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Son of U.S. soldier looking for kin of 130 Japanese he saved in WWII

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There are some Japanese who are going to fight against this brave man learning about his father's even braver deeds because it means accepting the fact that the IJA forced civilians to kill themselves or be shot, or thrown off cliffs. They deny it, so I don't know if he'll get much cooperation. But I hope he does, and I hope he can unite and they can share stories, maybe cry together, and talk about the folly of war and the thanks that they were saved.

"In the fierce battle that began in June, many Japanese soldiers and civilians from Okinawa committed mass suicide as they refused to surrender."

Rather euphemistic. They were forced to at the barrel of a gun.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Smith is right, the great majority were forced to kill themselves. At the time, native Okinawans were not even considered to be true Japanese by the IJA and mainland Japanese.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Michael Jackson: It was all part of their war of attrition; die for the Empire. Better dead than caught and ruled over. The soldiers told obscene lies about the American troops and what would happen to them if they were caught (something like what Japanese did to people they caught, or around Asia, like with Unit 731 and raping women), so any who killed themselves of their own volition did so because they believed the lies they were told in order to get them to do it -- coercion was another thing the IJA was quite good at.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

In the fierce battle that began in June, many Japanese soldiers and civilians from Okinawa committed mass suicide as they refused to surrender.

I would like to know where the author came up with this particular information?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Happened across a memorial on one of the islands. The townfolk and mayor had committed suicide because of the impending atrocities that were foretold.

Tragic, heartbreaking stuff.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

 At the time, native Okinawans were not even considered to be true Japanese by the IJA and mainland Japanese.

Are you aware of the time of the battle of Saipan and the battle in Okinawa? The battle in Saipan took place nearly a year prior to the battle of Okinawa, and the military units in Saipan for the Japanese side came from, for the most part, mainland Japan.

The inference here is that what happened on Okinawa is what influenced or happened there in Saipan, but Saipan occurred first. Japanese were committing mass suicides, and what were called "banzai charges" against American positions during most the the island hopping campaign, it stopped for the most part when they changed tactics in Okinawa and made the "enemy" fight for every inch of ground.

Hence my asking where the author got their information from, and why talk about the Okinawan suicide issue?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Yubaru: "Hence my asking where the author got their information from, and why talk about the Okinawan suicide issue?"

He's talking about the suicide issue because his father saved a bunch of people that were going to be "suicided" in a barricaded in cave by IJA troops. As for the information, I'm guessing he also got a lot of that from his father and from studying history. Not Japanese texts, mind you. Do they even mention forced suicides? I thought Abe, actually, as the one who helped get any mention of that and sex slaves out.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

If you go to Okinawa and visit historical museums you will learn about how imperial military abused civilians. So, at least there these negative facts are not covered.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

There are some Japanese who are going to fight against this brave man learning about his father's even braver deeds because it means accepting the fact that the IJA forced civilians to kill themselves or be shot, or thrown off cliffs.

Probably some, yeah. But just as many, if not more who will acknowledge or recognise the incredible humanity of the man, and the fact that sense prevailed with the particular soldiers he came into contact with that day.

I'd say more people will be inclined to help, than hinder.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

It was good to Mr. Bob Kubo ( my respect for him) showed that Americans soldiers were not to kill the captured prisoners, that could be Japanese soldiers or civilians. However, at that time, as long as Japan was never colonized from another country like other Asian countries. From my point of view the Imperial Japan soldiers were brain washed to go beyond imagination if they lose the war they will be colonized. But, what Lawrence Kubo father's did was a right explanation to those Imperial soldiers (in Japanese) that they won't be colonized by USA (kind of that). I felt this gap of time when I was talking with my passed away father who served the Japan Imperial navy where I'm also the second generation, born in South America. Anyhow, life still going on, generations change and probably will start again, what I understood what is wrong following tendencies of some leaders of the world in this present time.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Tamarama: "I'd say more people will be inclined to help, than hinder."

I hope that's true, and I'm sure there are those that would. It has to be done grassroots, though, and not through government. The government is very helpful when it comes to repatriating the remains of US servicemen found on islands that were heavy battle grounds, and likewise others help when they find IJA soldiers' remains in the Philippines or tropical islands, etc. But if it means admitting forced suicides and that an American saved them... I have my doubts you'll get a lot of government people making a big show of it. But if you went through NPOs or groups that will connect former victims and prison guards or what have you, you sometimes get people eager to heal wounds, and exchange stories. I honestly hope, as I said, that the man can meet people his father helped (and/or descendants).

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Yubaru - Hence my asking where the author got their information from, and why talk about the Okinawan suicide issue?

I think the article is referring to the fact that many of the civilians on Saipan were ethnic Okinawans who'd moved to Saipan before the war as part of Japan's colonial activities there.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

aedfedNov. 28 04:20 am JSTYubaru - Hence my asking where the author got their information from, and why talk about the Okinawan suicide issue?

I think the article is referring to the fact that many of the civilians on Saipan were ethnic Okinawans who'd moved to Saipan before the war as part of Japan's colonial activities there.

I disagree. I think Yubaru has a valid point and found a flaw in this article. There were some 29,000 or so Japanese civilians on Saipan at the time of the US invasion, and they were comprised of mainland Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese and Okinawan people. The battle of Saipan is well before the US invasion of Okinawa, and suicides by Okinawan civilians there had much to do with the fact that it was their home island being invaded.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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