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Japan insists no mystery behind skulls at Chicago consulate

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“We reported the case to Chicago police soon after the box arrived and carried out the examination in cooperation with local police,” he said.

Three months is not "soon".

the box had been properly stored.

What does that even mean?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I can see that. People have human skulls as mementos. It could have been appropriately labled and packaged. I am sure it wasn't a blood dripping cardboard box full of horrified heads

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The newspaper said it was not clear why there had been a three-month delay in the transfer to law enforcement officers.

Simple. There is no one in the Japanese Chicago consulate that has 'repatriate WWII soldiers' bones back to Japan' in their job description. Therefore, everyone 'assumed' someone else would do it. Then a janitor found the bones, freaked out, and the consulate was forced to do something. Easy. Part of Japanese culture.

I pity the person who sent the bones to the Japanese consulate assuming that they would be respectfully repatriated and enshrined in a shrine or temple. Then reads that the consulate 'forgot' about them for three months. The person who sent the bones is probably either a very old WWII veteran or their offspring hoping to make amends.

11 ( +16 / -6 )

The victors get to write the history, but atrocities were committed on both sides. War time always brings propaganda that dehumanize the enemy making it easier to kill, like shooting vermin. It was routine to shoot all survivors and search the bodies for souvenirs, often in the form of extracting gold fillings, sometimes from live soldiers. It was also a common practice to decapitate and clean the skulls to take home as war momentos. A friend told me that his uncle had brought home such a souvenir. This uncle had served in the European theater prior to the Pacific and observed that the latter was one of hateful extermination. I remember the Japanese government asking for the skulls after discovering the remains of so many Japanese soldiers without their heads. Unfortunately, there were 2 more wars against Asian foes after WW2 and trade friction to keep some of the hate propaganda alive.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

In Japan, it takes a month and a stack of wasted paper (request forms) to get approval ironically for printer paper from the head office. Can you imagine how long getting skulls and remains checked out and shipped back to Japan will take?

12 ( +13 / -1 )

There are so many inconsistencies in this report that it's difficult to know where to begin...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

actually 3 months is pretty quick for remains id - i suspect the police will do the same - try to get dna analysis- fail and then you will see the US Government get involved with the remains detail.

next time you here about this it will next year some time

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan’s foreign ministry insists there is no mystery behind human skulls stored at its consulate in Chicago for three months, saying officials were checking if they were the remains of WWII soldiers.

Consular officials turned the bones over to police earlier this month after concluding that they may not be Japanese, the official said.

Hmmm...For something that is not supposed to be 'mysterious', this sure does raise more questions than it answers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Borscht you nailed haha, anything that's a bit off the beaten track can really through office types into the ole Doshio???? mode & then time starts to rack up

0 ( +1 / -1 )

the box had been properly stored.

What does that even mean?

Well.. none of the skulls escaped, did they?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nothing 'mysterious' about it, perhaps, but most definitely laziness and a complete lack of respect and solemnity in regards to the potential remains. I hope the people who eventually get these back, if its discovered who the remains are, are told about how the box was stuffed in storage and forgotten about. Or maybe they just mislabeled it.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

The WW2 war souvenir scenario is plausible, although I recall reading a few years ago that divers in the lagoon at Truk, where many Japanese transport vessels were sunk, were collecting skulls. On a slightly different note, the son of friend of mine was contacted about an American wanting to return his "late" father's Shin-gunto (military sword used by officers). They got the name of the name engraved on the handle. The father was still alive (in his 80s) but according to Japanese law he was not allowed to keep it, because only antiques are recognized as legal by the Firearms and Swords Control Law.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

http://www.jssus.org/nkp/japanese_sword_laws.html

On a slightly different note, the son of friend of mine was contacted about an American wanting to return his "late" father's Shin-gunto (military sword used by officers). They got the name of the name engraved on the handle. The father was still alive (in his 80s) but according to Japanese law he was not allowed to keep it, because only antiques are recognized as legal by the Firearms and Swords Control Law.

Your information is inaccurate and it's a shame that the man couldn't have kept it based upon your explanation here. New and antique swords can and are kept here in Japan. They just have to be properly registered and the registration paper has to stay with the sword at all times.

Read the link. (In English)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There is No Mystery like a Japanese mystery, someone found the skeletons in the closet, in this case a box!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But what if they are aliens! In any event, people are too hung up on the treatment of the dead. My aunt lived in a cardboard box over the piano for a few months before she was transferred somewhere more dignified.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

im guessing the whole issue caused a few headaches for the consulate oficials.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A non-mystery on par with Yale University's secret society Skull and Bones membership pledge rituals.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Reckon any heads might roll due to this mishap?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I can see that. People have human skulls as mementos. It could have been appropriately labled and packaged. I am sure it wasn't a blood dripping cardboard box full of horrified heads

Exactly! Heck during the Vietnam War, some soldiers had necklaces of Vietnamese teeth or bones. My bet is a WWII veteran passed away and his son or daughter was the one who sent them out of respect.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Three months is not "soon".

The way the article reads, the consulate contacted the Chicago police back when the box was first delivered, and asked for time to check on whether they really were Japanese remains. The Chicago police, not wanting to step into a diplomatic pile of international doodoo, OK'd the delay. Once Japanese officials determined the bones were not likely Japanese, they turned it over to the police along with the original container and letter.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why would anyone in their right mind take the skull of an enemy home? Or teeth, or bones in general. It's sick! It sounds like a practice from the Middle Ages.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why would anyone in their right mind take the skull of an enemy home? Or teeth, or bones in general. It's sick! It sounds like a practice from the Middle Ages.

War is a practice from back then, too. I imagine if you could go back in history to the first-ever war between factions, you'd find that trophies were taken. If you wanted to state that war is sick, I'll agree with you 100%.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So what the Japanese Consulate is saying is that "there is no skeleton hiding in the closet".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Envelope will be examined for invisible fingerprint. Also Fingerpront on bones and sculls. Then examination of bones if Mongoloid pr Caucasoid as midseast used to be Mafioso;s burial sites years ago.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It'd be nice if they said how they know they're not Japanese.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_mutilation_of_Japanese_war_dead#Trophy_taking

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The age of skull must be about 69 years old. There were many American disappeared people. Mideast. Maybe skull of Jimmy Hoffa? Uiniv of Chicago anthropologists can examine skull to determine about how old and if Japanese or not. Meanwhile, fingerprints check machine will enable to find who sent skull to Japanese Comsulate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Skulls could be from Korean or Taiwanese soldiers from Imperial Japanese Army if they are not from Japanese soldiers. US soldier thought they were Japanese and took home for WWII souvenir after WWI end. Government should be thoroughly research and seek sender help. They should be honor as its former soldiers if they were killed as Japanese soldier in WWII.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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