Could someone translate a Chinese diagram for me?


It’s this one, here. Actually, it’s two diagrams—the one on the left seems to be a clearer rendering of the one on the right, which I think might actually be written in Japanese, though it’s hard to make out.

It’s not actually a very large amount of text—and I think the gist of it is something like “platforms were 3’ by 5’, and arranged in concentric circles at 10, 15, and 20 yards.” But I don’t know for sure. Can anyone help?

The diagram on the right is in Japanese. The unit of measurement there is meter.

Terrific, but…by any chance, could you tell me what the rest of it says? I was just guessing from the context, myself.

This appears to be a diagram from the Unit 731, “a covert biological warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) and World War II.” (Wiki)

The kanji are hard to read, but it looks like this is from the Anta Testing Site where they did open air testing.

The sentence on the right says, “The subjects (literally “logs” which is what the unit called the subjects) are placed at various distances from the center at 10 m, 15 m and 20 m. The kanji above the “H” in the square says “about 150 (m).” The unit isn’t shown, but can be verified from the Chinese on the left.

The Chinese diagram is much easier to read. If you need anything further translated let me know and I can consult my Taiwanese wife.

Translators comments. This was one of the darkest parts of Japanese history.

Thank you, I’d appreciate it, if she wouldn’t mind—I’m looking for what technical information the diagram conveys (like, what the size of the platform depicted; what signifigance the “150 meters” distance has, if stated, etc. The more the better).

I hear ya. And not nearly as well brought to justice as it could have been by some of the allies, I’m sorry to say. :frowning:

The Chinese on the left is a straight translation of the Japanese on the right. To complete the translation:

Left side:
三尺 3 shaku (1 shaku = 10/33 m = 30.3cm)
ベニヤ板 Plywood board
目隠し Blindfold
紐で縛る Tie with a string
六尺 6 shaku
後手に縛ってある Hands tied behind the back
足錠 Leg shackles
地面 Ground

Right side:
ベニヤ板に縛られた「丸太」 “Logs” tied to plywood boards (“Log” as in a wooden log.)
標的中心指示柱 Target center indicator pole (Partly illegible but recovered from Chinese.)
Then follows the text TokyoPlayer translated.
At the bottom:
退避した七三一隊員 Unit 731 members who have taken shelter

The Chinese version shows that 150m is the distance between the “logs” and the sheltered unit members.

Looks like you’ve got it jovan. I had most of it but was waiting for confirmation from the wife.

Do you read Chinese as well?

To some extent, at least well enough to understand what the linked text said. (Though the Japanese version helped for words like “plywood”). It’s interesting that the Chinese text translates the Japanese 丸太 not as “log” but phonetically: ma-lu-ta. (Maruta in Japanese.)

Ranchoth, can you give some background. This is one page taken from Japanese and translated into simplified Chinese. Some context would really make this a lot easier to understand. I can make some educated guesses. My wife, who is a native Chinese speaker, understands it less than I do.

The left hand side is a diagram/directions for (educated guess) how to make a reuseable execution frame that holds a victim that will be shot.

Right hand side depicts what might be a design for target practice on a group of those victims. eg, the center of the group has rings of these execution frames. One ring at 10 meters, one at 15 meters and one at 20 meters. Then from 150 meters away.

this is phrased as a request. Eg, Note: action item: prepare 3 circles of these wood frames…

I believe the bottom sentence means “avoid setting this up so rifle fire is not in line with the 371 group”

Net net, I think it’s a plan to have a combined target practice/reuseable execution field for use by members of Unit 371 to kill chinese/manchurians. :eek:

Gah, so much for preview and editing.

It should be Unit 731.. You can search on Unit 731 and find tons of stuff.

Unintential double negative. bottom sentence means, “set this up so the line of rifle fire avoids Unit 731.”

Background? Well, the Chinese writing version was taken from Unit 731: Japanese Germ Warfare Unit in China, which is published by a museum in Ping Fan, China. The one written in Japanese was, by the station “bug” in the lower corner, apparently captured from a History Channel documentary. I hadn’t known that this was originally a Japanese document—and I don’t know if it was made during or after the war.

And by the arrangement of the prisoners, I’d say it’s not a target practice or execution field—it’s more likely for the testing of biological weapons; either from the detonation of a small BW bomb in the center of the field, or simply the release of biological agents or vectors (i.e. plague fleas) from a container. It’s a somewhat small area to test in, compared to biowarfare tests in other countries—in the US Q-Fever tests on human volunteers in 1955, the test subjects were over half a mile away from the agent release point—but the Japanese germ warfare program was pretty crude, by comparison (plus, people who use unwilling human test subjects for medical/military experiments tend, I’ve noticed, not to be very good scientists).

OK, that makes more sense. A biological testing on live subjects in the open, with the victims 10, 15 and 20 meters away from the release.

J dopers, I looked at some 731 links, and the victims are referred to in the english translation as “maruta” or “logs.” So, in this translation, this is “victim” and not “wooden stake in the ground.” Learned something new.

The Japanese called the prisoners simply “marutas”, wooden logs. This slang derived from the cover story for Ping Fan during the construction period: The Chinese laborers and inhabitants of Ping Fan were told that the huge Ping Fan complex was destined to become a sawmill.