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Mirin Dajo, the human pincushion.
February 9, 2007 8:47 AM   Subscribe

Mirin Dajo (1912-1948, born Arnold Henske) was pierced thru the torso (YouTube) with fencing foils and skewers many times, without bleeding or showing any sign of injury. Warning: some links contain graphic content.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (17 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I remember watching Penn and Teller one time where Teller stuck a skewer thru his forearm. I was never really sure if it was a trick or if he was really doing it. After looking at this I can only believe he really pierced his arm.
posted by daHIFI at 9:00 AM on February 9, 2007


Penn and Teller doing this is probably a trick. To successfully pierce yourself through the torso you need to form tunnels of scar tissue through your body.

ModBlog on Metafilter, interesting!
posted by mkb at 9:07 AM on February 9, 2007


Teller doing it was a trick. Back in high school, a buddy of mine livened up our detention by using the same method to stick an unfolded paperclip through his arm and then asking for a bathroom pass. The secretary proctoring detention blanched, freaked, and told him to go right away. On the way to the infirmary, he got rid of the evidence (it leaves no trace), and then told the nurse that he had no clue why the secretary freaked out when he asked to go to the bathroom. Puzzled, the nurse sent him back to detention, where the vice principal had taken over, the secretary having gone home for the day. My buddy had a clean bill of health from the nurse, and the vice principal was fit to be tied.

Magic!
posted by breezeway at 9:20 AM on February 9, 2007


I hate to be all scientist, but is there any non-spiritualismos conjecture about how he was able to do this? I found two articles on pubmed.com, but one was in Portuguese and the other in Czech. I can find the hlavni nadrazi in Czech but am pretty useless beyond that.

Also, no fair not telling: how do you do the paperclip trick?
posted by felix grundy at 9:42 AM on February 9, 2007


Early death might be a sign of injury
posted by jma at 9:52 AM on February 9, 2007


I hate to be all scientist, but is there any non-spiritualismos conjecture about how he was able to do this?

The doctor in the YouTube video suspects that Dajo gradually created created fistulas over time (pierce, then form scar tissue, pierce, then form scar tissue) that avoided puncturing his organs. He could then reuse these existing passages to pass the sword through.
posted by BoatMeme at 9:57 AM on February 9, 2007


It's a post from another age; esperanto and blavatsky spiritualism.
posted by jouke at 10:03 AM on February 9, 2007


The doctor in the YouTube video suspects that Dajo gradually created created fistulas over time

If you check out ModBlog and BME in more detail you can probably find photos of people intentionally doing this with bloody procedural photos.

NSFW, given the likelihood of finding some crazy CBT photos you weren't expecting.
posted by mkb at 10:03 AM on February 9, 2007


NSFW, given the likelihood of finding some crazy CBT photos you weren't expecting.

Yes. Oh god yes. I needed CBT after seeing some of those, as in cognitive behavioural therapy.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:09 AM on February 9, 2007


Sorry, my fault for being too squeamish to watch the video—the pictures are enough. I just now listened to it.

Still, how could he have made enough fistulas to jive with all the piercings he is said to have endured? That's why I was looking for more information—the first article states that he was pierced through the organs, which the fistula hypothesis doesn't account for (or disproves). The first link also states that "[t]hough Dajo would become known for his radical 'body piercings', his first demonstration actually involved him eating a piece of glass and a half dozen razor blades." Fistula that!
posted by felix grundy at 10:20 AM on February 9, 2007


The paperclip works on the same principle as the needle-through-arm trick, popularized and sold by Harry Anderson (he's an even better magician than he was a night court judge). This link contains a description of the trick, then a spoiler section on how the trick is done. You can extrapolate how it might be done with school supplies.

My buddy actually had the Harry Anderson kit at home; that's how he knew the trick. As with any patented magic trick, it's better to buy the secret and make it your own than it is to just take it. Plus, Harry uses a special needle.
posted by breezeway at 10:36 AM on February 9, 2007


the first article states that he was pierced through the organs, which the fistula hypothesis doesn't account for (or disproves)

I'm no doctor, but I don't see why its necessiarily impossible to create a fistula through a higher-functioning organ. Might be more difficult to do without killing yourself, though.
posted by BoatMeme at 10:46 AM on February 9, 2007


I'm no doctor, but I don't see why its necessiarily impossible to create a fistula through a higher-functioning organ

Some years back, this movie was featured on Simon Drake's Secret Cabaret programme in the UK, and they argued exactly that: that the only organ needing to be punctured at that location is the liver, which heals pretty nicely. A fistula would explain why he was always stabbed through the same location by the same assistant.
posted by raygirvan at 11:37 AM on February 9, 2007


Pablo Francisco covered this in his standup routine years ago. I'd link to the video but viacom had to be an ass and go after youtube.
posted by furtive at 4:05 PM on February 9, 2007


Whenever I hear about something like this, or like this, I wonder if one of the several congenital insensitivity to pain syndromes aren't involved.
posted by ikkyu2 at 4:51 PM on February 10, 2007


ikky! I was hoping you would drop by. But surely not suffering pain from the procedure wouldn't have prevented him from sustaining internal injury, no?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:00 AM on February 11, 2007


Nope. But maybe it would stop you from flinching as the tip traveled through the mediastinum. Heck, if it didn't hurt, you could maybe even tell someone to back off and edge sideways a bit when they were poking your heart or lung. I mean, assuming that there really was a fistula there, it had to be formed somehow, and it seems like that process would be much easier if it didn't hurt.
posted by ikkyu2 at 3:17 PM on February 11, 2007


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