The last Japanese WWII soldier to surrender
Hiroo Onoda. A Japanese war hero to some. The last Japanese solider to surrender in World War II, in 1974.
Stationed in Japanese occupied Lubang, a small island in the Philippines which faced imminent invasion from American troops, Onoda's mission was to retreat to the forest in the hills and defend the island until Japanese troops returned. Days later, the war was over.
But not for Lt. Hiroo Onoda and his men.
Unable to accept that the Emperor had declared an end to their war (believing it to be Allied propaganda) and following his "never surrender, no suicide" philosophy, Onoda and his small group of men, continued to wage guerrilla warfare until his formal surrender, emerging from the jungle, 30 years, 10,000 nights later.
Onoda returned to Japan and briefly moved to Brazil to live as a cattle-rancher, disillusioned by the change in Japanese society. Moving back to Japan, he was sometimes involved in politics and was declared a national hero after his death in 2014, aged 91.
The award winning Hiroo Onoda film "Onoda: 10,000 Nights in the Jungle" (directed by Arthur Harari) tells this remarkable story about the Japanese holdout soldier. Shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 2021, the film will be released in cinemas in the UK this Friday (15th April).
Click here for a listing on the Third Windows Films site of where this film will be showing