At 81, Japanese vet makes rare return to Iwo Jima

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by v2, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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    The tunnels of Iwo Jima snake deep beneath the volcanic rock and soil, their entrances camouflaged by a dense tangle of vines and tall grasses.

    In their stifling heat, Tsuruji Akikusa suffered months of hunger and thirst. The bodies of dead comrades lay around him. His closest buddy blew himself up with a grenade rather than surrender.

    Finally, Akikusa was the only one left alive in his cave.

    In May 1945, he says, U.S. troops found him wounded, unconscious and dehydrated. Out of 21,000 Japanese defenders of Iwo Jima, only about 1,000 had survived.

    full story: Newsvine - At 81, Japanese vet makes rare return to Iwo Jima
     
  2. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    It had to be very touching moment for him...
    Hope the future generations and mainly politicians will learn from it...
     
  3. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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  4. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    I can't even imagine the range and power of the emotions he felt.
     
  5. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Excellent find!
     
  6. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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  7. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    :salute:

    Very good post, thanks.
     
  8. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    I know, I know, every ww2 vet deserves respect, but honestly everytime I think in the japanese war the only image that comes to my mind is the war crimes comitted in China and later against the allied POWs and civilians.

    I have no simpathy for the japs, not even the olders ones.
     
  9. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    DO NOT USE THE TERM JAPS BRONSON, ITS DEROGATORY.....
     
  10. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Yes I agree with Les.I think the expression has to be replaced here as soon as possible.
     
  11. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    That attitude breeds a vicous circle and to me makes no sense what so ever.

    However if that is your opinion so be it.

    :salute:
     
  12. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Sorry no I had no idea a short term for japanese was derogatory :rolleyes: .
     
  13. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    I was going to pass this thread because I heard and read a lot of such miracle survival stories from my father's generation...

    Everybody has freedom of speech but I don't want to be called 'Jap' at least. It reminds me of the worst days in the past even if the word might be almost obsolete today.

    Thanks everybody for taking care with the word.
    I am glad to know such warm consideration from you all at least.

    Hi, Charles.
    Please call me Shinpachi.
    I know you are a good man who loves your own country and want to make friends!
     
  14. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Usually we are called argies and sometime ago I tought it was derogatory until somebody explains that is not, honestly I believe till now that the same could be said about the word "jap". My apologies again for causing some disconfort.

    Yes I am.

    Not necessarily, I want to share information and opinions, if that bring some friends better but is not the main objetive.
     
  15. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, Charles:salute:
     
  16. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    schinpachi,

    I´m just curious, did anyone from your family serve in the army during WW2 and if so, in which unit?
     
  17. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Hi, seesul.

    My father was drafted for Army in 1944 and stayed in a regiment of Chiba Prefecture till the end of war but I do not know which unit.

    My uncle served Navy as a teenager volunteer.

    My mother's father stayed in the 2nd Army Devision.
    His regiment joined Coup d'etat in Tokyo on February 26, 1936.
    After the incident, he and his regiment were sent to the front line in China as a penalty. They were not allowed to return home alive.

    One night, his regiment was ordered to separate into two units and to attack the enemy from both sides. After several hours of searching, they found the target - a Chinese military unit on an expected position in the darkness.

    My Grandfather and his unit started to shoot them.
    The battle never ended so soon. It continued unitl almost soldiers died for hours. He was shot to die.

    The opponent was NOT Chinese but the other unit of the same regiment!
     
  18. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    thank you for your answer shinpachi!
    Man, what a story...strange that both sides didn´t recognize they fought against their own army...I´m sorry for a nonsesical loss of your grandfather...
     
  19. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    My mother was seven years old when her father died in 1937.
    She said the funeral was managed by the Army and gorgeous.
    She had been missing her father until she herself went away in 1980.

    Thank you seesul for your good question.
    I had a good chance to recall my family history:)
     
  20. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Yes, there are 2 things that must be very depresing for the kids- either when its parents get divorced or when one of the parents passes away...

    Shinpachi, another question, if you don´t mind...
    Don´t you have links on the air museums in Japan? I mean the museums with WW2 birds...Is there any Zero displayed in any museum in Japan?
     
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