The Nanjing "Murder Race"
Extracts from Harold Timperley's What War Means, London: V.Gollancz (1968)
On December 7, 1937, the Japan advertiser, an American-owned and edited
English-language daily paper in Tokyo, published the following item:
SUB-LIEUTENANTS IN RACE
Sub-lieutenant Toshiaki Mukai and Sub-lieutenant Takeshi Noda,
both of the Katagiri unit at Kuyung, in a friendly contest to see
which of them will first fell 100 Chinese in individual sword combat
before the Japanese forces completely occupy Nanking, are well in the
final phase of their race, running almost neck to neck. On Sunday when
their unit was fighting outside Kuyung, the "score", according to the
Asahi, was: Sub-lieutenant Mukai, 89, and Sub-lieutenant Noda, 78.
TO FELL 100 CHINESE
RUNNING CLOSE CONTEST
On December 14, 1937, the same paper published the following additional
CONTEST TO KILL FIRST 100 CHINESE
The winner of the competition between Sub-lieutenant Toshiaki Mukai
and Sub-lieutenant Iwao Noda to see who would be the first to kill 100
Chinese with his Yamato sword has not been decided, the Nichi Nichi
reports from the slopes of Purple Mountain, outside Nanking. Mukai has a
score of 106 and his rival has dispatched 105 men, but the two contestants
have found it impossible to determine which passed the 100 mark first.
Instead of settling it with a discussion, they are going to extend the goal
WITH SWORD EXTENDED WHEN BOTH
FIGHTERS EXCEED MARK
Mukai's blade was slightly damaged in the competition. He explained
that this was the result of cutting a Chinese in half, helmet and all. The
contest was "fun", he declared, and he thought it a good thing that both
men had gone over the 100 mark without knowing that the other had done so.
Early Saturday morning, when the Nichi Nichi man interviewed the
Sub-lieutenant at a point overlooking Dr. Sun Yat-sen's tomb, another
Japanese unit set fire to the slopes of Purple Mountain in an attempt to
drive out the Chinese troops. The action also smoked out Sub-lieutenant
Mukai and his unit, and the men stood idly by while bullets passed overhe
"Not a shot hits me while I am holding this sword on my shoulder",
he explained confidently.
C h i n a N e w s D i g e s t
Europe/Pacific Regional News (CND-EP, No. EP97-015) August 1, 1997
From: "HENRY Y. WANG"
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 1997 12:49:01 -0400
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