Oba the Last Samurai ePUB ô Oba the MOBI :↠

I'm usually not a fan of military history preferring the history that goes on between the wars to the war itself but I picked up this book in preparation for a trip to Saipan and found myself really enjoying it The book is about Oba a Japanese military captain stationed on Saipan during WWII who refused to either surrender or commit suicide as many of the other Japanese officers did under the Samurai code of seppuku once it became clear that the island was lost Instead he took to the jungles and covertly continued to lead a band of civilian and military refugees until after the war ended and he was finally formally relieved of his command by the Imperial General Staff The sheer ingenuity of how he managed to evade the American forces for so long on such a small island is fascinating as are the glimpses into the lives and cultural beliefs of the Japanese soldiers and civilians on the island during that time I was so disappointed though that the author missed the opportunity to discuss Oba's experience reintegrating back into Japanese society after the war Since the population during the war was heavily indoctrinated with messages of victory or death no surrender there was not always a welcome homecoming for soldiers who returned after the war defeated but alive This in combination with propaganda about the supposed atrocities that the Americans would commit against those taken prisoner unfortunately led to mass suicides including on Saipan which now has memorials on both 'suicide' and 'banzai' cliff dedicated to those Japanese civilians and soldiers who jumped from them sometimes with infants in their arms to avoid being taken prisoner From an American cultural perspective Oba's 'live to fight another day' method of resistance makes him a heroic character and the author even goes so far as to suggest that his actions likely would have netted him a Medal of Honor but there may have been some in Japanese society at the time who would have considered his actions shameful Since the author took the time to contact him personally for an interview it would have been nice to see at least a brief 'afterword' addressing his return and life after the war If one enjoys reading the stories of soldiers one can find that heros may be found in any army even that of a country or regime with which one does not agree Yet the individual soldier of a loosing or even criminal govenrment may be personally heroic That is the case of the story of Captain Oba Sakae The book is a fascinating view of the beliefs of a small group of Japanese soldiers on the island of Saipan who were the last to surrender to US forcesIts a uick easy read and a good story Read this in Saipan — couldn’t put it down A very powerful book In July 1944 after 28 days of bloody battle the island of Saipan was declared secured All Japanese troops were assumed dead and all resistance ended As in most Pacific battles a number of enemy troops escaped to hide in the hills and jungle Captain Sakae Oba one of the Japanese soldiers on Saipan a former high school geography teacher organized a party of some 300 soldiers and civilians He fed clothed and sheltered them in jungle villages and caves Oba carried on a guerrilla campaign against the American garrison and refused to surrender until he personally received instructions from the Imperial General Staff Oba the Last Samurai

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