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The Last Soldier Onoda: Who Successfully Fought 3 Decades | Sign In Pakistan April 12, 2024 April

 Soldier Onoda was a Japanese soldier who took part in world war 2. He fought for the his land for three decades after World War II was over. Fighting for such a long time abroad is really a challenging task which Onoda took with him. Here I will share his story of resilience and hardships he faced and challenges for his country and others to search him out from his hideouts. His story is worth reading and can have impacts on us, therefore I choose this topic to write on.

Received Orders

 The Japanese, who once occupied large parts of Asia, were now retreating. Their economy was destroyed. One after another, US troops were occupying a separate island and their defeat was visible. On December 26, 1944, the Japanese Imperial Army assigned a mission to Second Lieutenant Soldier Onoda. Soldier Onoda had to go to the Philippine island of Lobang. The advance of the US army was to be hampered. Soldier Onoda and his companions were instructed to do anything except surrender. The fight has continued. He and his commander knew it was a mission of death and they will not come back from the field.

Starting his Journey

Soldier Onoda

In February 1945, the U.S. military killed most Japanese soldiers or surrendered. The island fell into the hands of Japan. But Soldier Onoda and three soldiers managed to escape hiding in the forest with them. Here From then on, Soldier Onoda and his fellows launched a guerrilla war against American troops and the local population. Stealing their weapons, killing a forgotten soldier. The damage was done as much as possible.

Inhumane Nuclear Attack

Soldier Onoda

In August of the same year year, this most horrific chapter in human history came to an end after the rainy devastation over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Thousands of Japanese soldiers were still scattered in the Pacific islands, unaware that the war was over. Where Soldier Onoda was also posted an they all kept fighting and showing their resilience. Their fight in East Asia was a problem for these countries. Something had to be done.

Never Give up

The U.S. military, along with the Japanese government, dropped thousands of pamphlets on the islands, saying the war was over. Now is the time to go home. Like everyone else, they reached Soldier Onoda, but unlike others, Soldier Onoda refused to recognize them. They Judging by the fact that they are fake and the Americans have been laid out to catch the guerrilla fighters. Burned them and continued fighting.

Guerrilla Tactics

Five years have passed. The pamphlet was gone. US forces had returned to their home country. The local population of Lobaning wanted to go back to normal life. From fishing, to growing rice. Onoda and his companions when given the opportunity, they used to set fire to the fields. They used to steal their animals. And the locals who went far into this forest would kill them by Onoda.

Efforts to Stop Onoda

Now the Philippine government has tried to disarm them. They threw advertisements in the jungle that the Japanese have lost, the war has ended. They were also ignored by Onoda and his companions. 

The Japanese government made another attempt in 1952. This time letters were written from his family, he was photographed, a note was written from the king and he was thrown away in the region where Onoda was fighting. Onoda also refused to accept it as real. This is also the trick of the Americans and he declared that the war will continued for them on this island of Pacific Ocean.

Losing of Companions

A few more years passed. The locals armed themselves to fight them. By 1959, one of Onoda’s comrades had been killed, one had surrendered.

The next decade passed. Onoda’s last comrades, Kozuka, were shot in an attempt to set the field on fire. Now Onoda was left alone.

The National Hero

 News of Kozuka’s death reached Japan in 1972 and became big news. The Japanese thought that all the soldiers are back. Speculation began on the Japanese media. If Kozuka had been fighting until 1972, would Onoda still be alive? Onoda’s fame had become like some reality, some myth and some ghost on the island. People had heard, saw the movements, never this person. Search party sent but they didn’t found Onoda.

Finding Onoda

Soldier Onoda

Onoda had become a story in Japan. Romance for some. Crazy for some.  At the time, a campaign that young Norio Suzuki set out to find him. Suzuki himself had a passion of a traveling. The job was to find adventure and he got of searching Onoda. He Arrived in Lobang alone. Wandering in the forest and giving voices to Onoda that they have brought the message of the king of Japan. Fortunately, within few days, young Suzuki found soldier Onoda there.

Obedient to His Authorities 

By this time, Onoda had been alone for a year. Suzuki asked him why he was still fighting. Onoda replied that when he was sent, he was ordered to do anything, not to surrender, to keep fighting. He had been obeying an order for thirty years and will not return until his officer’s order. Suzuki took pictures and returned to Japan.

Back Home

Following the discovery of Soldier Onoda, Suzuki met with, Commander Tani Gucci, who had given Onoda this mission. Suzuki came back to Onoda on March 9, 1974 with a formal order from Commander Tani Gucci and convinced Onoda to move back to Japan. For Onoda the war was ended three decades after the catastrophicWorld War II.

High Morale 

Soldier Onoda says he has no regrets about why he kept fighting on the island. It was a requirement of his honor. He is proud to have maintained his allegiance to the Japanese Empire. (An empire that did not exist).

Popularity of Soldier Onada?

After returning to Japan, Onoda became a hero. He was invited to radio stations one after another show. Everyone, including politicians, would be anxious to shake hands with him. He wrote a book entitled “I resisted. My Thirty Years’ War.” He was awarded massive amount by the Japanese government.

New Japan and Onada

But for Onoda, his new life was terrible, Japan had changed. It became a society of consumers and capitalists. The generation in which they grew up had values of honor and sacrifice. New Japan did not even recognize these values. Onoda which Old Japan used to talk. He could not even hear others. He considered himself as a showpiece in New Japan, not a cultural thinker. A person who is decorated in a museum. An interesting monument to the past.


Onoda fell victim to depression. This condition did not come to his life before. It was like life in the jungle, it had some meaning. But It was a bitter reality in Japan where women wore western clothes and walked in cities. Of his thirty years, the struggle was fruitless. Onoda’s Japan was lost. The way this fact wounded him, any bullet cannot do. He had lost his life disappointed. Onoda packed up in 1980 and left Japan. He died in Brazil.


What are our values? Whose important? Everything in life depends on it

Can good and bad values be compared? Yes. A scale can be made for this. If we look at the values of Onoda, the highest value for them was complete loyalty to the Japanese Empire. That was a very poor value. For that they Lost his life on a remote island. Eat insects and ketchup. Sleep in the soil. People’s crops caught fire. Killed many innocent civilians. They adhered to their values but we can say that they did in terms of values for themselves didn’t make a good choice. 

All life we will face difficulties, there will be unresolved issues. Values are the name of choosing your problems. We can choose our values, we can review them. Choosing the right problems is the choice of a good life

What lesson did you get from the story of Onoda?

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Muhammad Ali is a blogger and content writer on different topics. He has worked on projects in the field of education, travelling, tourism, and freelancing. Your kind suggestions and corrections are always welcome.

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