Hiroo Onoda's Passing

17 Jan 2014

When the Pacific War ended in 1945, Hiroo Onoda, Yuichi Akatsu, and Shoichi Shimada were on Lubang Island in the Philippines with orders to sabotage Allied war efforts, and that they were forbidden to surrender nor commit suicide. They disregarded all news of the Allied victory as propaganda for some time, and carried out their missions. In 1949, Akatsu lost his will and surrendered. Shimada was killed by gunfire in an engagement with local fisherman in 1953. Onoda, alone, continued his war until 1974, surrendering his sword only when his former commanding officer Yoshimi Taniguchi came to the Lubang jungles to relieve Onoda of his duties.

Hiroo Onoda passed away in Tokyo, Japan on 17 Jan 2014. Celebrated as a war hero ever since his homecoming, Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga again praised Onoda's spirit after his death. In a 1995 interview with the Associated Press, Onoda said, "I don't consider those 30 years a waste of time. Without that experience, I wouldn't have my life today."

For more information:
NBC World News: Japanese WWII soldier who refused to surrender for 29 years dies
Wikipedia: Hiroo Onoda

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Steve says:
17 Jan 2014 12:08:00 PM

Rest in Peace.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
19 Jan 2014 12:56:51 AM

Japanese seaman Noboru Kinoshita's ship sank off the Philippines in 1944. He lived for eleven years on lizards, fruit and monkeys in the jungles of Luzon before his capture in 1955. He hanged himself rather than return to Japan "in defeat".
3. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
20 Jan 2014 04:12:58 AM

Private Bunzo Minagawa held out in Guam's jungles from 1943 until 1960 with Sergeant Masashi Ito, while fellow Japanese sergeant Shoichi Yokoi lived in a cave on Guam for 28 years. Home after his capture in 1972, he announced: "It is with much embarrassment, but I have returned".
4. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
22 Jan 2014 12:26:51 AM

Private Teruo Nakamura fought on with fellow Japanese stragglers in Indonesia until 1956, then alone until a pilot saw his hut in 1974.
5. Anonymous says:
24 Jan 2014 08:45:13 PM

what an idiot that wasted his life on the will of a so called living god emperor who should have been strung up as a war criminal. The same idiots kill whales in a protected international Zone and middle finger the rest of the world.Robots.
6. don says:
24 Feb 2014 01:46:32 AM

Japan hardly has a monopoly on idiots- See Gulf War II, for example.
7. Derek says:
1 Mar 2014 07:08:38 PM

I am glad this brave man was able to live a long happy life after his repatriation. Brainwashed or not he had incredible willpower,fortitude and loyalty to have lasted so long.
8. Anonymous says:
2 Mar 2014 04:25:42 PM

Remember to view history in that context, not through modern eyes.
9. Anonymous says:
8 Mar 2014 11:53:05 PM

he was a true hero not that moron americans who are bombing countries back to the middle age. retarded *** americans
10. US Dave says:
28 May 2014 10:12:01 AM

Anyone who has really been a soldier will understand him. He knew the war was over. He knew that from old newspapers he had found on the ground. But he inisisted that his old commander come and order him to quit. That must have been an interesting moment in the jungle when the old commander came back to receive Oneda's salute and surrender.

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