Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Saga and Life Lessons of an Unrepentant Hiroo Onoda.

An amazing story.

Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2007

WORDS TO LIVE BY
Hiroo Onoda

By JUDIT KAWAGUCHI

Hiroo Onoda, 84, is a former member of an Imperial Japanese Army intelligence unit, an elite commando during World War II who was sent to Lubang Island in the Philippines in 1944 to conduct guerrilla warfare and gather military intelligence. Trained in clandestine operations, his mission was to sneak behind enemy lines, conduct surveillance and survive independently until issued new orders. He did exactly that for the next 30 years. Long after Japan's surrender in 1945, he continued to serve his country in the jungle, convinced that the Greater East Asia War was still being fought. He lived on mostly bananas and mangoes, evading many Japanese search parties and the local Philippine police, all of whom he believed were enemy spies. In March 1974, at age 52, a Japanese man who had run across Onoda brought his former superior to the island with instructions that relieved him of his military duties. After a brief return to Japan, he moved to Brazil where he became a successful rancher. He came back to Japan in the 1980s and established the Onoda Nature School with the goal of educating children about the value of life. His incredible adventures on Lubang are detailed in his book "No Surrender: My Thirty-year War."



If you have some thorns in your back, somebody needs to pull them out for you. We need buddies. The sense of belonging is born in the family and later includes friends, neighbors, community and country. That is why the idea of a nation is really important.

Some dreams are best not to wake up from. On Lubang, I believed I was defending Japan by making the island into a stronghold as best as I could with my two comrades, Shimada and Kozuka. When they both died, I continued my mission alone. When World War II ended for me in 1974, the past all seemed like a dream.

People cannot live completely by themselves. If you have any doubts about this, just imagine being truly alone. Can you find all your food, make a fire, sew your clothes and take care of yourself when you get sick or injured? Can you make it?

One must always be civic-minded. Every minute of every day, for 30 years, I served my country. I have never even wondered if that was good or bad for me as an individual.

History is written by the victors. Since the end of WWII, the Japanese history taught in our schools has been based on a U.S. program to promote war guilt and on left-wing propaganda. I don't blame the United States for this. They wanted a weak Japan, and their mission is accomplished; Japanese educated after the war do not have any confidence in their culture or in themselves.

Japan was forced to participate in WWII. The ABCD Powers (America, Britain, China and the Dutch East Indies) imposed such strong sanctions on Japan that we had no way to import oil, steel or anything. We were going to die or we were going to be invaded and enslaved.

Japanese political leaders were wise in the past. All Asian nations except Thailand and Japan were colonized. In our case, the Tokugawa Shogunate made a smooth transition to the first Meiji government in order to save us from colonization.

Once you have burned your tongue on hot miso soup, you even blow on the cold sushi. This is how the Japanese government now behaves toward the U.S. and other nations. We are so careful and let others devour so much, yet they are always hungry for more from Japan.

Without a huge shock, the sleepy-head, ignorant Japanese will never wake up. The situation today is similar to what we had in 1853 when [Commodore] Perry's Black Ships arrived. Unless Nodong or Taepodong missiles fly over our heads, we do nothing to protect ourselves.

Parents should raise more independent children. When I was living in Brazil in the 1980s, I read that a 19-year-old Japanese man killed his parents after failing the university entrance exam. I was stunned. Why had he killed his parents instead of moving out? I guess he didn't have enough confidence. I thought this was a sign that Japanese were getting too weak. I decided to move back to Japan to establish a nature school to give children more power.

Men should never give up. I never do. I would hate to lose.

Men should never compete with women. If they do, the guys will always lose. That is because women have a lot more endurance. My mother said that, and she was so right.

Never complain. When I did, my mother said that if I didn't like my life, I could just give up and die. She reminded me that when I was inside her, I told her that I wanted to be born, so she delivered me, breastfed me and changed my diapers. She said that I had to be brave.

Parents should remember that they are supposed to die before their children. Nobody will help them later on, so the greatest gift parents can give their children is independence.

Life is not fair and people are not equal. Some people eat better than others. At our nature school, children participate in survival games. For example, they must prepare their own dinner from ingredients they find. Bartering is allowed but still some children will have a feast compared to others.

Judit Kawaguchi loves to listen. She is a volunteer counselor and a TV reporter on NHK's ''Weekend Japanology.'' Learn more at: http://juditfan.blog58.fc2.com/

12 comments:

doubletrouble said...

I read this fellow's book a few months ago- amazing narrative on survival "at war", at least in his mind.

Taylor H said...

I like this guy...

Anonymous said...

I remember hearing about this man when I was in high shcool, back in the 80's.

Dennis308 said...

He story is inspirational.
30 years fighting for what he believed in, his duty to country.

Dennis
III
Texas

Dedicated_Dad said...

Talk about an OATH KEEPER!

Though I may disagree with him on some things, I must give him my utmost respect in every possible sense.

This. Is. A. MAN.

My parents put me on the street - with about an hour's notice - at 17. They moved - and made it plain I wasn't moving with them. Heck, had I been an hour later coming home I'd have found an empty house and my few belongings on the back patio.

I spent the next decade living out of a backpack - the times when I had a way to haul and a place to park a footlocker were heavenly!

Hate doesn't seem a strong enough word for the feelings I held for my parents at that point, but in time I came to understand something critical -- something *THEY* didn't even understand when they did this: It was the BEST thing -- BAR NONE -- that anyone ever did for me.

For the last several decades, I've known that NO MATTER WHAT happened to me, I could survive. In a city, 20+ miles deep in a primordial forest, or anywhere in-between -- I. Will. SURVIVE.

I know countless people -- more than half of them males (Note: not "men") -- who cannot say this, who are doomed to a life of fear and panic over every potential pitfall.

I am blessed to have had the experience!

Lemonade anyone?

My point?

This Man understands - and is doing his best to be sure the knowledge does not die with him.

We didn't force Japan to bomb Pearl. We didn't force them to do many of the horrific atrocities they committed. Then there's China...

He's dead wrong about the whole war, but I guess that's to be expected -- facing the fact that his life was wasted might be more than he could live with...

In any case, G*D bless his efforts to continue ensuring the rest isn't wasted!!

DD

GeekParallax said...

Other than the NIPPON STRONG propaganda he buys into, I agree with a lot of what he says.

I'll have to check out his book.

Mike in KY said...

He was on Gilligan's Island a couple of times, too. Looks like he finally got some decent glasses.

Uncle Lar said...

While I have great respect for this man I have nothing but the utmost contempt for the Imperial Japan he served so loyally those many years. That Japanese culture was responsible for crimes of depravity that made the Nazis look like school boys. Study their treatment of US military and civilian prisoners at the start of WWII for details. Every bit as evil as radical Islam is today.
And we crushed and destroyed that culture utterly, replacing it with something while not exactly a copy of ours, still and all much more compatible with world civilization as a whole. Which tells me we could do the same with the RIF if we only had the will to do so.

Carl said...

"Life is not fair and people are not equal." Something the progressive worms will never understand.

root@localhost.localdomain said...

I completely agree with what Uncle Lar said.

Anonymous said...

Hiroo Onoda is a prime example of a fanatic statist.

He spent decades continuing to struggle for the victory of his appalling emperor. During this time he killed the livestock and set fire to the crops and homes of many innocent civilians.

And he personally murdered or was directly responsible---as ranking officer---for the deaths of dozens of innocent civilians.

There is nothing "honorable" or admirable about Onoda. He should have been hanged as a common criminal about 15 minutes after his surrender.

You "men" should be ashamed of yourselves for worshiping this example of fanatic statism.

Happy D said...

Anon, Considering the number of innocent people just trying to go about their lives that your Anarchist brethren have stolen from, maimed, and/or murdered.
How are you guys any different?