Japanese holdouts fought for decades after WWII

Discussion in 'War Against Japan' started by allanair, May 28, 2005.

  1. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    The Emperor

    But he wasn’t the only one. There was Corporal Shoichi Yokoi who came out of hiding when he was discovered hunting along the Talofofo River on the island of Guam, in 1972; Nakamura Teruo found in Moratai, Indonesia, in 1974; then Fumio Nakahira who, as late as 1980, was found hiding on the Halcon Mountain on Mindoro, Phillipines.

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2023
  2. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    In 1974, Japanese soldier Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda, complete with Samurai sword, was finally discovered on a Pacific island. For the past 30 years, he’d thought World War Two was still being fought.
    When I was 16, I was into all things Japanese. Martial arts, food, poetry, films. I thought that the Japanese did a pretty good job of combining spirituality, art, and a warrior code, so I thought they were worthy of further exploration. So I was very intrigued when, at that age, I heard of a Japanese soldier being discovered on a small island in the Pacific. He’d been hiding there since World War ll, not knowing that the war was over, living off coconuts, bananas, and small animals.
    For 30 years he followed the instructions of his commanding officer, always hiding from the enemy in deep jungle; always thinking that the enemy would kill him if he was to come out of his secret hiding place. Attempts were made to get him to come out. Leaflets were dropped from planes flying over the island, announcing that the war was over. Newspapers were left on the outskirts of various villages and on stretches of beach. Soldiers made sweeps of the jungle to try to find him, but each time he thought that it was the propaganda of the enemy. His code of honour and loyalty to the Japanese emperor prevented him from seeing a greater reality. That soldier was Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda, who finally surrendered in Lubang, Phillipines, in 1974.
    But he wasn’t the only one. There was Corporal Shoichi Yokoi who came out of hiding when he was discovered hunting along the Talofofo River on the island of Guam, in 1972; Nakamura Teruo found in Moratai, Indonesia, in 1974; then Fumio Nakahira who, as late as 1980, was found hiding on the Halcon Mountain on Mindoro, Phillipines.
    Finally, and almost incredibly, there was 83 year-old Sudzuki Nakauti and 87 year-old Yoshio Yamakawa who both surrendered to a reality they did not believe in – in 2005! That was an incredible 60 years spent ‘fighting the Americans.’
    These stories are quite astonishing for two reasons. Firstly, that these men had such intense devotion to what they thought was a noble cause – and such an aversion to being captured and subsequently dishonoured – that it kept them enduring hardship for many, many years; second, that so powerful was that frame of reference that all other information they gathered, by sight, reading in print, or hearing with their own ears, they processed according to that frame of reference. They could not experience reality because another, more intense, reality was dominating them.
    Their stories are an analogy for the soul’s journey within this world: never coming out of the jungle of one’s personal reality – which is not real – into the freedom of that which is true; misunderstanding those who are trying to help you to be those who are trying to harm; and ultimately wasting so much time with it all.
    Organisations can turn us into Japanese soldiers too: fighting a war that no longer exists, but which we need to exist in order to satisfy some deeper part of ourselves.
    In ISKCON – and around the organisation’s periphery – there are some old fighters for whom it will always be the fratricidal war of the 1980s. No matter how times change and things move on, they will always live in their own personal jungle, fighting the zonal acaryas, the ever-present enemy that must be resisted. Thirty years later, they are still on the defensive, still trigger-ready for combat. But the war is long over, and life is short. It’s time to surrender.
  3. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Two Japanese soldiers unaware of WWII end found in the jungle of the Philippines


    The soldiers were hiding in the jungles of the Philippines for about 60 years

    A lieutenant and a lance-corporal of the Imperial Japanese Army were found in the jungle of Mindanao Island, the Philippines. The two Japanese military men have been hiding there since the end of WWII over the fear of being punished for desertion.
    The found soldiers did not even know that WWII was over a long time ago. Local authorities are currently holding the two elderly deserters, aged over 80. In the near future the Japanese military men will have a meeting with spokespeople for the Japanese embassy in the Philippines, Tokyo newspapers write. Several other former servicemen of the Japanese army might be hiding in the out-of-the-way place in the south of Mindanao, Itar-Tass reports.
    Agents of the Philippine counterintelligence incidentally found the former Japanese lieutenant, 87 and the former lance-corporal, 83, during an operation in the area.
    The 87-year-old Yoshio Yamakawa and the 83-year-old Sudzuki Nakauti were serving in the 30th infantry division of the Imperial Army, which landed on the Philippine Island of Mindanao in 1944. The unit suffered considerable losses as a result of US-led massive bombings. The Japanese infantry unit was ordered to start a guerrilla warfare in the jungle. The remainder of the division were later evacuated to Japan, although some of its servicemen did not have enough time to appear at the assembly point and became deserters against their own will.
    The found lieutenant and the lance-corporal are reportedly very scared of the court martial in case they are sent back to their fatherland. Japanese soldiers unaware of the end of WWII were previously found in other remote places on the islands in the Pacific Ocean. Junior lieutenant Hiroo Onoda was found in the jungle of the Philippine island of Lubang in 1974. Another solitary soldier of one of the infantry units was found in 1972 on the island of Guam, which currently belongs to the USA, Newsru writes
  4. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member

    I wonder if they will get any back pay?
  5. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Here you go, paid in full

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  6. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member

    Well, it's more than what they had to start with.

    I'm sure there's yens and yens to be had from books, guest interviews, movie rights, survival consulting, etc.
  7. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

  8. wowtank

    wowtank Very Senior Member

    Was there a Ray Mears program about this guy or was it about a similar guy ?
  9. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Maybe it's due to his thirty yeas' of a spartan lifestyle!
  10. At Home Dad (Returning)

    At Home Dad (Returning) Well-Known Member

    I've always been fascinated by these holdouts.
    I'm also interested in how they're viewed in Japan,
    as they're a prime recruiting Sgt for any right-wing
    nutter Japs...

    "A lone Japanese soldier’s extreme hardship during world war II in fulfilling his duty for his Emperor, tears his mind apart between solitude, melancholy, gross brutality, admirable heroism and a wish for final rest.
    The absurdity of a brutal war which turns out to be nothing more than a business." (2008)

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  11. Larso

    Larso Junior Member

    I read that book about 30 years ago and found it engrossing. As for other instances, I was talking to a Australian soldier who was in Bouganville about 10 years ago. He told me that the local villagers said that it was only in recent years (I'm guessing the 1990s at the latest) that the last of the Japanese hold-outs there had finally ceased coming out of the mountains to steal food.
  12. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

  13. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  14. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

  15. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Yokoi Soichi was hiding there until 1972. He lived in the jungle ever since the US forces occupied the island on August 10, 1944.

  16. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

  17. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Witness History - Hiroo Onoda, Japan’s last WW2 soldier to surrender - BBC Sounds

    "Hiroo Onoda was an Imperial Japanese Army intelligence officer who spent nearly 30 years in the Philippine jungle, believing World War Two was still going on. Using his training in guerilla warfare, he attacked and killed people living on Lubang Island, mistakenly believing them to be enemy soldiers. He was finally persuaded to surrender in 1974 when his former commander, Yoshimi Taniguchi, found him and gave him an order. In a televised ceremony, Hiroo presented his sword to the then Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos. President Marcos returned the sword and gave him a full presidential pardon and told him he admired his courage. Hiroo died in January 2014 at the age of 91.
    This programme was produced and presented by Vicky Farncombe, using BBC archive."

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