Hiroo Onoda Dies at 91: Japanese Soldier Lived in Jungle for 29 Years

Image: Hiroo Onoda Dies at 91: Japanese Soldier Lived in Jungle for 29 Years

Friday, 17 Jan 2014 03:07 PM

By Morgan Chilson

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Hiroo Onoda, the Japanese soldier who lived in the Philippine jungle for 29 years after World War II ended because he refused to believe that it was over, died Thursday at 91 years of age, The New York Times said.

Onoda, a lieutenant in the Japanese Imperial Army, received a hero’s welcome when he finally laid down his sword and returned to Japan in 1974.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

He was following his last order to remain and fight, Onoda wrote in his memoir. It was a sentiment that appealed to the Japanese culture, which rewards devotion to duty.

“Every Japanese soldier was prepared for death, but as an intelligence officer I was ordered to conduct guerrilla warfare and not to die. I had to follow my orders as I was a soldier,” Onoda told ABC in 2010.

He was at first accompanied by two other soldiers, and when leaflets were dropped and rescue parties were sent in to get him to give up, he refused, Onoda told ABC. “The leaflets they dropped were filled with mistakes so I judged it was a plot by the Americans,” he said.

Over time, Onoda’s fellow soldiers were killed while fighting with Philippine soldiers. Finally, in 1974, what ABC described as a “wandering college dropout” talked to Onoda and asked him what it would take for the soldier to lay down his weapon.

“This hippie boy (Norio) Suzuki came to the island to listen to the feelings of a Japanese soldier,” Onoda told ABC. “Suzuki asked me why I would not come out. I said that if the war was over and I received an order telling me to stop fighting I would come out. So Suzuki brought my commanding officer to Lubang and he did just that.”

Onoda returned to a Japan that was vastly different than when he left 30 years before, and he didn’t feel at home amongst skyscrapers and the materialism that was part of the modern culture, the Times said.

Editor's Note: Do You Support Obamacare? Vote in Urgent National Poll

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Thailand Santa Elves Break Record for Christmas Helpers

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 06:26 AM

The world record for the largest gathering of Christmas elves was broken on Tuesday when hundreds of Thai school childre . . .

Karisa Bugal Dies While Saving the Life of Her Newborn Son

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 06:02 AM

When doctors diagnosed that Karisa Bugal was suffering from a rare medical condition during labor earlier this month, th . . .

Double Arm Transplant Feels 'Surreal' to Quadruple Amputee

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 05:46 AM

A 35-person medical team, including 13 surgeons, performed a rare dual arm transplant on a 40-year-old quadruple amputee . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved