Food rations in the Japanese forces

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a white rabbit
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Post by a white rabbit » 25 Jan 2008 12:40

Akira Takizawa wrote:>



Bamboo is not available on Pacific islands. There, copra was used as smokeless fuel.



Taki
..it's unlikely that "copra" was used, too much food value, more likely the inner shell turned into charcoal, called "oiling" here on Mindanao..

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Akira Takizawa
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Post by Akira Takizawa » 25 Jan 2008 12:58

a white rabbit wrote:..it's unlikely that "copra" was used, too much food value, more likely the inner shell turned into charcoal, called "oiling" here on Mindanao..
It is stated in several Japanese documents. So, it is sure.

I myself have never seen copra. But, I hear that oil is extracted from copra and candle is made from that oil. So, copra will be good fuel.

Taki

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Post by a white rabbit » 25 Jan 2008 13:47

Akira Takizawa wrote:
a white rabbit wrote:..it's unlikely that "copra" was used, too much food value, more likely the inner shell turned into charcoal, called "oiling" here on Mindanao..
It is stated in several Japanese documents. So, it is sure.

I myself have never seen copra. But, I hear that oil is extracted from copra and candle is made from that oil. So, copra will be good fuel.

Taki
..at the risk of differing..

..copra is the partially dried and pressed, to extract the oil, inner lining of the coconut, the white flesh. The oil has a food value some where around 80% the food value of cow's milk, it's only draw-back as animal (pig) feed is that whilst it contributes to meat construction, it has some complex organic compounds that mean it actually destroys fat, so you get a very lean pig. It is very useful as a food additive for humans and as a nutritive cooking oil. It also has a value as a light machine oil and as a wood preservative oil..

..whilst it can be used to make candles, or at least 'lights' by floating a wick in a container of the oil, this would be a tragic waste, and actually quite smokey..

..After the extraction of the white flesh, the hard shell is charcoalled and is a very good, no-to-low smoke, hi-temperature cooking fuel. The fibrous outer layer when dried also makes a useful cooking fuel, but burns at a lower temperature and is smokey..

..i suspect the use of the word copra was a misunderstanding of the part of the coconut used, or the IJA were very stupid..

..please, i've 400 coconut trees, i'm a European farmer now doing market gardening in a Mindanaon valley, working with the Taga'k'olo tribal people, i've studied my crop, the oldest Bisayan (a racial group ?) i questioned, some 85 years old, confirmed this three way split of the nut as in existance from his childhood..

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 25 Jan 2008 14:49

Coconut oil (from copra)was also used as a ersatz diesel fuel in some areas of the Pacific during WW2.

Some Japanese accounts on Guadalcanal mention copra used as a fuel but this was of last resort--the men were starving anyway.

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Post by Peter H » 25 Jan 2008 15:06

Alan

Previously photos posted were all from China.Last one shows an artillery unit.

I assume sake was still in cedar wood barrels at the time.

I think it was also estimated that a US soldier required around 4,000 calories per day in a combat environment.I think Japanese estimates on their troops was around 3,500 calories per day due to their smaller stature.One estimate I saw gave an average figure of only 2,400 calories per day for soldiers by 1945.However estimates around 1940 suggest that the average Japanese adult civilian was living on 2,000 calories per day.In a sense being in military service requires the calorie intake of a hard working labourer.Marching and digging!


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Peter

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a white rabbit
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Post by a white rabbit » 25 Jan 2008 15:38

Peter H wrote:Coconut oil (from copra)was also used as a ersatz diesel fuel in some areas of the Pacific during WW2.

Some Japanese accounts on Guadalcanal mention copra used as a fuel but this was of last resort--the men were starving anyway.
..damn, all that effort and now some buggers gonna burn it as fuel ? 8O ..

..i'd rather feed it to't' pigs..

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Post by Peter H » 26 Jan 2008 02:09

From China

Image


Image

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Sewer King
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Post by Sewer King » 26 Jan 2008 06:26

a white rabbit wrote:..copra is the partially dried and pressed, to extract the oil, inner lining of the coconut, the white flesh. The oil has a food value some where around 80% the food value of cow's milk ... It is very useful as a food additive for humans and as a nutritive cooking oil. It also has a value as a light machine oil and as a wood preservative oil.
And as a basis for soaps, as the Japanese did at Rabaul (see Sakaida's The Siege of Rabaul cited earlier). Because it is easily absorbed by the skin, it makes a good emollient for cosmetic or medicinal use. But sundry uses of coconut, copra, and its oil would seem more likely in a rear area where there could be facilities to process them.
a white rabbit wrote:....After the extraction of the white flesh, the hard shell is charcoalled and is a very good, no-to-low smoke, hi-temperature cooking fuel.
From Benedict Croswell, Assistant US Secretary of War Director for Munitions. America's Munitions 1917-1918 (US Government Printing Office 1921), pages 420-421:

Coconut was in great demand during World War I as the best source of activated charcoal for use in gas mask filter canisters. As America's leading source at the time, the Philippines harvested some 900 million nuts per year. The US Army Chemical Warfare Service started the charcoal heating process there to reduce the coconut shells' weight before shipping it across the Pacific. Americans at home were pressed to "Eat More Coconut" but wartime sugar cutbacks worked against it, and the war ended before much Philippine coconut charcoal could be used. However, the oil from resulting surpluses of copra was used for the civilian market for margarine, also boosted by the war.
a white rabbit wrote:... i've studied my crop, the oldest Bisayan (a racial group ?) i questioned, some 85 years old, confirmed this three way split of the nut as in existance from his childhood.
We Filipinos sometimes switch "V" for "B," saying "Visayan" as "Bisayan." "P" is interchanged with "F" so that you often hear "Filipino" as "Pilipino." Visayans are the ethnic groups from the central islands of the archipelago, most distinct from their speaking dialects such as Cebuano and Ilokano.

We eat the young green coconut, what we call buko scraped and grated from inside it. My parents are also in their mid-80s and fed it to me when I was young. They are among some Filipinos who think of copra as an industrial raw material, and revolt somewhat at Westerners eating it.
Peter H wrote:Coconut oil (from copra)was also used as a ersatz diesel fuel in some areas of the Pacific during WW2.
By the Japanese? While diesel engines might be more tolerant than others, I imagined that even well-refined vegetable fuel oils would cause fouling. Didn't the Japanese actually consider the use of Manchurian soybean oil in their ships, but declined it for just that reason?

At that, I don't know how much coconut was ever eaten in Japan before the war. Or, if it was a foodstuff shipped back from the nanyo (southern territory islands), like cane sugar.


=====================


Thanks again for further "photo support" Peter. In Colonel Roy M. Stanley II's book Prelude to Pearl Harbor: Japan's Reheasal for World War II (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1982), there are photos of Japanese troops carrying food and oversized water canteens forward in China. On the reverse of a hill slope, the men are throwing small portions of rice wrapped in straw to their comrades in a trench below.

The first of your last two photos looked at first almost like North Vietnamese troops of a later time. It was their tropical hats and sun helmets. They are probably eating as well as any Japanese infantryman could. The center man is eating with a spoon or fork, while the man drinking from a canteen seems to be holding chopsticks. That looks like a yosegaki flag behind them, and their rifles' receivers have been wrapped in cloth.

The second photo looks very much like a propaganda photo of Japanese troops with those of their Chinese "puppet" forces. The soldier pouring the drink has a Thompson M1928 submachine gun slung, ejection port wrapped in cloth as in the other photo. Does it hint that this is central China and maybe he is one of the Nanking troops? What looks like an armband on him is oversized and indeterminate.


========================


About Gilmore -- the propaganda leaflet written by Japanese PoWs about their former comrades' food would probably have had some effect. Food is naturally a strong concern for any and every soldier in the field. When it fails, things happen soon enough. But, I expect that the average Japanese soldier reading it would have kept to himself any sentiments agreeing with the leaflet.

-- Alan

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Post by Pax Melmacia » 28 Jan 2008 03:10

I understand fish sausage from surimi, a favorite in many Japanese delis today, had its origins in WWII to solve the problem of preserving animal protein sources where refrigeration was absent.

(That's why, then as now, the things are sodium-heavy.)

Now I read it was meant for the homeland. I don't know if it was issued to the troops.

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Post by a white rabbit » 01 Feb 2008 15:12

Sewer King wrote:
a white rabbit wrote:..copra is the partially dried and pressed, to extract the oil, inner lining of the coconut, the white flesh. The oil has a food value some where around 80% the food value of cow's milk ... It is very useful as a food additive for humans and as a nutritive cooking oil. It also has a value as a light machine oil and as a wood preservative oil.
And as a basis for soaps, as the Japanese did at Rabaul (see Sakaida's The Siege of Rabaul cited earlier). Because it is easily absorbed by the skin, it makes a good emollient for cosmetic or medicinal use. But sundry uses of coconut, copra, and its oil would seem more likely in a rear area where there could be facilities to process them.
a white rabbit wrote:....After the extraction of the white flesh, the hard shell is charcoalled and is a very good, no-to-low smoke, hi-temperature cooking fuel.
From Benedict Croswell, Assistant US Secretary of War Director for Munitions. America's Munitions 1917-1918 (US Government Printing Office 1921), pages 420-421:

Coconut was in great demand during World War I as the best source of activated charcoal for use in gas mask filter canisters. As America's leading source at the time, the Philippines harvested some 900 million nuts per year. The US Army Chemical Warfare Service started the charcoal heating process there to reduce the coconut shells' weight before shipping it across the Pacific. Americans at home were pressed to "Eat More Coconut" but wartime sugar cutbacks worked against it, and the war ended before much Philippine coconut charcoal could be used. However, the oil from resulting surpluses of copra was used for the civilian market for margarine, also boosted by the war.
a white rabbit wrote:... i've studied my crop, the oldest Bisayan (a racial group ?) i questioned, some 85 years old, confirmed this three way split of the nut as in existance from his childhood.
We Filipinos sometimes switch "V" for "B," saying "Visayan" as "Bisayan." "P" is interchanged with "F" so that you often hear "Filipino" as "Pilipino." Visayans are the ethnic groups from the central islands of the archipelago, most distinct from their speaking dialects such as Cebuano and Ilokano.

We eat the young green coconut, what we call buko scraped and grated from inside it. My parents are also in their mid-80s and fed it to me when I was young. They are among some Filipinos who think of copra as an industrial raw material, and revolt somewhat at Westerners eating it.
Peter H wrote:Coconut oil (from copra)was also used as a ersatz diesel fuel in some areas of the Pacific during WW2.
By the Japanese? While diesel engines might be more tolerant than others, I imagined that even well-refined vegetable fuel oils would cause fouling. Didn't the Japanese actually consider the use of Manchurian soybean oil in their ships, but declined it for just that reason?

At that, I don't know how much coconut was ever eaten in Japan before the war. Or, if it was a foodstuff shipped back from the nanyo (southern territory islands), like cane sugar.


=====================


Thanks again for further "photo support" Peter. In Colonel Roy M. Stanley II's book Prelude to Pearl Harbor: Japan's Reheasal for World War II (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1982), there are photos of Japanese troops carrying food and oversized water canteens forward in China. On the reverse of a hill slope, the men are throwing small portions of rice wrapped in straw to their comrades in a trench below.

The first of your last two photos looked at first almost like North Vietnamese troops of a later time. It was their tropical hats and sun helmets. They are probably eating as well as any Japanese infantryman could. The center man is eating with a spoon or fork, while the man drinking from a canteen seems to be holding chopsticks. That looks like a yosegaki flag behind them, and their rifles' receivers have been wrapped in cloth.

The second photo looks very much like a propaganda photo of Japanese troops with those of their Chinese "puppet" forces. The soldier pouring the drink has a Thompson M1928 submachine gun slung, ejection port wrapped in cloth as in the other photo. Does it hint that this is central China and maybe he is one of the Nanking troops? What looks like an armband on him is oversized and indeterminate.


========================


About Gilmore -- the propaganda leaflet written by Japanese PoWs about their former comrades' food would probably have had some effect. Food is naturally a strong concern for any and every soldier in the field. When it fails, things happen soon enough. But, I expect that the average Japanese soldier reading it would have kept to himself any sentiments agreeing with the leaflet.

-- Alan
..yahh, alright, as a skin-cleanser..

..currently not big, but you might have something we can sell there....

...mind you, boko juice with gin, over crushed ice, and a slice of lime to taste........

..and yes, diesel engines..i had an old, even ancient, French one cylinder Vendouvre tractor, it would burn anything..

..damn but it was rough tho...

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Post by Sewer King » 06 Feb 2008 06:02

a white rabbit wrote:..yahh, alright, as a skin-cleanser..
Coconut oil has also been long-recognized for certain recreational uses as well as cosmetics and medicine.
a white rabbit wrote:..currently not big, but you might have something we can sell there....
I don't know how activated charcoal is made today or from what, but that would seem to be different from charcoal used for fuel.
a white rabbit wrote:...mind you, boko juice with gin, over crushed ice, and a slice of lime to taste..
Somehow I picture you as an old-fashioned colonial planter knocking back the buko and gin, sa tindahan mo. :D
a white rabbit wrote:..and yes, diesel engines..i had an old, even ancient, French one cylinder Vendouvre tractor, it would burn anything ....damn but it was rough tho...
And noisy too, I'll bet.

From India, here is an abstract of recent research into the use of coconut oil as a small engine lubricant.

This initiative for coconut bio-diesel fuel was reported from Cebu in the Philippines in 2005. If true, I am surprised you haven't mentioned it in connection with your coconut grove.

It does, however, mention the wartime substitution of coconut oil, although Japan would probably not have been able to make any such use even if they wished it:
In 1870 the treasure’s of the [Philippine Islands], coconut tree, was an ornamental for colonialist’s lawn. In 1900 our forefathers used coconut oil as medicinal oil. In 1930 purified coconut oil bubbled in cooking pan. In 1980 coconut oil is used by Vick A.L. Medel the inventor and innovator of Enkoco Eco-Dynamics Energy to power diesel engines and as catalytic to petrol-fuel oil lubricant for two stroke engines. The use of straight-run coconut oil for diesel engines is not really new in our country. In 1940, during the Second World War, coconut oil was used as fuel for engines, because of the scarcity of petroleum. However, after the war, when the supply of petroleum become abundant and inexpensive and the price of coconut oil is at a good price, the use of coconut oil was set aside and forgotten.

=======================

Pax Melmacia wrote:I understand fish sausage from surimi, a favorite in many Japanese delis today, had its origins in WWII to solve the problem of preserving animal protein sources where refrigeration was absent. (That's why, then as now, the things are sodium-heavy.)

Now I read it was meant for the homeland. I don't know if it was issued to the troops.
Here is a history of Japanese fish sausage, but it does not mention if it was military issue. Apparently the idea was around long before the war, which gave it an unexpected captive market. The British forces had soya-link sausages that they found as tiresome as the Americans did their Spam, while wartime Germans had varieties of grain-based coffee substitutes. Yet these things went on to wide civilian use long after the war and are still easily available today, though somewhat improved, so they seem to be paralleled by fish sausage in modern Japan.


=======================


From Gilmore cited earlier, the resentment of unequal food distribution that the two Japanese PoWs wrote into their Allied propaganda leaflets raises another question -- the matter of starvation, once it actually begins to be felt.

A soldier has a known and reasonable expectation to fight and possibly be injured or killed. He may also expect long and boring garrison duty. But he does not expect to starve to death.

If a propaganda leaflet demoralized its reader, it has done its job. The Americans did their best to cut Japanese supplies and morale. But supplies are easier to measure in ships sunk. With leaflets such as these two, how was morale expected to be measured? Food is a universal and absolute need and its discontent seems like a good propaganda angle. Even so, I had not imagined that such leaflets truly worked enough to tell. Yet Gilmore finds that in enough cases they did, based on PoW information and captured diaries.

Real starvation is a powerful motivator that has led to mutiny and savagery in other armies, other times, and other places. Leave aside the matter of wartime cannibalism. Although the Japanese soldier was encouraged to fight bravely and endure hardship, wouldn’t enough of his officers and sergeants have suffered the same, ending up like the terrible cases lying on the ground in Carucci’s The Typhoon of War?

That is why I was interested in Admiral Nisuke Masuda, who boasted that no one had starved under his command at Jaluij Atoll. It was commendable and no easy thing, as the authors wrote. Sadly, those were among the admiral's last words in a small mention -- of all places, in the US Strategic Bombing Survey. But it made me wonder about the wartime gap between IJA soldiers and their officers. Was this admiral particularly unusual for such successful care of his men?

The power of starvation and little poor food to move people seems to vary widely through history. Food riots shook revolutionary Russia, and even in parts of the later USSR; in the falling Confederate capital of Richmond in 1865; among Uganda troops late in the Idi Amin regime. But starvation has not made North Koreans desperate enough to threaten their regime, nor Stalin’s during the Ukraine terror-famine. Can it be said that the Japanese soldiers who starved were simply resigned to it and never voiced anything at all?

-- Alan
Last edited by Sewer King on 07 Feb 2008 04:58, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Peter H » 07 Feb 2008 04:32

Supplements--icecreams in Manila.
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Post by hisashi » 07 Feb 2008 16:34

Pax Melmacia wrote:I understand fish sausage from surimi, a favorite in many Japanese delis today, had its origins in WWII to solve the problem of preserving animal protein sources where refrigeration was absent.

(That's why, then as now, the things are sodium-heavy.)

Now I read it was meant for the homeland. I don't know if it was issued to the troops.
Rigorously speaking, today's slim fish sausage was invented in 1947. In 1935, a researcher invented tuna 'ham' (thick sausage in common Japanese) because in that year tuna price went weak and fishers sought for new processed food to increase tuna demand. This tuna ham went to market in 1938 but during the war it was stopped. Until 1950s tuna was mainly used but later they used surimi of various fish with the improvement of freezing technology.

Japan Canners Association: The History of Fish Sausage (in Japanese)
http://www.jca-can.or.jp/~sausage/sausage/history.htm

it seems that IJA supplied fish mainly as canned form (typically salmon).

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Post by a white rabbit » 08 Feb 2008 13:13

..to SEWER KING..

..i'm aware of it's use as a bio-fuel, but i doubt the possibility of producing it in large enough quantities to be of a great use, it's hard enough getting a usable quantity of colza which is industrial in production, let alone something that is so heavy on human labour as coconut-oil. If you have stocks then fine, like maybe on a japanese-held island with no or very little shipping available, for a short while, yup, but then ?..

..and no, not an old -fashioned planter, it'd be easier all round if i was, i just like the image..and the mix of boko and gin, s'a great cocktail. Otherwise i'm too much a good ( french) peasant to sit around, so they work, i work; i work, they WORK is the current maths, it goes thru workforce, but those that stay are good, very good and within the next year the first will be expert market-gardeners, well worthy of a post as deputy or head-gardener anywhere in the world..

..to paraphrase Ignatius Loyola, " give me an under-educatated tribesman for three years and i will either break-him, or give you a Master-Gardener with the ability to feed his family and his village"..sorry, i don't do soft and wooly..

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Post by Pax Melmacia » 09 Feb 2008 11:39

IIRC the venerable Philippine halo-halo (a concoction of crushed ice topped with ice cream and fruits, beans, and, yes, coconut packed in syrup came from Japanese civilians living in the Philippines before the war.

(The name means something like mish-mash. I wonder if the ice cream is a recent addition.)

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