The history of the last samurai

• The history of the last samurai

Once in September 1945, the Empire of Japan admitted defeat, a small group of soldiers who had gone to the jungles of Indochina and Indonesia, still continued to resist.

The history of the last samurai

These soldiers have received from the US military nickname "stragglers", which can be translated as "backward" or "left." Many of them did not recognize the time of surrender of their country, and knowing refused to believe it. The reason for that was brought up in the spirit of the samurai tradition, for which the end of the war - a victory or death.

In addition, in preparing the soldiers of the imperial army warned them that "gaijin" cunning and insidious. They may resort to mass disinformation about the end of the war. Therefore, even gaining access to information about the current state of affairs in the world, these "samurai" I think that the Government of Japan, referred to on the radio or written in the newspapers - it's a puppet of the United States, and the Emperor and his court in exile. All events in the world is perceived under the distorted angle.

The history of the last samurai

Japanese propaganda poster

This fanatical devotion to the empire, which no longer existed, was the cause of death of some "left behind" in the clashes with the local police. This article will tell the story of three soldiers, for which Second World War ended only in the 1970s. Perhaps each of you will be able to articulate their views and to decide how to deal with such people, as heroes, infinitely devoted to his country and traditions, or as bigots, whose mind has been thoroughly washed propaganda machine militarist Japan.

Corporal Shoichi Yokoi. Shoichi was born March 31, 1915 in a small village in the prefecture of Aichi. Before 1941 he was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army, he worked as a tailor. Initially, it was identified in the 29th Infantry Division, which was stationed in Manchuria. In 1943, already in the 38 th Infantry Regiment, his being moved to the Mariana Islands, and in February the same year, Shoichi and his colleagues transferred to the island of Guam, which they had to defend against the invading American soldiers.

The history of the last samurai

In the course of heavy fighting the Americans have been able to seize the island. However, the corporal, as ten of his colleagues, did not give up. They stayed true to their oath, which stated that the soldiers of the empire are not allowed to fall into captivity. This was stated by the Emperor about it every day repeated officers. Guam samurai gone inland, in the most inaccessible part of it, where we found a suitable cave and decided to wait for the return of the Japanese army, without a moment's doubt that it will.

Years passed, and the help never came. Soon, eleven soldiers left only three. After a strong hurricane that struck the island, the "stragglers" started having problems with provisions. It was decided to cast lots: the one who wins, will remain in the equipped cave, the other two will have to go and look for a new shelter. Corporal lucky, and two of his colleagues a few days later died from the poisoned fruit of poisonous plants. It is not known, they ate them by chance, or was it an act of ritual suicide. Whatever it was, the corporal was left completely alone. He buried his comrades in a cave, and he dug himself a new refuge.

For eight years, Yokoi learned to hunt and fish with the most primitive tools. He chooses to fish at night, in order not to be seen by the local population, which he suspected of collaborating with the enemy. His military uniform wore out, and the corporal, remembering his past life apprentice tailor made new clothes from that found in the jungle.

The history of the last samurai

Corporal Shoichi Yokoi is holding a bag with the remains of comrades

However, no matter how he was hiding, in 1972 he was noticed by two catchers shrimp. They thought that this strange old man - who escaped a farmer, so tied him up and took him to the village. Corporal Shoichi considered himself disgraced, he could not believe that two of some fisherman caught his loyal soldiers of the Imperial Army. Yokoi had heard from his officers a lot of stories about how the Americans and their allies have executed their prisoners, so I think that it leads to the executioner.

However, it soon became clear that the war ended 28 years ago, and instead of the shameful death of Corporal waits for medical examination and return to their homeland. Before you go to hospital, Shoichi asked to take him to the cave where he dug up the remains of two of his comrades, and folded in a bag. With him, he did not leave until the return to Japan. Medics examined corporal found that he is completely healthy. Before sending home soldiers met with the Consul of Japan, who told him a lot of questions. It is said that Shoichi nearly fainted when he learned that Japan and the US are now allies, but the news that Roosevelt had died long ago, to rectify the situation and forced the emperor to smile soldier first time in 28 years.

Returning home a forgotten soldier was greeted as a hero - he was invited to talk shows, wrote about his exploits in the newspapers and magazines, and he even paid salaries for all the time that he was presumed dead. His life on the island of the documentary "Shoichi Yokoi and his 28 years on the island of Guam" was filmed. In 1991, the hero was awarded an audience with Emperor Akihito, who called his feat "an act of selfless service to the motherland." Shoichi Yokoi died in 1997 at age 82. He was buried near the grave of his mother, who had died, and not waiting for the return of her son.

The history of the last samurai

Now Refuge corporal attraction

Second Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda. Onoda was born March 19, 1922 in a family of teachers from the village Kamekava that in Wakayama Prefecture. After graduating from high school in April 1939, he became an employee of a trading company Tajima and moved to China. There he mastered Chinese and English. In December 1942, he returned to his homeland since he was drafted into the army. Onoda originally as a private second class was assigned to the 61st Infantry Regiment. Then, a few days later, he was transferred to the 218-th infantry regiment. By mid-summer Hiroo has been a private first class, and in the period from September to November was promoted to the ranks of the upper class, and then in the corporals. From January to August 1944 Hiroo Onoda was trained in an army school. In December 1944 he was sent to the Philippines and was appointed commander of sabotage group.

In January 1945, when he was already in the rank of second lieutenant, Onoda, together with a detachment sent to the island of Lubango. Arriving at their destination, a young officer offered to local commanders to engage in preparation for a long defense, but his proposal was rejected. As a result, the soldiers of the US Army easily defeated the Japanese and took possession of the island.

The history of the last samurai

True to his oath Onoda three surviving slave disappeared into the jungle. There they established a base and begun to wage a guerrilla war. After the surrender of Japan, American planes began dropping leaflets over the jungle, which refers to the end of the war. Onoda, as an intelligence officer, saw this as disinformation.

Meanwhile, in Japan, due to lack of communication with the group of second lieutenant, authorities announced all its members dead, but they had to reconsider its decision, when in 1950 a member of the guerrilla group second lieutenant Hiroo surrendered to the authorities of the Philippines. "Backward" to search for a special commission was set up thanks to his testimony. Due to the unstable political situation in the area of ​​search Japanese search engines for a long time could not get to work. While there were diplomatic proceedings, it was discovered another member of a subversive group. May 7, 1954 in the mountains of the police detachment noticed a group of people dressed in Japanese uniforms. Attempt to get in touch with them over a shooting which resulted in the second term, he was killed Onoda group. After this, the Philippine government has authorized the Japanese search teams conduct their activities on the island Luang, but they could not find anyone. Onoda and the only remaining had repaired were again declared dead fifteen years. They posthumously awarded the Order of the Rising Sun VI degree. September 19, 1972 Philippine police again entered a firefight with a group of unknown Japanese - so was shot last term Hiroo group. From Japan came another search and rescue team, but this attempt did not produce results.

The history of the last samurai

The weapons treasured Onoda

We found stubborn samurai until the end of February 1974. Japanese traveler, exploring the Philippine jungle, accidentally stumbled on the saboteur shelter. First, Second Lieutenant Hiroo tried to attack the intruder, but when it became clear that the Japanese, he decided not to do so. They talked for a long time. A researcher named Norio Suzuki, Onoda persuaded to lay down their weapons, as the war is long over, but to no avail. Onoda said that he had no right to do so, because he is a soldier, and he was ordered, and as long as the order is not canceled, he has no right to give up.

After returning to his homeland Suzuki story of the meeting created a furor, it was collected third search team, which invited the former commander of Hiroo Onoda, Major Taniguchi Esimi. On the island Taniguchi made contact with Onoda and read him the order to surrender. When the second lieutenant handed weapons, all those present saw that it was in perfect condition. According to the law of the Philippines Hiroo were sentenced to death, because during his protracted war he had killed 30 people and wounded more than 100, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan to settle the matter, and true to his oath officer returned home March 12, 1974.

The history of the last samurai

Interesting fact: The Return of Hiroo Onoda was greeted by the Japanese mixed. Most, of course, supported the young Lieutenant and consider it a model of the officer's honor, but the Communists and the Social Democrats called him "the specter of militarism" and said that he knew about the surrender of Japan, but did not give up just because it was a complete militarist and chose to live in the jungle and kill innocent Filipinos rather than admit defeat of their country.

Private First Class Teruo Nakamura. Nakamura was born November 8, 1919. The army was called in 1943. His service took place at the private island of Morotai, in Indonesia. After US troops in January 1945 completely destroyed the enemy forces in the area, the relationship between Japan and the island, where he stayed Nakamura, has been lost. Teruo served in the unit, which in its preparation was equated with commando units, so he easily managed to evade capture and hide in the jungle, where he built himself a small hut and started a vegetable garden in which to grow potatoes. Private thought that if his existence learn the right hand over the troops of the enemy, and then followed by the capture of all those horrors, which the officers were told.

Almost 30 years of ordinary copes with the role of the ghost of the jungle, but in 1974 the Indonesian Air Force aircraft crew spotted him shelter and reported it command. Within two months of negotiations were held with the government and developed a plan for the evacuation "lagging" soldier. No one knew how to react to the emergence of Nakamura and rescue teams believe if the news of their country's surrender.

The history of the last samurai

December 18, 1974 number of Indonesian soldiers quietly crept up to the hut and took the average area of ​​the ring to prevent escape attempts. Then, under the national anthem of Japan, they started waving the Japanese flag. After that Teruo himself came out of his home and laid down their arms (rifle "Arisaka" with five rounds). After that, he said: "I was ordered to fight to the very end." He was taken to Jakarta, where he underwent a complete physical examination. It turned out that in addition to traces of malaria, which is a samurai caught for years in the jungle, he is absolutely healthy, and his physical condition is even better than most of his peers (in the meantime he was 55 years old). The Japanese government has returned an ordinary home in Taiwan, and appointed him a military pension. In the words of Nakamura, the only thing he most wanted - this return alive to his wife. However, it turned out that for a while, until he was presumed dead, she is considering himself a widow remarried. Perhaps that is why after the deportation home, he lived only three years.

Interesting fact: Teruo Nakamura was not Japanese, he belonged to the largest Taiwanese nation s. When he was informed that Taiwan is no longer Japanese and Chinese colony, he replied: "I'm too long was a Japanese soldier, and I do not care, that Taiwan is now a free state." By the way, his real (Taiwan) and the name did not become known.

The history of the last samurai

soldier Teruo Nakamura at the military base

According to official data, more than a hundred Japanese soldiers who remained in Indochina after his country's surrender, joined the Malayan Communist troops and continued their war. In addition, in 2005 the territory of the Philippines, two soldiers were found, which by that time was already over eighty. They were hiding for fear of being accused of desertion and executed. Based on this information, we can safely assume that today the remains of more than a hundred such "stragglers" may be in the jungles of Southeast Asia, who have not learned that their war was over, and the Empire, the glory of which they fought, already long gone.