Death by slow slicing, alternatively called lingchi, slow process, lingering death or death by 1,000 cuts is possibly one of the most famous execution methods given to us by the Chinese.
The actual process of lingchi appears to have varied greatly in its details but the general method seems to have been used pretty commonly throughout Chinese history from 900AD until it was banned officially in 1905.
As I mentioned, the finer points varied but the general idea was to remove portions of a person’s body over a period of time with a knife. As simple as that really. Sometimes the portions were actually cut off after the person had died, so were more of an FU to their incarnation in the next life; but more often than not the slicing was done whilst they were still breathing.
If you were lucky you might be administered some opium to chill you out, either by a well-meaning observer/family member or by a kindly executioner (now there’s an oxymoron for you). Sometimes there was the opportunity to bribe the executioner to dish out a fatal heart stab before the slicing commenced.
Seeing as lingchi was pretty brutal it was reserved for those criminals that had committed some of the more heavy-duty crimes like treason, mass murder, patricide or the murder of one’s master or employer.
The general methodology was to make cuts or slices to the arms, legs and chest eventually leading to full amputation and then finish off the poor victim with a stab to the heart or a full decapitation.
Different sources report different numbers of cuts. At the lower end, some historians believe that a dozen or so large cuts would probably be enough to execute a man and therefore the whole procedure may have taken just quarter of an hour. On the other hand, reports from the Yuan Dynasty reported one hundred cuts being inflicted and in the Ming Dynasty there were records of three thousand incisions. So the likelihood is that different emperors had different kinks as did individual executioners.
NSFW photos on the next page… you’ve been warned…
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