Sunday, July 6, 2014

Phantom Post

grim determination personifies one of the most enduring images of Japanese soldiers during the war - that Japanese fighting men did not surrender, even in the face of insuperable odds.

Every Japanese soldier was prepared for death, but as an intelligence officer I was ordered to conduct guerrilla warfare and not to die-Onodo

He feared they would take him as a prisoner of war - that would have been the greatest shame for a Japanese soldier and for his family back home,"

Although some Japanese were taken prisoner, most fought until they were killed or committed suicide. In the last, desperate months of the war, this image was also applied to Japanese civilians. To the horror of American troops advancing on Saipan, they saw mothers clutching their babies hurling themselves over the cliffs rather than be taken prisoner.

Not only were there virtually no survivors of the 30,000 strong Japanese garrison on Saipan, two out of every three civilians - some 22,000 in all - also died. no surrender.

The great classic of Bushido - 'Hagakure' written in the early 18th century - begins with the words, 'Bushido is a way of dying'

did not surrender