There are many horrific ways to die. Victims of scaphism were left to die by insect biting and infection. Giles Cory was crushed to death by rocks after being accused of being a witch during the Salem witch trials. (Giles said more weight!) Then there’s flailing, or cutting a man to death. Lingchi is the Chinese method of death by slicing.
The Chinese have their own execution methods and tortures. Just ask the Heavenly Man Brother Yun, a Communist Party doctor shoved needles in his fingertips until he passed out! Have you heard of being tortured by a doctor?
Though it was banned in 1905 in China, there were some notable Lingchi executions that same year. There are recorded deaths by Lingchi as late as 1936 during the Chinese Civil War.
Republican forces put one member of the CPC to death by slicing on 25th April 1936 during the Chinese Civil War. Brother Yun’s father was actually a soldier in the Nationalist Army, later harassed by the Communist Red Guards. He’s lucky they didn’t visit the same death on him as revenge.
Lingchi: Death By Slicing
Since there were no standards in Chinese penal laws, there were assuredly variations of Lingchi. The victim was tied to a wooden frame generally in a public place. Remember this form of execution was meant for the humiliation and prolonged agony of its victim.
In Confucianism altering the body means that part will make the whole incomplete in death as a spirit. This inflicted emotional pain on the victims in China, but to Westerners, the sting of slicing was more than enough.
The practice of Lingchi is recorded to have taken place in Korea, China, and Vietnam. Although officially outlawed in 1905, unofficially Lingchi continued as a punishment in China.
It was said that a family could bribe the executioners to stab the victim in the heart first killing them. Others say that opium was given to some select victims, it sure beats the alternative of a sober death by slicing.
Lingchi On Westerners
Westerners have a rough history in China. The nationalist Boxers in 1900 murdered scores of them, hunting them down as they fled into the rural villages.
There are firsthand accounts by Westerners in China of Lingchi executions. These contradict the accuracy of the expression, “death by 1,000 cuts”. Instead, they tell a story about a brutal punishment that typically lasted 15-20 minutes.
Lingchi [was] commonly, and quite wrongly, translated as ‘death by slicing into 10,000 pieces’ – a truly awful description of a punishment whose cruelty has been extraordinarily misrepresented … The mutilation is ghastly and excites our horror as an example of barbarian cruelty; but it is not cruel, and need not excite our horror, since the mutilation is done, not before death, but after.”
Slicing was intended to equal around 3,600 cuts in total but the individual receiving them could not stand several large slices removed without passing out.
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