. I cannot give Director Lisa Ohlin enough credit for the work she did on this film; the details of life in rural Norway, the settings in Oslo and Germany - all superb. The storyline is done so well that I was guessing through the very end. If you like a film with a lot of subtlety, complexity,and sensitivity you will love this film. This is Btranquilo and I highly recommend this gem of a film. This film deserves a much wider US audience.


The film is about Simon (Bill Skarsgård), growing up in a working-class family on the outskirts of Gothenburg during World War II. He is very talented and always felt different and an outsider. Against his parents' approval, he seeks to schools and education as a working kid normally not attend. There he meets Isaac (Karl Linnertorp), the son of a wealthy Jewish bookseller who fled persecution in Nazi Germany. The two boys and their families' lives are interwoven while war rages in Europe.

A Lively Siberian Dance

A Lively Siberian Dance
His crime was spreading Judaism; his punishment was many years of hard labor in Eastern Siberia. That is where Reb Asher Sasonkin found himself in prison camp with about 3000 others. Most of them were political prisoners, incarcerated for being "anti-revolutionary," but there were some hard-core criminals sentenced for various crimes of violence as well. The prisoners were divided into small groups of twelve called "brigades," with each brigade being led by a "brigadier," who also was a prisoner.
After some time, R. Asher was transferred to a different barrack in the camp, under the supervision of a different brigadier. He was happy about it because he quickly found there a quiet unobtrusive corner where he could pray without having to worry too much about intruding hostile eyes.
That first day, while praying in his "spot," he overheard a conversation between one of the other prisoners in his brigade and his new brigadier.
"On Saturday only eleven of us will be working," the prisoner informed his leader. This Zhid ('Yid'-'Jew') refuses to work on their Shabbat."
Sasonkin Asher.jpgThe brigadier responded quickly, "Don't worry. With me he won't be able to pull any tricks. He'll work on Saturday too, like everyone else."
"I advise you not to start up with this Zhid," rejoined the prisoner, a non-Jew, "otherwise you might get ridiculed." [The stubborn, against-all-odds successful Shabbat observance in the labor camp environment of Reb Asher (and a few other Chabad chasidim) was well-known in most of the Soviet prison camps -YT].
The very next day was Shemini Atzeret. The brigadier came over to Reb Asher and said, "Be ready, in just a few minutes we are setting out to work."
Sasonkin firmly shook his head, saying that he could not work this day.
"And tomorrow?" 
"Also not." 
"And why not?" queried the surprised brigadier. "Neither today nor tomorrow is Shabbat." 
Reb Asher explained quickly that these were the final two days of the Sukkot festival, so it was forbidden to work.
The brigadier recalled that in his youth he had seen Jews erecting flimsy wooden huts every autumn and camping in them for a few days. He smiled to himself and said, "Listen, I'm willing to allow you to not work, but you must leave together with us for the workplace and be there with all the other workers."
Reb Asher happily assented.
About 200 men arrived at the designated place, which turned out to be a construction site. It was a huge area enclosed by layers of barbed wire, filled with buildings and other structures in various phases of incompletion. The workers spread throughout the area to their assigned projects, Reb Asher ducked into a building that was a bit distant from the others and with no one else there. "A quiet place to davven (pray)." He thought to himself, and immediately began the morning service for the festival, which fortunately he knew by heart.
Absorbed in his prayers, he wasn't conscious of the hours flying by, when suddenly a young man from his brigade came running in. "Here you are!" he exclaimed. He began speaking very fast. Reb Asher could see that he was extremely nervous, frightened even.
"What are you doing? Don't you realize that it is already lunchtime? The officer discovered that you weren't present. He told the chief guard, who exploded in anger. He even threatened our brigadier that he would lock him in solitary confinement for 15 days. The brigadier is pleading and making every excuse he can think of, but the chief guard keeps insisting that since he is the brigadier, he is the one responsible and must be punished. Hurry! Maybe your appearance will calm down the officer."
The two of them ran as fast as they could to where their brigade was gathered. The brigadier immediately confronted Reb Asher. His face was pale and fearful. "This is how you repay the favor I did for you?" Reb Asher apologized sincerely, and tried to explain that he had lost track of the time while he was praying.
The brigadier calmed down somewhat, and instructed to serve lunch to the prisoners. To Reb Asher however, he insisted that he remain close to him and stay within eyesight. Meanwhile, Reb Asher was becoming quite apprehensive. "If the officer became so angered at the brigadier to the extent he was prepared to punish him with 15 days of solitary confinement, what will happen to me?" he worried to himself. He briefly considered running off and hiding somewhere until tempers cooled off, but he quickly realized that could backfire and complicate his situation even further.
While these thoughts were tumbling around in his head as he stood next to the brigadier all of a sudden the officer strode up to them. Reb Asher felt his blood was about to freeze in his veins. He quickly snuck a glance at the officer expecting the worst. Much to his surprise though, nothing happened.
The officer shot him a sharp, penetrating gaze, but then a brief smile played on his lips, and he continued on his way without saying a word.
When mealtime was ended, the brigadier told two other prisoners to be responsible for Reb Asher, threatening them with dire consequences if he should disappear again.
The sun set. It became evening. That meant it was already Simchat Torah, yet there he was, stuck in the labor camp under watchful eyes. He began to think about the holiness of the festival, its prayers that everyone prayed, and its songs that were sung in every synagogue. He recalled the joyous dancing and the happy faces. "But I, what kind of Simchat Torah can I have here in such a place? If only I could at least sing loudly a Simchat Torah song in honor of the festival."
At that moment, one of the two prisoners assigned to prevent him disappearing turned towards him and said, "You are supposed to be working just as we are. It is only because of your holiday that you are exempted. At least sing for us one of your lively Jewish holiday tunes."
Reb Asher thanked G-d in his heart. Almost immediately he responded to the request which so neatly matched his own desire and began to sing a Simchat Torah "hakafa" dance melody. His arms he loosely folded in front of his chest as if he were in shul and clasping one of the mantle-covered Torah scrolls. He closed his eyes and started to dance around in a circle while continuing to sing.
"These two gentiles think that I am dancing for their sake," he thought to himself, "but in truth I am dancing in honor of the Torah."
He continued to prance around enthusiastically, and danced and whirled for a long time. When he finally ceased, the two who had been watching him in amazement with big smiles, clapped their hands loudly and called out "Bravobravo! Great!"
This was just the beginning of his joyful "virtual" Simchat Torah. At the end of their workday, when the prisoners all gathered together to be counted, one of Reb Asher's 'escorts' addressed the assembly with a loud proclamation: "This Zhid knows how to sing and dance really well. Ask him for a demonstration and see for yourselves."
Implied was that this would be compensation for the long afternoon of work caused by his disappearance. Reb Asher didn't wait to be invited a second time. He leapt into the lively dance, even more energetically than before, all the while singing happy Simchat Torah songs one after another, while keeping his eyes tightly shut.
For the 200 prisoner onlookers it was somewhat of a bizarre sight to see a religious Jew hopping about and singing and dancing so energetically. They all wore broad smiles and clapped their hands loudly to the beat of each song's rhythm.
In those moments, totally absorbed in the rapture of his singing and dancing, Reb Asher forgot completely that he was in a grueling labor camp, in primitive distant Siberia, and forgot even that he was a prisoner. He remembered only that he was a Jew, and a chasid, and that the day was Simchat Torah. In his heart and soul, he was dancing furiously in the wild Simchat Torah celebration in the Lubavich synagogue of his beloved Rebbe, as he always did every year before, and prayed to be able to do year after year in the future, whether in Rostov or in Petersburg on in Brooklyn.
Source: Translated and adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from the Hebrew weekly Sichat HaShavua #1082. (First published on // .) Graphic by Rifca-Leah Goldberg of Tsfat for //
Biographical note: 
 Asher Sasonkin[?- 5 Heshvan 5748 (Oct. 1988 C.E.)] spent many years in Siberia for the "crime" of helping to keep Judaism alive in communist USSR. After his release, he made his way to Brooklyn, where he served as a shammes in "770" (Lubavitch International Headquarters Synagogue) for the rest of his life, and where his fiery prayers inspired new generations of young chasidim

Friday, October 17, 2014



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the goddesses. For other uses, see Muse (disambiguation).
The nine muses — CalliopeClioEuterpeEratoMelpomene,PolyhymniaTerpsichoreThalia and Urania — on a Romansarcophagus (2nd century AD, from the Louvre)
The Muses (Ancient GreekΜοῦσαι Mousai; perhaps from the o-grade of the Proto-Indo-European root *men-"think")[1] in Greek mythologypoetry and literature, are the goddesses of the inspiration of literaturescience andthe arts. They were considered the source of the knowledge, related orally for centuries in the ancient culture, that was contained in poetic lyrics and myths.
The Muses, the personification of knowledge and the arts, especially literature, dance and music, are the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (who was memorypersonified). Sometimes they are referred to as waternymphs, associated with the springs of Helicon and withPieris. According to Pausanias in the later 2nd century AD,[2] there were three original Muses, worshiped on Mount Heliconin Boeotia. In later tradition, four Muses were recognised: ThelxinoëAoedēArche, and Meletē, said to be daughters of Zeus and Plusia or of Uranus. In Renaissance and Neoclassical art, the dissemination of emblem books such as Cesare Ripa's Iconologia (1593 and many further editions) helped standardize the depiction of the Muses in sculpture and painting.
The Muses were both the embodiments and sponsors of performed metrical speech: mousike (hence the English term "music") was just "one of the arts of the Muses". Others included Science, Geography, Mathematics, Philosophy, and especially Art, Drama, and inspiration. Some authors invoke Muses when writing poetry, hymns or epic history. The invocation typically occurs at or near the beginning, and calls for help or inspiration, or simply invites the Muse to sing through the author. The British poet Robert Graves popularised the concept of the Muse-poet in modern times.[citation needed]His concept was based on pre-12th century traditions of the Celtic poets, the tradition of the medieval troubadours who celebrated the concept of courtly love, and the romantic poets.

Thursday, October 16, 2014



Unit 731 General Facts

Most of us heard about the horrible experiments on humans of the Nazis done by doctor Mengele. But the Nazis weren’t alone in conducting cruel experiments on humans.
One of the lesser known atrocities of the 20th century was committed by the Imperial Japanese Army’s Unit 731. Some of the details of this unit’s activities are still uncovered. This webpage was set up to collect and organize the information known to date about Unit 731 and present it to anyone interested.
For 40 years, the horrific activities of "Unit 731" remained one the most closely guarded secrets of World War II. It was not until 1984 that Japan acknowledged what it had long denied - vile experiments on humans conducted by the unit in preparation for germ warfare.
Deliberately infected with plague, anthrax, cholera and other pathogens, an estimated 3,000 of enemy soldiers and civilians were used as guinea pigs. Some of the more horrific experiments included vivisection without anesthesia and pressure chambers to see how much a human could take before his eyes popped out.
Unit 731 complexUnit 731 was set up in 1938 in Japanese-occupied China with the aim of developing biological weapons. It also operated a secret research and experimental school in Shinjuku, central Tokyo. Its head was Lieutenant Shiro Ishii.
The unit was supported by Japanese universities and medical schools which supplied doctors and research staff. The picture now emerging about its activities is horrifying. According to reports never officially admitted by the Japanese authorities, the unit used thousands of Chinese and other Asian civilians and wartime prisoners as human guinea pigs to breed and develop killer diseases.
Many of the prisoners, who were murdered in the name of research, were used in hideous vivisection and other medical experiments, including barbaric trials to determine the effect of frostbite on the human body.
Manchurian - Plague victims (1910-1911)To ease the conscience of those involved, the prisoners were referred to not as people or patients but as "Maruta", or wooden logs. Before Japan’s surrender, the site of the experiments was completely destroyed, so that no evidence is left.
Then, the remaining 400 prisoners were shot and employees of the unit had to swear secrecy. The mice kept in the laboratory were then released, which could have cost the lives of 30,000 people, since the mice were infected with the bubonic plague, and they spread the disease.
Few of those involved with Unit 731 have admitted their guilt.
Some caught in China at the end of the war were arrested and detained, but only a handful of them were prosecuted for war crimes.
In Japan, not one was brought to justice. In a secret deal, the post-war American administration gave them immunity for prosecution in return for details of their experiments.
Some of the worst criminals, including Hisato Yoshimura, who was in charge of the frostbite experiments, went on to occupy key medical and other posts in public and private sectors.

War Atrocity

Published: March 17, 1995
He is a cheerful old farmer who jokes as he serves rice cakes made by his wife, and then he switches easily to explaining what it is like to cut open a 30-year-old man who is tied naked to a bed and dissect him alive, without anesthetic.
"The fellow knew that it was over for him, and so he didn't struggle when they led him into the room and tied him down," recalled the 72-year-old farmer, then a medical assistant in a Japanese Army unit in China in World War II. "But when I picked up the scalpel, that's when he began screaming.
"I cut him open from the chest to the stomach, and he screamed terribly, and his face was all twisted in agony. He made this unimaginable sound, he was screaming so horribly. But then finally he stopped. This was all in a day's work for the surgeons, but it really left an impression on me because it was my first time."
Finally the old man, who insisted on anonymity, explained the reason for the vivisection. The Chinese prisoner had been deliberately infected with the plague as part of a research project -- the full horror of which is only now emerging -- to develop plague bombs for use in World War II. After infecting him, the researchers decided to cut him open to see what the disease does to a man's inside. No anesthetic was used, he said, out of concern that it might have an effect on the results.
SoldiersBut the Unit was not only infamous for its vivisections. Some prisoners sent to Unit 731 were taken outside and tied to stakes. The Japanese would then test new biological weapons such as plague cultures or bombs filled with plague-infested fleas on them.
Other studies involved exposing human guinea pigs, called 'logs' by the Japanese scientists, to their limits. Humans were locked inside pressure chambers to test how much the body could take before their eyes popped out.
Some human test subjects were taken outside during the harsh winter until their limbs froze off for the doctors to experiment how best to treat frostbite.
Unit 731 Cold experiment

Since the Japanese army used poison gas during the war, one of the Unit 731’s mission was to develop a more potent poison gas, thus prisoners were subjected to poisoning.
In 1984, a graduate student at Keio Medical University in Tokyo found records of human experiments in a bookstore. The pages described the effects of massive dosages of tetanus vaccine. There were tables describing the length of time it took victims to die and recorded the muscle spasms in their bodies.
At least 3,000 people, not just Chinese but also Russians, Mongolians and Koreans, died from the experiments performed by Unit 731 between 1939 and 1945. No prisoner came out alive of the Unit’s gates.
During the war, the Japanese Imperial Army used biological weapons developed and manufactured by Unit 731's laboratory in Harbin throughout China, killing or injuring an estimated 300,000 people.


For its part, the Japanese government did not acknowledge the existence of Unit 731 until recently. When it became apparent that Japan would be defeated, Japanese soldiers destroyed the headquarters of Unit 731.
The Chinese later rebuilt some of the main buildings and began setting up a museum in 1982.
Eight years ago, 180 Chinese victims and families of victims sued the Japanese government, demanding an apology, compensation and a full disclosure of Unit 731's activities. Last month, the Tokyo High Court acknowledged the existence of Unit 731 but upheld a lower court ruling that denied the plaintiffs compensation.
None of the Japanese scientists in Unit 731 was ever punished.
General Douglas MacArthurIn 1946, US General Douglas MacArthur granted all the Japanese scientists immunity from war crimes prosecution in exchange for the germ warfare data gathered from experiments in Harbin.
As explained in an internal War Department memorandum, dated June 23, 1947: "Since it is believed that the USSR possesses only a small portion of the technical information, and since any war-crimes action would completely reveal such data to all nations, it is felt that such publicity must be avoided in the interests of defense and security of the U.S.
It is believed also that the war-crimes prosecution of Gen. Ishii and his associates would serve to stop the flow of much additional information of a technical and scientific nature."
Gen. Ishii lived on the outskirts of Tokyo until his death in 1959. Other "graduates" of Unit 731 include the former governor of Tokyo, the former president of the Japan Medical Association, the former director of the health ministry's preventive health research centre, the former chairman and president of Green Cross Corp. and the past heads of a number of Japanese medical schools. The man in charge of vivisections, Yoshisuke Murata, became director of the respected Kyoto University medical school, and later medical director at Kinki University.
In 1981, a fictionalized work by journalist Seiichi Morimura was published called Gluttonous Devils, which was based in part on interviews with surviving Japanese who worked at the laboratory. It was filled with accounts of victims being subjected to freezing, high pressure and

Yoshio Shinozuka

As all the prisoners of Unit 731 were killed, and the employees swore secrecy about the experiments, first-hand testimonies are very hard to come by.
Yoshio Shinozuka, 69, of Yokaichi City, east of Tokyo, was a 15-year-old Imperial Army Youth Corps cadet when he was assigned to Unit 731 in Manchuria in May, 1939. He stayed with the unit until August, 1943.
After the war, he remained with an active unit in China, was arrested there in 1952 along with other former Unit 731 members and detained until 1956 without being prosecuted.
He said he had been assigned to a germ-producing section of Unit 731 which had experimented mostly with rats, and also had been involved with epidemic prevention research.
From time to time, more experienced Youth Corps members were asked to help with human experiments although security was tight and secrecy obsessive.
"There was a special cell (for human experiments) which had a window but it was almost impossible to see in," he said. "It had iron doors which were always locked and guarded. To get in, you needed special permits and a pass with a photograph, and the entrance and exit times were recorded. It was very strict.
"Towards the end of my time with the unit I went in twice when maruta experiments were being conducted. The two people seemed to have just died and had been opened up.
"My job was to collect parts containing the bacteria and put them in a glass case . . . for confirmation of how far the disease had spread through the body."
Mr Shinozuka said that after four years of training with, and "brain-washing" by, the unit, he knew what was happening at Harbin and was not surprised at what he saw in the cell. He had not even felt guilt at being part of it.
It was only after the war, when he was in custody of the Chinese, that he had become aware of the full horror of Unit 731's activities.
"Before the war, we were told we'd have to fight to protect ourselves, our families and the Japanese people.
"When we were detained by the Chinese, we found the authorities treated us humanely, whereas I saw our treatment of them had been inhumane. We were surprised," he said.
"That's one reason I've decided to speak out. The other is that what really happened with Unit 731 had to be made public so that it will never be repeated. Our young people have to be told the truth."