Skip to comments.Hiroo Onoda: Japanese soldier who took three decades to surrender, dies
Posted on 01/17/2014 6:30:22 PM PST by Colonel Kangaroo
The last Japanese soldier to come out of hiding and surrender, almost 30 years after the end of the second world war, has died.
Hiroo Onoda, an army intelligence officer, caused a sensation when he was persuaded to come out of hiding in the Philippine jungle in 1974.
The native of Wakayama prefecture in western Japan died of heart failure at a hospital in Tokyo on Thursday, his family said. He was 91.
Onodas three decades spent in the jungle initially with three comrades and finally alone came to be seen as an example of the extraordinary lengths to which some Japanese soldiers would go to demonstrate their loyalty to the then emperor, in whose name they fought.
(Excerpt) Read more at theguardian.com ...
Now that’s a bitter clinger.
I remember the photo of Lt. Onoda surrendering his sword to his original commanding officer after the latter had persuaded him that the order to do so came directly from the (still original) Emperor.
Onoda emigrated to Brazil & there was another photo of the still youthful diehard doing the samba with local Rio girls. He later set up a Japanese colony in the Brazilian outback, IIRC. An interesting life.
I was in the Navy and stationed on Guam when this guy finally surrendered. A few years before him, a similar occurrence happened on Guam.
the admiration escapes me.
He was an intelligence office during a time of extreme brutality against the Filipino people.
Was he a hero for eluding capture for decades, like Josef Mengela?
Was this man tenacious? Yes. Admirable? No.
A good soldier for sure. Did his duty to the letter.
My uncle spent a better part of a year lost on a Japanese held island. People who knew him before and after say that in a lot of ways he he never came back.
Well, he wasn’t “kempeitai” (military thought police), or equivalent to either SS, or a Party political officer embedded in a Soviet military unit or USSR submarine such as from the Frunze Academy, but just an average young Japanese man sent off to war, with a sense of patriotism and giving his all for his country, flag and Emperor. If he committed no atrocities on civilians (or US military for that matter), and stayed loyal to his own side as a military man to that extent, I say, even if on the enemy side at the time, yes, it was HEROIC and ADMIRABLE and we would want our US men in the field to equally avoid capture to this extent. This is called basic “escape and evasion tactics” and anyone trained in the military knows it. This man carried it to incredible lengths. He was indeed samurai (or at least true to the Code of Bushido).
War is over, if you want it.
he said that when he surrendered and handed his sword to Marcos, he expected to be executed right away.
....I thought Onoda surrendered to his Japanese chain of command. Must have been brave of him to do so if he thought he was now a prisoner of the Filipinos, against whom countless atrocities were committed during WWII.
I have his book. Interesting read.
Something tells me the Grim Reaper had his hands full on this one.
An interesting story not worthy of celebration nor admiration.
There was a Three’s Company where the kids are hired to clear out an overgrown lot. Jack says, “Man, that brush is thick! I kept thinking I’d find a Japanese still fighting the war!”