“No Surrender: My Thirty Year War” [japanese history]
Posted by Baburam on July 9, 2007
|2nd Lt. Hiroo Onoda
Lubang Island, Philippines
Surrendered – March 5, 1974
The most famous of all Holdouts, his story was widly reported in the world media, and he wrote a book translated to English about his wartime experiences and 29 years as a Japanese holdout.
Born in the town of Kainan, Japan in 1922 and when he turned seventeen, he went to work for a trading company in China. In May of 1942, Onoda was drafted into the Japanese Army. Unlike most soldiers, he attended a school that trained men for guerilla warfare.
Assignment to Lubang Island, Philippines
On December 26, 1944 (age 23), Hiroo Onoda was sent to the small island of Lubang Island, approximately seventy-five miles southwest of Manila in the Philippines. Shortly after Americans landed, all but four of the Japanese soldiers had either died or surrendered. Hiroo Onda was also with three other holdouts, who all died over the decades: Private Yuichi Akatsu, Corporal Shoichi Shimada (died 1954), Private Kinshichi Kozuka (died 1972).
Circumstances of His Surrender
Despite the efforts of the Philippine Army, letters and newspapers left for them, radio broadcasts, and even a plea from Onoda’s brother, he did not belive the war was over. On February 20, 1974, Onoda encountered a young Japanese university dropout named Norio Suzuki who was traveling the wold and told his friends that he was “going to look for Lieutenant Onoda, a panda, and the abominable snowman, in that order. The two became friends, but Onoda said that he was waiting for orders from one of his commanders. On March 9, 1974, Onoda went to an agreed upon place and found a note that had been left by Suzuki. Suzuki had brought along Onoda’s one-time superior commander, Major Taniguchi, who delivered the oral orders for Onoda to surrender. Intelligence Officer 2nd Lt. Hiroo Onada emerged from the jungle of Lubang Island with his .25 caliber rifle, 500 rounds of ammunition and several hand grenades. He sureendered 29 years after Japan’s formal surrender, and 15 years after being declared legally dead in Japan. When he accepted that the war was over, he wept openly.
He returned to Japan to receive a hero’s welcome, and world media attention, and was hounded by the curious public everywhere he went. He was unable to adapt to modern life in Japan, but wrote his memories of survival in “No Surrender: My Thirty Year War” After publication, he moved to Brazil to raise cattle. He revisited Lubang island in 1996, and still alive today. He then married a Japanese woman and moved back to Japan to run a nature camp for kids.
[Taken from http://www.wanpela.com]