Like Korea, northeastern China was colonized by Japan in the lead-up to a full-blown invasion during World War II. The germ warfare unit of the Japanese army, the 731, established a research and testing facility in Harbin's outskirts, where they carried out gruesome experiments on citizens, including testing flea bombs, live dissection, and freeze and thaw tests. The site is now a well-curated modern museum with good English descriptions. From the railway station, take either the 338 or 343 bus. Pay 1 yuan when you board, and pay another 1 yuan when you exit.
The museum traces the chronology of events leading to Japan's setting up of Unit 731, the awful experiments and what they were trying to achieve, and the destruction of evidence after Japan was defeated. The saddest part was at the end when the US didn't bring the responsible Japanese officials up to account in order to access their research, and the achievements these war criminals were able to make after they returned to Japan.
In this experiment, people were tied up and an aerial germ bomb was dropped so to test the aftermath of a chemical attack.
In this experiment, a person's hands are frozen then hot water is poured to test the thawing results.
Workers needed a safe source of water to decontaminate themselves when conducting experiments. The clean water was stored in these types of vats.
After visiting the modern museum, the walkway heads outside towards some of the remaining buildings from the unit.
Harbin Gallery Main Page