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 Post subject: Holdouts!
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 3:39 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 6:46 am
Posts: 596
Location: In II Kompanie HQ
Tanaka, I notice with interest your Avatar picture, that of Hiroo Onoda, one of the, if not THE last to surrender to authorities in the Phillipines in 1974. There are a few who did not believe the Japanese surrender in 1945 was offical and continued to hold out in various locations into the 70's. There was a group of two in 1972 who finally surrendered as well, but I'm buggered if I can remember who they were or where they surrendered! Any ideas?

All up, an extremely amazing phenomenon and one that could be subject to myth and mystery, but there are a few recorded cases. If anyone has more info on other holdouts, please post here as I'd like to know more!

I just found this info on Hiroo;

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 surrendered 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 is still alive today. He then married a Japanese woman and moved back to Japan to run a nature camp for kids.

Gruß and Berg Heil, Gebirgsjågers!


 Post subject: Re: Holdouts!
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 6:51 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 3:41 pm
Posts: 742
Location: Republic of Cornwall
Onoda is just one of quite a long list of Japanese soldiers holding out, check out

JRA site

New Japanese reenactors forum

''i think the phrase ryhmes with clucking bell''

 Post subject: Re: Holdouts!
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 9:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 8:21 am
Posts: 1490
Location: Australia
Obergefreiter Hirschmann wrote:
All up, an extremely amazing phenomenon and one that could be subject to myth and mystery, but there are a few recorded cases. If anyone has more info on other holdouts, please post here as I'd like to know more!

World War II did not neatly end with Japan's surrender on September 2, 1945. At its height the Japanese Empire was more than 20 million square miles of land and sea. Soldiers in isolated regions fought on for years after the surrender some unaware the war had ended, other refusing to believe. Some hide in the jungles alone, others fought in groups and continued to make attacks and conduct guerilla warfare. These men were called Japanese Holdouts, or Stragglers and their stories are some of the most fascinating human interest stories of the 20th Century.

This recent book lists a number of holdouts , one on Guam in particular

Title: The Bone Man of Kokoda
Author: Happell, Charles
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
ISBN-10: 1405038365
ISBN-13: 9781405038362
Year Published: 2008

This started out as a genuine story, but ultimately (apparently) was a hoax:

'Japan soldiers' found in jungle

Japanese officials are investigating claims that two men living in jungle in the Philippines are Japanese soldiers left behind after World War II.The pair, in their 80s, were reportedly found on southern Mindanao island. The men were expected to travel to meet Japanese officials on Friday, but have yet to make contact. The claim drew comparisons with the 1974 case of Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda, who was found in the Philippines jungle unaware the war had ended. 'Incredible if true' The two men on Mindanao contacted a Japanese national who was collecting the remains of war dead on Mindanao, according to government sources. They had equipment which suggested they were former soldiers. "It is an incredible story if it is true," Japan's consul general in Manila, Akio Egawa, told the AFP news agency. "They were found, I believe, in the mountains near General Santos on Mindanao Island. "At this stage we are not saying either way whether or not these two men are in fact former soldiers. We may be in a better position later today," he said. According to Japanese media reports, the pair had been living with Muslim rebel groups and at least one of them has married a local woman and had a family. The BBC's Tokyo correspondent says the likelihood is that they are well aware the war is over but have chosen to stay in the Philippines for their own reasons. Remote jungle Mindanao has seen more than two decades of Muslim rebellion and many areas are out of central government control. Japan invaded the Philippines in 1941, shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and set up a brutal puppet government. In the closing months of the war, there was heavy fighting with US troops in the mountainous, heavily forested islands. The Sankei Shimbun daily said the men would most likely be members of the Panther division, 80% of whom were killed or went missing during the final months of the war. It speculated there could be as many as 40 Japanese soldiers living in similar conditions in the Philippines. When Lt Onoda was found on the Philippines island of Lubang in 1974, he initially refused to surrender. Only when his former commanding officer was flown over from Japan did he agree to leave the jungle. He later emigrated to Brazil.

and not a hold out as such, but:

Japanese WWII soldier found alive

Ishinosuke Uwano is travelling back on a Ukraine passport A Japanese ex-soldier who disappeared after World War II and was officially declared dead in 2000 has turned up alive in Ukraine. Ishinosuke Uwano was serving with the Japanese Imperial Army in Russia's Sakhalin Island when the war ended. He was last reported seen there in 1958. The 83-year-old has now reappeared, in Ukraine, where he is married and has a family, Japanese officials say. Mr Uwano is due to visit Japan for the first time in six decades on Wednesday. He is expected to visit his surviving family members and friends in Iwate, 290 miles (467km) northeast of Tokyo, with his son before returning to Ukraine on 28 April, the AFP news agency reported. The family's last reported sighting of him was on Sakhalin in 1958; after that they lost all contact with him. In 2000, they recorded his disappearance under a Japanese law which says those soldiers who did not return after World War II can be registered as war dead. His details were removed from the official family registry and, because of this, Mr Uwano must "return to Japan technically as a Ukrainian citizen with a Ukraine passport," a government official said. The Japanese authorities are now restoring him to the family registry. Mr Uwano's existence came to light last year after he asked friends in Ukraine to help him contact the Japanese government, which then sent officials to interview him in Kiev. He was one of thousands of Japanese soldiers and civilians who were left stranded across the Pacific and in parts of China and Russia after the war ended. Some were kept as prisoners and forced to work as slave labourers, others chose to remain of their own accord. Why Mr Uwano remained in Russia, and how he ended up in Ukraine, has not been disclosed. There is still much interest in Japan in the plight of former soldiers who never made it home, the BBC's Chris Hogg in Tokyo says. Last year, Japanese officials returned empty-handed after going to a remote Philippine village to investigate reports that two former Imperial Army members were hiding there.

 Post subject: Re: Holdouts!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:31 pm
Posts: 29
Location: Singapore
Dear Ryan and list,

It's been a long time since my last post...Well, I too am very interested in holdouts, admiring the men who refse to believe that the wear was over and continued to fight. It's also very interesting that these men till took great care of their weapons and uniforms, as shown in Onoda's case.

I was looking for more picturs of his surrender, and stumbled upon these two youtube clips of an exclusive interview with him. The clips also showed colour footage of his actual 1974 surrender, how he appeared, his carefully peserved weapons and personal equipment, as well of footages of other Japanese families appealing for their sons or husband soldiers to come out of hiding.

Part one: ... re=related

Part two: ... re=related

I am sure you all will enjoy this. Sorry it's in Japanese without subtitles, but it's truly touching.


* Alvin *
From Singapore

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