Recently I was talking with a friend of mine who lives in Japan.
He'd been traveling a little around South East Asia, and knowing that I run this blog, passed on some of his (for lack of another term) dark tourism photography to me. (I should probably add that I did edit them slightly)
1. The killing fields (phnom penh, Cambodia)
Between 1975 and 1979, Cambodia was under the control of the Khmer Rouge regime.
Over 1 million civilians were murdered as a part of a genocide implemented by the state.
The skeletal remains of it's victims lay in mass graves to this day.
You can watch a documentary on the Killing Fields here [X]
Above is a picture of a (Chankiri) tree which executioners would smash the skulls of babies and infants against (while often feigning enjoyment) to save on ammunition.
The children were the sons and daughters of those thought to have committed crimes against the regime.
The execution of the infants was seen as an end to the family line and thus the end of any future issues.
(The sign outside of S-21)
These are from "Security Prison 21" (or S-21) a former high school turned processing center at the hands of the Khmer Rouge.
In order to make prisoners confess to crimes they were often not responsible for they would be heavily tortured.
They would be shocked, cut, waterboarded and in some cases skinned. Some would be used in brutal medical experiments that resulted in slow painful deaths.
Most of the prisoners were dragged out into the killing fields at night and executed.
So many were executed that space for burial became limited, and the bones of those previously buried began to break the surface. Today S-21 is a museum.
The photographs of those who suffered and died hang on the walls.
You can watch a documentary on S-21 here [X]
Above: The gallows outside of the S-21 prison in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, at the site of the killing fields.
As part of their torture and interrogation, prisoners would be strung upside down with their arms bound behind their backs. When they lost consciousness their heads would be dipped into ceramic pots of stagnant water below them and they would be subjected to further torture.
2. Seodaemun Prison (Seoul, South Korea)
Seodaemun was used as a prison during the Japanese rule over Korea (1910-1945) There was around 3000-3500 liberation activists imprisoned here at one time despite the maximum capacity being 300 persons. They would be tortured into confessions, malnourished due to lack of food and executed.
(Photographs of prisoners)
A sword, cane and dagger carried and used by a Japanese warden at the prison.
Members of the independence would be tortured into confessions and executed here.
3. Abashiri prison (Hokkaido, Japan)
Abashiri prison was built by shackled prisoners upon a hill, between the ocean and a lake, over a century ago in the quiet town of Abashiri on the island of Hokkaido in Japan. The isolated location was chosen specifically for the difficultly it would pose to any escaping prisoners.
The prison had the capacity to house around 1000 inmates, however it was overcrowded with what Japan considered its most terrible criminals, including members of the Yakuza.
The prisoners would be put to work and made to expand the town through labor work that was so intense that many of them died.
There is a great review of a visitors trip to the prison on this site [X]
Well that's all for this post.