Those who were killed and eaten as medicinal material

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Medicinal Human

An Exhibit in Miracle Exposition in 1935, Savage Paste, Savage Soup, Savage Penis, Savage Entrails etc.


※Reminder:※ This entry mentions about human cannibalism in history and may be disturbing for readers. Please be careful.12

To remember history, and to build up tomorrow.



Human cannibalism is a historical sin shared across different cultures and regions. This entry merely discusses the cannibalistic history of Han Chinese towards Taiwanese indigenous people. Distinct from that of other cultures, it was not famine that caused Han Chinese in Taiwan to consume human beings, but they believed that eating indigenous could somehow bring about curative effects and good luck. So this entry refers to victims of early Taiwanese cannibalistic culture as "medicinal humans" without any disrespect.

In fact, a small portion of medicinal humans had their corpses containing special properties for unknown mechanism. A theory assumed that it had association with Sarkicism3 development in the East Asia. However, Han Chinese's tendency to hunt and eat indigenous people in Taiwan had been recorded since at least 1892 while no evidence supporting Nälkä had been brought into Taiwan before 1970s.45 Therefore, it could be assumed that the cannibalism before 1970s is spontaneously developed among Han Chinese in Taiwan or bad habits brought in by Ming and Qing immigrants.67 And those customs contained anomalous properties from the begining.




A photo of Atayal people taken in 1900 by an anthropologist, Torii Ryūzō. The photo is only for illustration purpose only; people pictured in it was not the subject of this entry.


Traits: Han Chinese has a long history for cannibalism, tending to consider human flesh to be curative. It was prevalent in Tang Empire (618~907) for a person to slice meat from their own thighs and feed it to their parents as a medical treatment. Such cannibalistic convention had remained for a long time, continuing to at least Qing Empire ruling period (1636~1912). This cannibalistic convention was then brought to Taiwan.

Some Han Chinese in Taiwan hunted indigenous people and made them into a variety of food and medicine.89 During Qing ruling period, Taiwanese indigenous people were divided into two groups, raw savages生番 or cooked savages熟番.10 The raw savages were those who the Qing government could not control with its power while the cooked ones were those who had accepted Qing ruling and had to pay tax and do hard labor for the government. It was usually the former that made into medicinal humans.

The victims were processed through several methods. The bones were usually cooked into jelly-like material called savage paste. The flesh would be eaten and made into savage soup or savage entrails1112 or so; gallbladders were considered curative for incised wounds and leg bones for leg illness. Some people even believed that you could acquire raw savages' smell through eating those people, so that you were not going to be a target of their headhunting.131415 Due to these superstition about curative effects, the medicinal human victims' body were usually disassembled and sold in a high price. Although such conduction was forbidden by Qing government during Qing ruling period (1683~1895), historic documents indicates that the convention had not vanished even until Japanese Taiwan period (1895~1945). Old slangs for such convention are even handed down to recent days. These might have explained how universal such issue was in Taiwan.


Nature: Some medicinal humans possess different anomalous effects for unknown reason. Ironically, these effects never matched the intention of Han Chinese making medicinal humans; none of them are curative. The following is a list we made out of leaked information from Imperial Japanese Anomalous Matters Examination Agency (generally called IJAMEA nowadays). As the source are quite old, we could not make a totally integrated chart. It would be nice of any interested comrades to add further research result.
Case# Body Part Used Usage Type of Effects Results
001 Gallbladder Topical usage for incised wound Psychiatric effects The user lost positivity and desire to survive. Died from starvation in three days.
002 Entrails Consumed as soup Teleportation Died from asphyxia after consumption. Biopsy revealed that the lungs, the spleen, the kidneys, the liver vanished from the internal corpse.
003 Thigh Flesh Fried and eaten to treat leg illness Physical Conversion The consumer experienced rapid thigh myoatrophy in three days, lost ability to move.
004 Penis slices of indigenous people's penis eaten for impotence Physical Conversion The consumer started to have hypospadias and erectile dysfunction after three days
005 Paste eaten to treat malaria Space-time Effect Malaria was, of course, not treated. Such savage paste would temporarily deprive the subject of ability to move when contacting the subject's tongue. The subject's eyes would become like a projector displaying scary memory and records about the victim hunted and made into savage paste.16

As described above, almost all medicinal humans caused the consumer to be much more miserable and tends to to be the opposition of the consumer's intention. IJAMEA had tried to investigate such matters but their documents about the reason for aforementioned phenomenon (if existed) were probably burned when IJAMEA left Taiwan.17

History & Associated Parties: Taiwan Fucheng Church News18 of 1903, August had a column, Pu-she News mentioned two slangs, which said "殺一名生番,較贏拍著幾隻鹿"19 and "拍著一個生番,較好做一年田。通身軀攏共伊食了了"2021

Dr. Mackay22 wrote in From far Formosa p276, "…sawed the head off with his large blade. The head was tied to a bamboo pole and carried away to be put up on the west gate. Scores were there on purpose to get parts of the body for food and medicine. Under such circum- stances, or if a savage is killed inland, the heart is eaten, flesh taken off in strips, and bones boiled to a jelly and preserved as a specific for malarial fever."

1935, IJAMEA held the Miracle Exposition and exhibited medicinal human corpse with special natures. Their main purpose was to make a propaganda towards in-veil residents and to justify Empire of Japan's tyranny in colonies.


Approach: Each preserved medicinal human corpse is invaluable historical heritage, not to mention those possessing anomalous effects. If any comrades found something similar, I suggest donate it into the Library as a book.

We should remember lessons taught by history. It is how humanity comes to this point step by step. We should not forget that so called civilized world has just existed for about a century.


Observations & Stories

A documentation about exhibits of Miracle Exposition in 1935 is collected in the Library. As Japan lost WWII in 1945, Japanese Taiwan came to an end. After IJAMEA left Taiwan, a lot of in-veil documents and heritages not burned were discovered. Fortunately, IJAMEA did not burn the savage paste, a medicinal human product with anomalous effects which is currently a collection in the Library.

In addition, Taiwanese indigenous people in the past had no effective writing methods, so the knowledge about Han Chinese cannibalism is almost oral history. I, due to my morality, cannot tell you whether consuming those savage paste would make us to display images of the victims just like what we saw in documents.2324252627 But I can tell you some folk tales. It is said that in 1875, a Hakka28 pioneer, Huang Nan Qiu taking lands from a Say-Siyat ethic in Shitan with force. An elder tribe member was caught by the armed immigrants. The Say-Siyat tried to rescue the elder back to the tribe in a night, discovering the elder was put in the pot.

Another story is that during Japanese Taiwan period, a 25-year-old Taiwanese indigenous hunter of Bunun ethic was encircled by a group of workers of camphor industry holding weapons and making loud sounds. Fortunately, a police station worker, who was also Han Chinese, stopped the camphor workers and those family, saying Bunun might avenge and Japanese would not cut some slack, so that the event was ended.

These two folk tales may give you an insight.


I have a related story to add. This mainly comes from Dinodon's Hand29, operating in Korea. They have a theory saying it is the resistant skills for human to defend themselves from Kumiho30 and other human-hunting species. So human beings may seem weak while they still have a place in such a dangerous world.

Development of Han culture made the skill unnecessary for Chinese while Taiwanese indigenous people with low-level technology and life quality remained it. Of course, these are nothing more than assumption, but does this mean that humanity should actually be viewed as anomaly by the jailors and bookburners?3132

As I have mentioned in the above footnotes, I have tasted some heritage of medicinal humans. Taiwanese Nälkä churches keeps a portion of Miracle Exposition in 1935, which includes some medicinal human corpses. Given that you in the Library having such an acceptance towards Nälkä, I will not provide it for exhibition now. But if you are interested, you may contact me.3334



I found some blind point of this article. The author seems not to consider another possibility. If these immigrants had not experienced such effects in their past cannibalism, it is possible that the effects are not made by the Han Chinese making medicinal humans but Taiwanese indigenous people had some kind of unknown protection. Such protection could not save their lives but were able to avenge themselves. —G.F.B.

It is possible. How could I miss such significant possibility? —N

Is Nälkä really not involved in this part of history? There is a sushi master started to make sushi with human flesh after contact with Nälkä. —Misaki

As far as I am concerned, no. By the way, hasn't the sushi master died? —N

As one of the Seers, I have more opportunity to contact Nälkä. I know many do not like them, me either. But is not you have too much phobia towards Nälkä? —Misaki

The spirit of the Library should be open and to accept diversity of thoughts and religions. N, your prejudice towards Nälkä makes me think of what bookburners do. —J.R.R.

Yeah! You're so right! The spirit of the Library is to keep open! So should we just beg the Library to let jailors and bookburners come in and kill everyone? Because we have to accept every thoughts! So just let them get in and kill us? I think it's important to accept diversity, too. But isn't it too ridiculous to protect a tradition harmful to diversity under the name of diversity? Maybe you should advise them to follow up civilianization, instead of forcing others to accept the believers making human sacrifice and cannibalism in the 21th century! —N

Should we be thugs like bookburners who arbitrarily determine what should exist and what shouldn't, just based on our phobia? To accept diversity is why Serpent's Hand exists. We should not be like the thugs arrogantly claim others' life. We need to be better than those thugs. Isn't this more important? —J.R.R.

Enough! Both of you stop. If you keep this, I will forbid your words with Administrator's Clearance!—G.F.B.

Sorry, boss. —N

Eh. Let me go back to the topic. So you are trying to say Han Chinese are cannibals? —RUO-SHUANG

I do not mean that. You are likely to know more clearly that Han Chinese cannibalism occupied a long period of history and it is over different regions. But with this history, I am not emphasizing who's right or wrong, nor want to bring anyone to account. I am not saying indigenous people good and Han Chinese bad. That time just sucks from the modern point of view. Han Chinese hunt and eat indigenous people; indigenous people slash off Han Chinese heads. My purpose is to remind readers to remember the history, so that they may not go to a future where tragedy repeats. It is notable that Han Chinese did not stop cannibalism until dozens of years ago. We should remember this and restrict ourselves accordingly. It is the only way leading to a better tomorrow. —N

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