Getting from Harbin to Mudanjiang

With the following type of writing, a question exists as to how much description is necessary, of the choice of theme, or the illustrative capacity of any given action.  What makes for invigorating “travel writing,” and what makes for mundane work in the same genre?  Or is it the place of academics to be constantly contextualizing everything, which is to say, “overreading” every gesture, encounter, … Continue reading Getting from Harbin to Mudanjiang

Unit 731: Korean Victims and World Heritage

As anyone who has read Sheldon Harris’ essential book Factories of Death can tell you, the actions of the Japanese Kwantung Army’s “Water Purification Unit” 731 based outside of Harbin were ghastly and inhumane in the extreme.  And although Unit 731’s mastermind, that European traveller and student of WWI, Ishii Shiro, tried to have the whole immense facility razed before the Soviet Red Army arrived … Continue reading Unit 731: Korean Victims and World Heritage