Birthday: March 19, 1922
Died At Age: 91
Sun Sign: Pisces
Also Known As: Hirō Hiroo Onoda
Born in: Kainan, Wakayama, Empire of Japan
Famous as: Imperial Japanese Army Intelligence officer
Spouse/Ex-: Machie Onoda (m. 1976–2014)
father: Tanejiro Onoda
mother: Tamai Onoda
siblings: Tadao (elder brother)
Died on: January 16, 2014
place of death: Tokyo
Who was Hiroo Onoda?
Hiroo Onoda was an Imperial Japanese Army intelligence officer. He fought in the Second World War and was the last Japanese warrior to come out of the hiding and surrender, almost thirty years after the end of the war. He possessed the rank of 2nd lieutenant in the Japanese Army. Known for his bravery and willpower, Onoda was one of those fighters who would go to astonishing lengths to exhibit their loyalty for their nation. Known to have lived his later life as a farmer and social worker, the late soldier opened several nature camps for kids across Japan. He once visited Lubang Island and donated US$10,000 for a local school there. He also launched a ghost-written autobiography titled ‘No Surrender: My Thirty-Year War’. Talking about Onoda’s awards and honours, the Brazilian Air Force honoured him with the Merit Medal of Santos-Dumont. He also received the title of "Cidadão do Mato Grosso do Sul” by the Legislative Assembly of Mato Grosso do Sul.
At the age of 18, Hiroo Onoda joined the Imperial Japanese Army Infantry. He was then trained as an intelligence officer in Nakano School. In 1944, he was sent to Philippines to protect its Lubang Island from enemy attacks. On the island, the officers of the group already there outranked him and prevented him from carrying out his tasks, thus making it easier for the enemy soldiers to take the Lubang Island on which they landed on February 28, 1945. The consequence of this was that most of the Japanese soldiers were either killed or made to surrender. Onoda, who miraculously survived, ordered his companions to take to the hills.
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Time in Hiding
Onoda continued his campaign, initially residing in the mountains with his three fellow fighters. During their stay, they carried out revolutionary activities and performed several shootouts. One of his companions surrendered to the enemy in 1950 and the other two were shot later on. After this, several attempts were made to persuade Onoda to come out of hiding and surrender, but all in vain. Several years later, the Japanese government sent Major Yoshimi Taniguchi (Onoda's commanding officer) to Lubang. Finally the Japanese soldier surrendered and returned his sword, rifle, and other military items and tools to the government.
Though Onoda had killed several innocent people during his hiding, the circumstances (his belief that the war was still going on) were taken into consideration, and finally he received a pardon from the then-President Ferdinand Marcos.
Personal Life & Death
Hiroo Onoda was born on 19 March 1922 in Kainan, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. He got married to a lady called Machie in the year 1976 and assumed a major role in Colônia Jamic, the Japanese community in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.
On 16 January 2014, Onoda died of heart failure due to complications from pneumonia at St. Luke's International Hospital. He was 91.