Unbroken - a little more digging

  • 2015.03.29 Sunday
  • 22:16

As Angelina Jolie's recent movie "Unbroken - The Unbelievable True Story" circulated the globe, our people kept digging. And they found some additional facts that should be noted. I would like to exhibit the findings below, so all the "Unbroken" enthusiasts of the world are "entertained" further and possibly "enlightened".

Lewis Bush

"Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption" is a book authored by Laura Hillenbrand.

The hero of "Unbroken", Louie Zamperini is, needless to say, is the one who were most viciously attacked by Watanabe, a notoriously psychopathic prison official. 

But, here is a man named Lewis Bush, a British POW, who appears 14 times in the book. He is also described as the one who received brutal treatment by Watanabe, the Bird.

It should be noted that in the Hillenbrand's book, no conversation ever takes place between Lewis Bush and Louie Zamperini - no consolation, cheering up or shared anguish whatsoever. It looks as if Zamperini, the hero, is just coolly watching Bush beaten up by Watanabe until Watanabe turns to Zamperini.

It should also be noted that according to the official record, Lewis Bush and Louie Zamperini never shared the time together in Japan (Link).
  • Lewis Bush in Omori: September 1943 to August 1944
  • Zamperini in Omori:  October 1944 to March 1945

So, what's new? 

Louie Zamperini wrote a book named "Devil At My Heels - A Heroic Olympian's Story of Survival as a Japanese POW in World War II" in 2003 (Link). I bought it and read it. For those who read both books, it would be clear that Laura Hillenbrand mostly "copied" this book by Zamperini with some addition or subtraction to write "Unbroken". Perhaps Zamperini, then already an old man, decided to save time and energy for both sides by saying "hey, everything is there in my book" or something. But, that's just my personal guess.

In this book written by Zamperini himself, I found not a single mentioning of "Lewis Bush".

So the obvious question would be: Had Lewis Bush long been vanished from Louie Zamperini's memory until Laura Hillenbrand called him for the "Unbroken" project? Was that the time when the memory of Lewis Bush suddenly and miraculously revived in Zamperini's head?

You get bored? Oh sorry. OK, what's next?

Ofuna Camp in September

There are some parts which Hillenbrand chose "not to copy". Of course, it's her own book! So, why not? OK, but this is more about Louie Zamperini himself.

There is a narrative as follows;

Ofuna in September was much like New York in the winter, layered with thin crusts of snow and cold, very cold... (p134)

We Japanese people keep record meticulously. And we did it, too back in 1943, the time of the narrative.

According to Japan Meteorological Agency's website (certainly not a crazy right-wing "Unbroken" bashing nationalist organization)(link), the average temperature (Fahrenheit) in September was as follows;

Day Time Average  75.92
Highest           83.12
Lowest            70.16

I am not an expert of climate status of New York, but I once heard that the winter-time New York is a bit less warmer. I wonder what is like to be in New York… in the winter.

You get bored again? Sorry. And what's next?

Beam Holding & 220 Punches

Louie Zamperini endures 220 punches and he holds a beam for 37 minutes. These are the most memorable scenes of the book "Unbroken" and the movie by Angelina Jolie.

According to Louie Zamperini's own book "Devil at my Heels", here is what happened;

Zamperini gets injured in the leg during heavy work (p178). Being unable to work, his ration is now cut in half. He begs Corporal Kano for work to get the full ration (p179). 

The Bird (Watanabe) offers him a job of taking care of a goat, saying "If goat die, you die!". Unfortunately, the goat dies, and Zamperini, disregarding his fellow men's advice to escape, goes straight to the Bird and tells what happened. 

The Bird gets mad, punches him and tells him to pick up a timber and hold it over his head. He grits his teeth to hold the wood, and at some point, the Bird comes over and punches him in the stomach with all his might, which ended the ordeal. 

Tom Wade, his mate, tells him he was holding it for 37 minutes. 

A week later, Zamperini asks the Bird for another job. The Bird gives him a job of taking care of pigs without any tools. (p180)

Then, let's take a look at the narrative of "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand.

First about 220 punches;

During a heavy work in barge duty, Zamperini gets injured in the leg. Being unable to work, his ration is now cut in half. Being desperate, he begs the Bird for work. The Bird offers him a job of taking care of a pig without any tools (p286). 

Louie's leg is healed and he is now back to barge duty. One day, it is discovered that fish has been stolen. Thieves confess. The Bird, being furious, orders Wade, Tinker, Zamperini and two other officers to stand in line with the thieves. (p289) 

The Bird then orders enlisted men to punch each officer and thief in the face as hard as possible. During the punching, Zamperini goes unconscious and soon regain consciousness. The punching goes on. After all the punching is done, the Bird orders the guard to club each victim twice in the head with a kendo stick. (p290) Wade estimates each man received 220 punches.

Then comes the beam holding.
Louie's job of taking care of a pig is over and barge loading job is also cancelled, because so many of the Japanese ships have been sunken by the Allied planes, that there is no ship coming to and sailing from Naoetsu. 

The ration is cut again in half. Zamperini begs the Bird for work. The Bird offers him a job of taking care of a weakened goat, saying "If goat die, you die". (p294) Unfortunately, the goat dies. 

Terrified, Louie tries to hide from the Bird. But, suffering so much from dysentery, he goes to see a doc. The Bird finds him and reprimands him for going to the doc without permission. 

The Bird orders him to pick up a wooden beam and hold it over his head. Louie keeps holding it, regardless of nearly losing consciousness. The Bird comes over in fury and rams his fist into Louie's stomach. Louie collapses and loses consciousness. 

After he wakes up, Wade tells him he was holding it for 37 minutes. (p296)

Whoa! With Laura Hillenbrand's masterful writing skill, a story gets more dramatic!

So, who is this man Wade? Tom Henling Wade is a former British POW in Japan. He wrote a book "Prisoner of the Japanese: From Changi to Tokyo" (link), describing his experiences in POW camps in Japan during WWII.

In the Wade's book, the story goes as follows.

One morning, men are caught stealing boiled rice and get hit. Men still keep stealing and get caught. Japanese guards get enraged when they find that "specially treated vegetable" has been stolen. They demand that the thieves to come out. Eight men admit. Watanabe, the Bird, comes over and demands that "more" to come out. No one comes out. The Bird orders Wade and Tinker to join those eight men and line up before the rest of the POWs. The Bird orders POWs to slap them in the face - once left, once right "bery hard".  There are 96 POWs on the slapping side, and Wade estimates he and others received 220 times of slapping.

One day in mid-July, the Bird receives an order to move from Naoetsu to some other camp. Before he moves, the Bird punishes Zamperini for his alleged laziness in some building work. He makes Zamperini pick up a beam of wood and orders to hold it above his head. The Bird looks on, chatting to passer-by. Finally, the Bird allows him to put down the beam. Wade who was nearby and was checking the clock confirms that he was holding it for 37 minutes.

So, in the memory of Tom Wade, it was 220 slapping instead of punching. Slapping and punching are very different things. And there is no mentioning of Louie Zamperini's name in the slapping event.

And at the end of the beam holding, as Tom Wade remembers, the Bird did not punch Zamperini, but just "allowed him to put it down".

Now, we shall go back to Zamperini's own book "Devil at my Heels" and see how the part of 220 punching is described.

Direct Quote from Devil at my Heels (page 182 - 183)

WHEN TWO ENLISTED men stole a piece of dried fish from the coal ship, someone snitched. (Desperate for food or better treatment, some men informed. We sympathized; we all suffered. But we cou1dn’t condone ratting.) Back at camp, the Bird indulged in his favorite form of punishment: having the enlisted men beat the officers.

That's it? Yep.

Tom Wade made some interesting remarks in the interview with Daily Mail.

Daily Mail article on Tom Wade (link)  

When they were later moved to another camp as the war drew to a close, Wade recalls Zamperini being targeted by Watanabe.
He said: 'He made him pick up a beam of wood 6ft long by 4 inches square and hold it at arm's length above his head.
'He was being crucified holding up this heavy beam of wood. Finally Watanabe allowed the American to put down the beam.
'Zamperini could hardly move, could hardly unlock his fingers. I looked at the clock and it had been 37 minutes. I defy anyone to do it for that long.'
However, Wade doesn't recall Zamperini being struck in the stomach, which is central to the book Unbroken and central to Jolie's film.
Although it is understood that Wade was unhappy about certain passages in Unbroken he prefers to draw a veil over the issue.
He said: 'I would rather not comment on that.'

I wonder what exactly was the passages that made him unhappy.
'I had no contact with the film makers. I offered to give the British point of view but they did not reply. I wrote to Universal Pictures. Perhaps they did not get the letter.
'I did not really expect them to come back to me because they had accepted so few words from other British veterans with this project. As far as I know the British perspective rarely features in these films.

I wonder why Unbroken Film never answered a man with such a vital insight into the whole story.

  1. In "Devil at my Heels", first comes the goat, then beam holding, and then just a passing remark on "punishment" for stolen fish
  2. In "Unbroken", first comes the pig, then 220 punches, then beam holding
  3. Tom Wade remembers 220 event was not punching, but slapping
  4. Tom Wade remembers the Bird did not punch Zamperini in the stomach at the end of the beam holding event.

Laura Hillenbrand spent seven years (whoa!) to write this book "Unbroken" while she was bed-stricken. 

As I made digging with help of my fellow Japanese, I came to realize the enormity of her hard work - reading numerous books, picking events from different books, dissecting them, patching together, reversing the chronology, altering details here and there, dramatizing the undramatic - in writing this "gripping", "uplifting", "inspirational" story, Unbroken.

I wish this article reaches Laura Hillenbrand with my highest respect for her "professionalism", "courage" and "dedication to the facts". 

I wish Laura Hillenbrand reads this article and answer this simple question. "So, you spent the whole seven years doing these things, right?"

Special Thanks to

@hinatanococo, @111g0 and


"Unbroken" - Getting Over

  • 2014.12.28 Sunday
  • 19:11

This posting is a reply to @kc5fm who was kind enough to post his opinion on his blog in relation to my tweet to him.


I am glad to find @kc5fm took notice of my tweet on the novel and the movie "Unbroken" where I said "Actually, we are mad as hell". I might have been a bit aggressive, but I enjoy civilized conversation.

We are furious at "Unbroken", because it incites hatred among the people of the United States and the world (including Japan in reaction to it). We fought each other once. The war ended 70 years ago. All the participants of the war were wounded physically, mentally and financially.

Both had reasons to fight (see Link). Only time can heal the wounded. Only time can let people get over the past. And, now we see each other as an indispensable ally in the pacific region.

Provoking old hatred that both sides stopped harboring 70 years ago is the last thing we need. And yet, that is exactly what this novel and the movie "Unbroken" does.

And, it does so by assembling related and unrelated facts here and there, mixing total lies into them, distorting the reality, inflating the facts mixed with pure imagination. We call it simply a propaganda.

We don't deny having used POW as labor, whether we call it "slavery" or not. We don't deny that they suffered. What is lacking, however, in "Unbroken" and the minds of the likes of @kc5fm is the balanced view. What I mean by balanced view is capability to view things in multiple viewpoints. You are not the center of the universe. There are actions and reactions. You see negativity on others. Other see negativity on your side.

So, what do I mean specifically? While many of our soldiers were not allowed to be accepted as POW, and were mercilessly mowed down by Allied machine-guns (see Link), we saved Allied soldiers who had lost power to fight (see Link) and treated them with means the we had (see Link). The information here is not my invention. It's the information 1) by Americans 2) for Americans and 3) of Americans (or Brits).

The last link shows that we allowed POW access to our public bath and let them take bath together with our ladies (mixed bathing was our custom then). If you want to dispute me, dispute the source of the information.

I don't care if somebody on your side still don't buy products of Mitsubishi, Honda or Nikon. Buy GM. Buy Ford. Buy Samsung. Life goes on. It's the matter of whether they "get over it" or not.

We Japanese largely got over it. We don't produce anti-US movie. If some of us do, I condemn it. Most of our former soldiers don't see America with hostility. We never see our grandfathers make noise on I-Phone, Coca-Cola and even Lady Gaga.

I read the book and saw what Watanabe allegedly did to Zamperini. The issue is whether we believe it or not. 

Now, if you want people to take you seriously, you must 1) be accurate, 2) tell the truth and 3) not exaggerate. 

On all three accounts, "Unbroken" is guilty. Therefore, logic leads me (and hopefully many logical thinking Americans) not to believe in it.

Changing the narrative:
This is what Zamperini himself told the reporter back in 2005 (see Link around the end). Who is telling the truth - Zamperini 2005 or Zamperini in "Unbroken"?

Does this (see Link) have anything to with "true story of Zamperini"? And how true is this information?

Greg "Pappy" Boyington:
This is a real person with real experience. "Unbroken" says Zamperini was a runner. Boyington says he was a miller who cannot cook (see Link). So, who really is Zamperini?

Lewis Bush:
This is also a real person with real experience. He was in Omori from September 1943 to August 1944. Zamperini was in Omori from October 1944 to March 1945. Then, why does "Unbroken" describe them as if Bush and Zamperini were there together, using Bush's narrative of events? We call it "plagiarizing". See Link

Aside from these above serious problems, let's look at the following "Mission Impossible" actions;

Zamperini downed, drowned, passed out, regained consciousness, released from wire tangle, swam up and survived.. See Link. Is it a true story of Louie Zamperini?

Japanese bomber flew over them 8 times, machine-gunning them, and Zamperini and friends survived, not getting a single bullet, kicking off the sharks.. See Link. Is it a true story of Louie Zamperini?

Three of them on a raft with bullet holes, mending the raft (both up and down!!!), pumping the air fast enough, fending off the sharks.. See Link. Is it a true story of Louie Zamperini?

And, catching the sharks by bare hands (!!), dissecting them, and yet mostly throwing the meat away (!!), due to ammonia odor .. See Link. Is it a true story of Louie Zamperini?

Again, is it a true story of Louie Zamperini?

Or, are facts irrelevant?

If so, we shall call it "propaganda". 

As long as you appreciate propaganda, you will never be able to "get over" it.

I wish you all a happy holiday season and a nice "getting over", so that you can start your new year of 2015 with fresh mind.

13. "Unbroken" is finally "Broken"

  • 2014.12.24 Wednesday
  • 23:46

Dear readers;

I have posted 12 articles on this book "Unbroken" and the movie just being released as follows;

1) Downed  
2) Bomber  
3) Raft Patching  
4) Sharks  
5) Kwajalein  
6) Ofuna  
7) Koreans  
8) "Kill All"  
9) Boyington  
10) Lewis Bush  
11) POW Roster  
12) "Unbroken" v.s. Real POWs  

Now, I ask you;

Does this book "Unbroken" have any semblance to the truth, honesty and integrity? Because I cannot see any.

Let us be clear. We are not in denial on the suffering of Allied POWs. There were cases of mindless beating, miserable treatment and unfortunate deaths. We feel sorry for the ordeal POWs went through. That was a war. War is always a tough business. Japanese soldiers, however, went through that as well by the hands of the allies (reference).

Exaggerating the stories and putting the facts out of context don’t serve correct understanding of history. Correct understanding leads to friendship among the nations. Propaganda leads to animosity. 70 years after the war, why hate each other?

Japan and The United States should not have fought each other. Stalin’s Soviet Union infiltrated the US government up to the highest level (reference) and manipulated her into hostility against Japan. Following Stalin’s wish (he wanted Japan to turn its hostility against the US instead of Soviet Union), well before our attack on Pearl Harbor, The United States was already at war with us (reference). The war between our nations was an unfortunate event that we shall never ever repeat.

Fortunately, Japan and The United States today are the closest and indispensable allies in the pacific region. The friendship between the two nations manifested itself at the wake of the natural disaster in March 11, 2011 – Operation Tomodachi.

Here in Asia, we are faced with the same aggressors that we faced back in early 20th century – Russia and China, and the new one (not so new though) - North Korea. And, both countries, Japan and The US, shall forge a strong tie against them.

Japan is an exceptional country, having the longest continuous civil history in the world. The United States is, however, exceptional in a totally different way. America is exceptional due to its founding principle – life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. That principle makes the United States a shining city on a hill.  That principle was behind the power to abolish the slavery, to create civil society and to achieve prosperity that is second to none.

People in the two countries share common values – civility, morality, individual dignity, work ethics, love of freedom and love of prosperity. 

Those who wish to drive a wedge between the two nations, those who wish to instill hatred between the people of the two nations, we call them our enemies.

Together, we shall fight enemies within and without.

I wish for an ever-lasting friendship between the two exceptional nations.

And, finally, I pray for the soul of Mr. Zamperini.

Merry Christmas and Rest in Peace..

2014 December 24
Conservative Blog Japan

P.S. I will post further on the issue of POW as any new information becomes available.

Additional Articles:

"Unbroken" - Getting Over

Unbroken - a little more digging


12. "Unbroken" v.s. Real POWs

  • 2014.12.24 Wednesday
  • 23:12

Laura Hillenbrand wrote this book "Unbroken" by phone-interview (Hillenbrand and Zamperini never met once while this book had been written), internet search, and obviously, reading books written by other people.

To know what really happened in those POW camps, why don't we learn more from the person who actually met with POWs, talked with them face to face and read their diaries.

Here is a book "Long Night’s Journey into Day: Prisoners of War in Hong Kong and Japan, 1941-1945 ". This book by Charles G. Roland is based on hundreds of interviews with former POWs, as well as material culled from archives around the world.

Not without some disagreement (especially regarding the author's take on "Bushido"), I would recommend this book as a "must read" for all who want to learn what was like to be a POW in war time Japan.

We all understand the life as POW is hard. In the "Unbroken", no positive side is described. But, wasn't there any? Was it all pitch dark?

Let's see what this book says about life as POW. The following are the excerpts from the book.

Contacts with the Japanese Population
"Unbroken" describes the whole population of then-Japanese as extremely hostile and violent with only negligible exceptions. Let's see what it was like.

One Japanese worker at Niigata was notably kind to the prisoners. All his fingers had been cut off by the Chinese while he was their prisoner, some time before. One of the POWs would be sent out with this man to gather greens for the camp kitchen. They would Visit his home, a tiny one—room dwelling where the man lived with his mother. There they would have a modest meal, sitting cross—legged on the floor.

In camp the POWS were warned that the civilians outside were homicidally furious at Allied prisoners, especially Americans. The prison administration announced that they were the “guardians” of the POWs. Yet the latter seemed never to encounter an enraged citizen. “On the other hand, I met several who went out of their way to make my lot more bearable at the risk of their own safety. The civilians I met merely went through the motions of expediting the war effort. They had a bellyful of war.”
One American recalled a Japanese woman, wife of a workman (they called her “Ma”) who gave each of his group a little parched rice that tasted like popcorn. Also, civilians would hide handfuls of roasted soybeans where the men might find them. Once a guard caught a man doing this and brutally whipped him in the face with a pair of pliers. “Only then did we realize the full depth of the civilians’ kindness.. 
Unlike "Unbroken" may lead you to believe, even during the harshest of the war, there were some heart-warming human relationships.

One of the greatest differences between Kawasaki 3D and other camps was the fact that at Kawasaki they had the good fortune to have a few helpful and humane Japanese in charge. Dr. Reid’s Japanese counterpart, Dr. Inoue, was most helpful. He never interfered with Reid’s assessment of sickness and, even more remarkably, became “a good personal friend whose conversation, books, flowers and general tolerance and education do honour to our profession and make a bright spot in my routine here.”

Legal Status
Japanese are law abiding people now. We were law abiding people then. The law doesn't discriminate now. The law didn't discriminate then.

West, caught trading clothing to a civilian for food and cigarettes, was beaten severely by several Japanese NCOs, including Kondo. Pattingale became implicated and was beaten. These beatings lasted for an hour or more daily for several days, the fury of the Japanese increasing when it was found that a pair of Japanese army boots had also been traded. West initially refused to say where he got the boots but, when he had been held on half rations for 10 or 11 days, he weakened. Then there are two stories: one, that Soroka came forward and confessed that the boots were his, the other that West named Soroka. The Violence now was turned on Soroka.
Ultimately, a Japanese court martial was held in Tokyo. West and Soroka had no lawyers (Pattingale was not tried). Kondo appeared as a witness and, according to his statement, he was able to sway the court to give reduced sentences: “for an offense which would have brought a Japanese soldier at least five years, West received only eight months and Sirocca [sic] about two months.” West and Soroka served their time in the state penitentiary in Tokyo, where they said they were fairly treated, and then returned to Kawasaki. At his own trial, Kondo was found guilty and sentenced to one year at hard labour.

Medical Treatment
Healthcare and medicine were scarce resources in war time Japan. And yet, medical personnel and guards did their best to see POWs survive through hardship.

Dysentery, a debilitating and sometimes lethal disease, had a devastating effect on malnourished, overworked men. There were almost always a few cases, but in the early part of 1944 a serious epidemic ravaged Niigata Camp 5B. By mid—March even the Japanese became concerned at this threat to their labour force.
Later, Lt. Kato cooperated with Maj. Stewart in stopping what could have been a devastating outbreak of bacillary dysentery: “On the 19th of December 1944, at which time Lt. Kato was the camp ommandant, I reported there were cases of dysentery in the camp, and I expected to find on survey that there would be many more. Lt. Kato immediately stopped all work.” None of the men went to work for two weeks. This prevented the spread of the dysentery, and Stewart could treat those men who were already sick. In all, about 40 cases were diagnosed, with no deaths.

Dr. Fujii testified about some of the medical procedures used to combat pneumonia. He had the POW medical orderly make up a gargle solution with potassium permanganate. Before roll call, morning and evening, bottles containing this deep purple solution were distributed to each barrack. The POWS would bring their teacups and the section leader poured a measure of the gargle for each man. Asked about effectiveness, Fujii commented: “After the policy of gargling was instituted there were some pneumonia patients the first year, however, there were no pneumonia patients during the winter of the second year and so I think that it had beneficial effects.” Possibly it did help.

The number of injuries that occurred in Niigata Varied from month to month. The men were exposed to harsh physical labour and long work days. One report indicates that the peak period for accidents was similar to that for diarrhea and other diseases. The generally weakened condition of the men and the nature of the work performed combined to make them subject to accidents. Lack of proper attire, such as warm clothing and boots, also contributed to the number of accidents on the work site.

In some instances crude surgery was carried out under unpleasant and painful circumstances. Randy Steele was working at the coal yard when he got a sharp piece of coal in his foot. Unable to get it out, he kept on working. After a week his foot became infected. “I was limping about when a Jap guard asked me what was the matter and I told him. That night, two guards came and they made me lay on the floor and they took a knife and cut a hole in the bottom of my foot and took a piece of wire and dug the piece of coal out, then took a piece of rag and pushed it in the hole....After a few days, they changed the rag and my foot healed up after a few changes.”

In the spring of 1943, for the first time, patients travelled to an outside hospital- three men with severe beriberi. Eventually, all the men who had beriberi improved. The disease eventually vanished from the camp over a period of a year and a half.

Sometimes the system worked. In June 1943, Pte. Zytaruk, WG, had an accident at work: “He was removed to the Company hospital, the hospital operated in connection with the Company; the fracture was fixed with silver wire and a brass plate, the leg splinted with hip abduction, extension of the knee and full extension of the foot. I saw the patient on the morning of June 12th and his general condition was excellent. The Japanese had operated. They took him right off from where it occurred to the hospital.” Certainly this patient had prompt and apparently appropriate treatment.

At Omori, as in many other camps, the POWs came to expect the familiar order: “Prepare to gargle. Gargle!” When they ordered men to gargle the Japanese were deadly serious. In October 1944, men were stood at attention for an hour after tenko because some of them had forgotten to gargle, as ordered, twice a day.

Even in the height of the war when everything was scarcely available, we did our best to provide for the POWs. In in some cases, perhaps more than necessary..

The Japanese apparently expected giants when their POW labourers arrived from the south. The clothing supplied was so large that “we looked like walking tents. We rolled up the pant legs and sleeves. This was no fashion show, we gathered, but it was certainly a circus. The small men disappeared in a sea of cotton. Marching to work, four abreast, we were a wonderful sight to behold—straggling, bumbling, clumping along as though in time to some dissonant arrhythmic music.”

Foods were the problem, for sure. We didn't serve enough protein, for sure. The meal was not nutritionally balanced, for sure. But, we did our best to feed them, and sometimes did not hesitate to improvise..

People say "smoking kills". That is true in peace time. That was obviously acutely true in the war time, especially for the POWs.
As with all camps, Omine was guided by official regulations. One of these, in typically garbled English translation, refers to food. It was a rule the POWS found no difficulty adhering to: “Endeavour not to make remnant.” The British medical officer at Omine believed that the amount and quality of food supplied was extremely poor. But, he added, “in fairness it must be admitted that it was not much worse than the Japanese Army personnel in the camp were getting and it was also greater in quantity than the civilian mine workers were getting.” Maj. Robertson believed that most prisoners who ate their full rations managed to survive the war. The men could do their work “though with considerable discomfort and with some loss in weight.”

According to Hubbard, most of those who died at Narumi did so because they failed to consume their daily ration regularly. The POWs who manipulated food rations put themselves at great risk. “Rabbits,” who deferred current rations to the future, and “gorgers,” who mortgaged future rations to increase current consumption, were flirting with death. At even greater risk were those who gave nicotine a higher priority than food. Most of the men who traded food for cigarettes did not return home.

According to Lewis Bush, when rations were short at Omori, Dr. Fujii put forward his plan to make miso beer—beer brewed from fermented soybean paste. This he believed would prevent and even cure beriberi. Bush, a Japanese-speaker who knew Fujii as well as any POW, reported that he had a lengthy argument with the supply staff, but eventually they provided him with the supplies necessary for making this brew for the men engaged in heavy labour. It was made in the cookhouse under his supervision from miso, sugar, and fermented barley. Not only did it not taste bad, but it soon had the desired effect. “This was only one of the very excellent deeds of this young cadet doctor, but even so, he was tried as a war criminal." 

"Unbroken" describes the POWs as "slave". Well, it was not a free labor market for sure, but we allowed POWs some leeway of getting extra revenue, so that their lives were easier.

Moreover, the sick who remained in camp were cut off from two sources of extra nourishment, sources that could be crucial to survival. POWs working outside were sometimes paid—trifling amounts, it is true, but nevertheless some additional food could be purchased. Also, those working outside often were able to steal food, or materials that could be bartered for food. These facts further increased the pressure on men to work even when unwell.

Lewis Bush and Mutsuhiro Watanabe
Here is the bastard, Mutsuhiro "The Bird" Watanabe. OK, he did terrible things and we are sorry about that. And here is Lewis Bush - the man who never spent a single day in Omori together with Zamperini and yet appears in the book time and time again.

Now, let's see what the person with real experience had to say about him for the record.

Lewis Bush testified that on one evening in June 1944, at Omori Camp, he was brutally beaten by Watanabe, who knocked him down, threw water on him, hit him with a fire bucket and was about to finish off by hitting him over the head with a 40-pound fire extinguisher. Then someone struck Watanabe and dragged him away, thus preventing the blow with the fire extinguisher. Bush was later told that it was the Japanese medical officer, Lt. Fujii Hiroshi, who interfered and stopped Watanabe. Bush was convinced that Fujii had saved his life. He considered Fujii to be “a better type Japanese, high strung and rather enthusiastic.”
Conditions improved dramatically after Watanabe left the camp early in 1945. A Japanese sergeant by the name of Oguri, and Kano, an interpreter, took over the administration of the camp. For the rest of the time there were no beatings by camp staff, who did what they could to make working and living conditions decent.

Lewis Bush and Tokugawa
Another person who appears in "Unbroken" is Tokugawa. This is the experience of Lewis Bush himself. "Brown" was the bastard, Mutsuhiro "The Bird" Watanabe.

One day a handsome, tall Japanese, dressed impeccably in clothes which might have been cut in Savile Row- according to Lewis Bush, they had been - visited Omori and came to the room occupied by Bush and other officers. The man was Tokugawa Yoshitomo, son of Marquis Tokugawa Yoshichika, and brother-in-law of Prince Chichibu. Bush knew of Tokugawa, and he had heard of Bush, and they found that they had many friends in common. Tokugawa was visiting the POW camps representing the Japan Red Cross. Naturally, the POWs told him all their complaints and he promised to do whatever he could to assist. Immediately, he was able to have released to the men boxes of books sent by the American Red Cross, but which the POWs hadn’t seen because of the characteristically lengthy delays until books could be censored. “After Yoshitomo’s first visit, ‘Brown’ gave me another bashing and accused me...

Moxa Treatment
We did our best to relieve the suffering of the POWs. And, it was unfortunate that the treatment was sometimes painful, especially for those who didn't know what that was.

Even with good intentions, probably we did not have much language skills to explain it properly. There was not much of "informed consent" at that time. For that, we feel a bit sorry.

And, perhaps we were sometimes too eager to cure..

One of the many hazards of POW life in Japan was moxibustion. In many instances the Japanese made its use compulsory, inflicting it by force if necessary, on prisoners suffering from such diverse ailments as beriberi and amoebic hepatitis.

One complaint expressed by a few of these POWs was that the Japanese had tortured them, burning their bodies by lighting some sort of combustible substance piled up on various places on the skin. 

Distressing and painful as the burning was to startled, resentful POWs, in fact the procedure was medical therapy of a type having a history extending back more than two millenniaz namely, moxibustion.

The Japanese were unwilling to hear debate about their orders to have moxibustion administered. At Taisho POW Camp, the medical officer discovered painfully the futility of arguing with Nipponese Medical staff over this treatment. For “Beri Beri Pellagra & diarrhoea the treatment consisted of burning some sort of fusee on various parts of the body and to be done every day for 10 days.” Because he protested against this procedure he was beaten for an hour and a half. And, of course, “[t]he treatment was that day & subsequent days carried out by the Nipponese.”

Lancelot Ross, a Canadian sergeant, was sure the burning was a type of experimentation having something to do with beriberi:
One time they took four or five of us, stripped us completely of our clothes and made us lie flat on our backs with arms and legs out. They came along with this cotton rope, about a half-inch. They would cut a half—inch length off of that rope and set them on their ends, at, I think, about six points. I had one on each side of my chest, one on each hip, on the side of my stomach, one on each wrist, one on each ankle and one on the centre of my forehead. Before they put them on they would light them with a match, and you know how slow cotton burns. They put them on a nerve center. And they would let them burn right down to nothing. My God, it was awful the pain with it, when the fire came close to your skin. If you showed any tendency of moving they would holler at you and raise the rifle butts, and you had to stay there until all the rope had burned away, and then they would let you up. I had open ulcers and sores for months after.
But another Canadian, Randy Steele, who had severe wet beriberi while at Niigata 5B, believed that moxibustion saved his life. One evening two Japanese, a woman and a man, came into the camp. They made several of the POWS lie on the floor, applied what appeared to be little sulphur wicks to their stomach and legs, and then set fire to them. “They burned right through the skin and the water came out the holes, big pans of it. They drainedthe fluid and I felt much better. I fainted during the burning but I guess that saved my life. Many of the boys who had it as bad as I did died before that treatment was given them. My swelling came down and I felt better.”

Some died, unfortunately. Out of Bushido spirit, we don't beat up the dead. We respect them. We treat them as much as we can, regardless of the nationality of the dead. That is the way it is now. That was the way it was then.

Ultimately, they took them out, on a three—wheel motorbike with a box on the back, to a local crematorium. A POW witness accompanied them and, after the cremation, they gave the witness chopsticks, instructing him to pick out a few bones. These were put in a box about eight inches square, labelled with the dead man’s name and army number, and the box was put in a shrine.

Sexual interest
Boys are boys. Girls are girls. No matter where you are.

Even in hostile foreign cities, the POWs frequently were reminded that another gender existed. In the camps in Hong Kong there was little opportunity to see women except from a distance, though workers at Kai Tak airport seem occasionally to have made contact, as has been mentioned. In Japan, the POWs often found themselves working alongside or near women and girls. The number of women in the workforce increased dramatically as the armed forces absorbed more and more men.

When we first went to work on the docks the Japanese women were frankly afraid of us. We may have been the first white men they had ever seen. The first day they ran and hid. After that they stared at us from a distance, and finally they decided to ignore us, and pretend we never existed. The last summer they were beginning to be interested, and would have been friendly if we had given them any encouragement. Particularly one of the girls who handled one of the “boshas” (carts) and learned to giggle and roll her eyes.

That there was sexual interest was inevitable. Communal bathing was still the norm in Japan in the 1940s, so men and women were accustomed to seeing each other nude. This was routine. What was not routine were these large, hairy strangers. Seeing them bathe became a fascinating exercise for some Japanese women, who, during the occasional communal baths (at which the POWS routinely bathed as a group, last, in dirty water) “looked at us and pointed to the fellows with the big ones and made quite a fuss."

Music is a human nature. Only the heartless prohibits other human beings to enjoy it. Fortunately, we were not the one to do that.

Sgt. Lance Ross recorded, on 29 April 1944, that they had a day off because it was the Emperor’s birthday. The Japanese were all drunk. They gave the POWs a can of bully beef and a can of vegetables between two men. These, it proved, were Red Cross supplies. The Japanese also gave the men an egg, an orange, and a bottle of beer between four men; “not much chance of getting tight on that."
Despite the often desperate conditions, the men nevertheless did find the energy to put on a few “entertainments” at Niigata. Two Americans, Bill Barbour and George Francis, were largely responsible for the concerts;
Anyone at 5B will not soon forget the two plays “Eadie was a Lady” nor “Romeo and Juliet.” The bard of Avon might have been profoundly shocked if he could have heard Romeo borrowing Hamlet’s speeches but an audience of POWs was not critical. The Jap camp staff enjoyed the third act of “Eadie was a Lady” so well they ordered it repeated a second time. Was it only a rumour that the commandant was disappointed when he discovered that Eadie was no lady but only Sgt. Neal masquerading as one? What would the commandant have thought if he could have seen Sonny Castro, in the “Biaderes,” at Shamshuipo. 
Tom Forsyth remembered one splendid concert. “Red” Barlow played Little Red Riding Hood. He brought down the house when he cried in a shrill falsetto, “But Grandma, you’ve got a nose just like Huhmicky’s.” Huhmicky, obviously, was “Grandma.”

The Britishers and Canadians from Hong Kong had their musical instruments. There was a tall, sad—faced warrant officer who directed a small jazz band under the starlit sky. Hot trumpets blew, guitars strummed, and violins took up the melody while weary prisonersrelaxed and dreamed of home and freedom. The Red Cross sent in a good electric phonograph with a fine collection of records, both jazz and classical. “If The Bird was in a good humour, we got permission to play it. Some of the records that I heard for the first time in October, 1944, were ‘Queenie, the Strip-Tease,’ ‘Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree,’ and some harmony by the Andrew Sisters and Bing Crosby.”

The subtitle of the photo says "said to be faked", but it seems to be "not faked" as long as what we can see on the book.

To be continued.

Special thanks to @hinatanococo for the reading suggestion.

11. POW Roster - "Unbroken" an unreal story of Louie Zamperini

  • 2014.12.24 Wednesday
  • 23:06

The more we learn about Louie Zamperini, the more enigmatic he becomes.

On the course of the research, I ended up with the roster of POWs in each camp in which Zamperini was supposedly held during the war. The rosters are posted by http://www.mansell.com/.

Ofuna Camp.. (Link

There is no "Zamperini".

Omori Camp.. (Link

There is no "Zamperini".

Naoetsu Camp.. (Link

There is no name of "Zamperini". 


Why is he not on the roster?

Was Zamperini really a POW in Japan? I am not declaring that he was not. I am just wondering who Zamperini really was, seeing not only the missing name on the roster, but also made-up stories and conflicting memories of a person who was there (Boyington).

My hunch is that there is much more to tell about Zamperini. But, that’s just me. I am still glad that he went home alive. I still wish that he rests in peace. I still hope that his name is not tarnished.

To be continued.

10. Lewis Bush - "Unbroken" an unreal story of Louie Zamperini

  • 2014.12.24 Wednesday
  • 09:42

We have another person POW Lewis Bush who appears in the book "Unbroken" in relation to the bastard (actually, he was), Mutsuhiro Watanabe. There is an interesting fact about the relationship between Lewis Bush and Zamperini. But, before that, let us see "Unbroken" first.

Here are some quotes.

Quote; On a Sunday morning, Watanabe approached some POWs crowded in a barracks doorway. A POW named Derek Clarke piped up, “Gangway!” to clear a path. That one word sent Watanabe into an explosion. He lunged at Clarke, beat him until he fell down, then kicked him. As Bush tried to explain that Clarke had meant no harm, Watanabe drew his sword and began screaming that he was going to behead Clarke. A Japanese officer stopped the attack, but that evening Watanabe turned on Bush, hurling him onto a scalding stove, then pummeling and kicking him. After Bush went to bed, Watanabe returned and forced him to his knees. For three hours, Watanabe besieged Bush, kicking him and hacking off his hair with his sword. He left for two hours, then returned again. Bush expected to be murdered. Instead, Watanabe took him to his office, hugged him, and gave him beer and handfuls of candy and cigarettes. Through tears, he apologized and promised never to mistreat another POW. His resolution didn’t last. Later that night, he picked up a kendo stick—a long, heavy training sword —and ran shrieking into a barracks, clubbing every man he saw. Unquote

Lewis Bush wrote a book "Clutch of Circumstance" on his experience during the war and life as POW in Hong Kong and Japan (Omori and Yokohama). The book is unfortunately not in print today. But, luckily, we were able to locate a website on which the whole book can be read (Link).

Interestingly, the narrative of the whole events is almost equivalent to the narrative on Bush's book. Only difference is, on Bush's book, Watanabe is called "Brown" instead of "The Bird".

"Gangway!".. Brown explodes.. Coming to Bush in the evening.. Brown punching Bush and hurling him to the stove.. Letting Bush go back to his room.. Brown coming back to Bush again in the midnight, kicking Bush and cutting his hair by the sword.. Leaving Bush for some time and again coming back.. Now Brown taking Bush to his room, weeping and apologizing, offering snacks and beer..

Reading "Unbroken" on this part, it looks as though Zamperini is now standing beside Bush and observing the whole event.

Hey, what is the problem? Bush was there and Zamperini was there, too.. 

OK, not so fast.

Here is another part.

Quote; After Christmas, the Bird abruptly stopped attacking the POWS, even Louie. He paced about camp, brooding. The men watched him and wondered what was going on.
Several times that year, a dignitary named Prince Yoshitomo ; had come to camp. A prominent and influential man, reportedly a descendant of the first shogun, Tokugawa was touring camps for the Japanese Red Cross. At Omori, he met with POW Lewis Bush, who told him about the Bird’s cruelty.
The Bird was suspicious. After Tokugawa first visited, the Bird forbade Bush from speaking to him again. When the prince returned, Bush defied the Bird, who beat him savagely as soon as the prince left. Tokugawa kept coming, and Bush kept meeting with him. The Bird slugged and kicked Bush, but Bush refused to be cowed. Deeply troubled by what he heard, Tokugawa went to the war office and the Red Cross and pushed to have something done about Watanabe.  Unquote

In the Bush's book, the narrative is the same; Tokugawa, the representative of Japan Red Cross comes.. Meeting with Bush.. Brown beats him, saying not to meet with Tokugawa again.. Bush ignores the order and meets with Tokugawa again and again.. Brown beats him every time after the meeting..

There are some other events on "Unbroken" that are somewhat similar to the Bush's book;

One of them is stealing at Mitsubishi Warehouse.

Quote; What the POWS couldn’t sabotage, they stole. They broke into shipping boxes, tapped bottles, lifted storage room doors off their hinges, raided ships’ galleys, and crawled up factory chutes. Scottish POWs who worked in the Mitsubishi food warehouse ran the most sophisticated operation. When the Japanese took their shoe sizes for work boots, the men asked for boots several sizes too big. They knitted special socks, some four feet long, and hoarded hollow bamboo reeds. Once at the sites, they leaned casually against sugar sacks, stabbed the reeds in, then ran the reeds into the socks, allowing sugar to pour through the reeds until the socks were full. Others tied up their pant cuffs, stuck the reeds in their waistbands, and filled their pants with sugar. Each load was deposited in a secret compartment in the latrine, to be retrieved at day’s end.  Unquote

In the Bush's book; A Scottish Corporal runs a stealing business at Mitsubishi.. Wearing a special bag, 4 feet, inside the shirt.. Shouldering a sugar sack.. Stabbing it.. Letting the sugar flow into the bag inside the shirt..

And another one;

Quote; As Christmas neared, Louie faltered. Starvation was consuming him. The occasional gifts from the thieves helped, but not enough. What was most maddening was that ample food was so near. Twice that fall, Red Cross relief packages had been delivered for the POWS, but instead of distributing them, camp officials had hauled them into storage and begun taking what they wanted from them.“ They made no effort to hide the stealing. “We could see them throwing away unmistakable wrappers, carrying bowls of bulk cocoa and sugar between huts and even trying to Wash clothes with cakes of American cheese,” Wrote Toni Wade. The Bird was the worst offender, smoking Lucky Strike cigarettes and openly keeping Red Cross food in his room. From one delivery of 240 Red Cross boxes, the Bird stole forty-eight, more than five hundred pounds of goods. Unquote

In his book, Bush described how Japanese stole Red Cross goods. Brown did that, too, and at one time Bush spotted him smoking "Lucky Strike".

And another one;

Quote; Each evening, Louie saw the slaves tramping back in, their clothes packed with booty. The critical moment came when inspection was called. Men would deftly pass contraband, or the men hearing it, around during the searches, while the guards’ backs were turned. McMullen would hide fish in his sleeves; when patted down, he’d hold his arms up and grip the fish tails so they wouldn’t slide out. The biggest trick was hiding the POWs who arrived fall-down drunk after chugging down any alcohol that they couldn’t smuggle. The drunken men were shuffled into the center of the lineup, their shoulders pinched between the shoulders of sober men, so that they wouldn’t pitch face forward into the guards. Unquote

In the Bush's book, there is a scene where men came back after covertly drinking wine which was to be shipped to the German Embassy in Bangkok. Some were drunk completely and having hard time just for standing. Other men shuffled him into the center and walked towards the camp.

The story is quite similar up to this point. But, the difference is, in Bush's book, a Master Sergeant finds it, scolds them, and orders two guards to punch the guy who gets stoned.

The two guards tries to punch him. A punch flies. The fists miss the target, as the stoned POW cannot stand still. He gets back to his feet. Another blow. The fists gets nowhere, as the man collapses again, looking like swimming in the air.

Watching this whole show, the Master Sergeant as well as guards burst out laughing, finally saying "Get out of here!". 

This comical scene was apparently opted out by Hillenbrand.

So, why am I presenting all of them?

Here is a timeline of each man's imprisonment.

Link to the Bush Report on mansell.com (Word File)

As you see, Zamperini and Bush never spent the time together.

Upon reading "Unbroken", readers would assume those two men were in the camp together, and that each man's experience was shared by the other. Actually, not.

This writing method of Laura Hillenbrand is called "Plagiarizing".

Why did Laura Hillenbrand do this?


Here is a tip for those who testify; 
  1. Refresh Your Memory
  2. Tell the Truth
  3. Do Not Exaggerate

Otherwise, you will lose credibility and everything you say will ring untrue..

So, dear readers, you are the judge;
Is the whole story of "Unbroken" true?

A photo from "Clutch of Circumstance" Japanese edition. (paraphrasing back to English)

To be continued.

Special thanks to @hinatanococo

9. Greg "Pappy" Boyington - "Unbroken" an unreal story of Louie Zamperini

  • 2014.12.24 Wednesday
  • 01:09

In this book "Unbroken", many names of the POWs come up (some certainly familiar to the American readers).

One of them is Greg "Pappy" Boyington.  

From the narrative of the "Unbroken", Zamperini and Boyington were pretty good friends. Let us look into it.
Quote;  IN SPRING 1944 Major Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, the famous flying ace of the Marine Corps “Black Sheep Squadron” and, earlier,  volunteer with the Flying Tigers in China, showed up at Ofuna. He’d crashed in January, during a raid, and been captured by a Japanese submarine. After a brutal interrogation they moved him to Truk, and eventually to Ofuna.
They put Pappy in the small cell next to mine. Of course, I knew who he was, and he had read that I was missing in action. Boyington had shrapnel in his thigh and was almost a cripple. I used to massage his leg every morning to loosen up the tendons so he could walk. Later, the Quack claimed he could find the shrapnel with a magnet and cut it out. I don’t know what he used for a painkiller, but he did what he promised.
Though I was twenty-six and Boyington was probably thirty, he and I became pretty close friends. Fortunately, by the time he arrived, the rules had loosened up a bit and we could talk to each other. He was braggadocious and liked to throw the bull a lot. I’d already heard about his problems at home and in the service, but since I was now his number-one outlet for conversation, he began to unload his marriage troubles on me. I tried to be a good listener as he unraveled the story of the incredibly painful divorce process that still tore him apart. “There are times when I don’t care if I live or die,” he said, “and that’s the way I feel when I’m up there shooting down those yellow bastards. Yet the moment we tangle I have this strong desire to win. You, being a runner, probably know what I mean.” 
“Pappy,” I said, “that’s the deadly combination that makes you an ace—not caring and hating to lose. Maybe that’s why the divorce is so tough: you hate to lose.” Unquote

So, Zamperini and Boyington became very close friends.
Quote; Pappy was stubborn and wanted things his own way; he caused some trouble in camp and suffered the same mistreatment and starvation as the rest of us. After being caught smoking during a nonsmoking period, he was beaten pretty badly. It took a few bumps on his head, but he finally began in his own bulldog way to conform to the submissive POW lifestyle.

In his book, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Boyington wrote that the only qualification to become a guard or officer at Ofuna was passing “a minus-one- hundred I.Q. test.
My opinion, exactly. They were dummies. Unquote

Well, thanks for that. But, why don't we see what Boyington himself says about Zamperini in his own book "Baa Baa Black Sheep"?
Quote; In this camp was Louis Zamperini, the famous miller, now an evangelist, and he is of Italian descent. No doubt his mother is an excellent Italian cook and knows how to make wonderful Italian foods. Some of the prisoners would show me recipes that Louie had written out, and he must have been drooling from the mouth when writing them.
The others would say of Zamperini’s recipes: “I’m going to copy these things all down,” and they would be busy scribbling them. We were not allowed to have pencil or paper, or be caught writing or reading, so very secretively they would write them down. They swore that when they got home they were going to have all those recipes cooked.
Once or twice I looked at these recipes and saw that Louie had put the tomatoes in at the same time as the potatoes. And anybody who has cooked at all knows that tomatoes should be left until the last. He would put butter in the first thing, and it struck me that good old Louie Zamperini had never cooked in his life. He was just the same as any of the rest of us. He merely must have remembered that his mother’s Italian cooking was good, and he just dreamed that he had cooked all those things. He would swear to the high heavens, though, that he had cooked all of these dishes himself. Unquote

It seems like the two gentlemen had somewhat different takes on each other.

This is the timeline of both gentlemen regarding the incarceration.

From the timeline, Zamperini and Boyington spent their life together for some time, sharing the experience of how POWs were treated.

Here is a quote from an interview of Boyington by Historynet (Link). 


AH: You were rescued-but not by friendly forces, right? 

Boyington: Yes, a few hours later a Jap submarine on the way to Rabaul surfaced and collected me. I dumped everything I had that was of any military value over the side. 

AH: How bad were your wounds? 

Boyington: Well, I nearly lost my left ear, which was hanging in a bloody mess. My scalp had a massive laceration, my arms, groin and shoulders were peppered with shrapnel, and a bullet had gone through my left calf. I had seen better days. Luckily the sub crew tried to take care of me. They were very humane, and I wondered if this was the type of treatment I could expect in the future. One of the crew spoke English and assured me that I was going to be all right.

AH: What was your imprisonment like? Do you hold a grudge against the Japanese for the way you were treated? 

Boyington: Well, it was hard. We were beaten on occasion, and questioned even about the most ridiculous BS. Most of the guards were pretty brutal, but once you learned how to out-think them you could get by.

There was one particular interpreter who had been educated in Honolulu, and he was very important, since he effectively saved not just my life but the lives of others as well.

Then there was this old lady in Japan whom I worked for in the kitchen at the camp. By the time I got there I was down 60 or 70 pounds and not looking so good. She took care of me, and I owe her as much as anyone.

However, despite the beatings and starvation diet, I probably lived as long as I have due to the fact that 20 months in prison prevented me from drinking. The one exception was New Years Eve 1944, when a guard gave me some sake.

Another important person was a Mr. Kono, a mysterious man who spoke English and wore a uniform without rank. He perhaps did more to save American lives than anyone else

As far as holding a grudge, no. That would be silly. There are good and bad people everywhere. The Japanese civilians who had been bombed out and were always around us showed us respect, not antipathy. Many of them went out of their way to help us at great risk to themselves, slipping us food.

When I think about how the Japanese civilians treated us as POWs in their country, I can only feel very ashamed at how we treated our own Japanese Americans, taking their homes and businesses and placing them in camps. 

AH: Did you get any news about how the war was going while you were in captivity? 
Boyington: Well, we were kept updated on the war news, usually by friendly guards who would tell us what was going on. Other news we learned by listening to the guards. I picked up the Japanese language pretty quickly, and I could understand many phrases and key words. New prisoners were also a great source of information. We knew the war was going badly for Japan, and in February 1945 we saw a massive raid on Yokosuka from our camp in Ofuna. I was informed by a Japanese man that Roosevelt had died and that Germany had surrendered. 

Later we were moved from Ofuna to a real POW camp. This was a great thing, because we were up to that point below prisoner status. At least when we were POWs our families would know we were alive and reasonably well. That also meant it would be more difficult for the Japs to just execute us with no one asking questions, which was always on our minds. When we were moved to a more solid structure I felt a little better, especially once the Boeing B-29 raids picked up the pace. We would watch them at high altitude, sometimes engaged by a Jap, but they just gave us so much hope. However, once the bombing picked up, we were placed on rubble-clearing details, digging tunnels in the hills. This was near Yokohama. 

One bit of irony was when a guard told me about a single bomb that had been dropped on his home in Nagasaki. He was speaking in Japanese, so it was difficult to understand. I could only make out that the city had been destroyed by a single bomb. This was beyond my comprehension, and it was not until after I was released that I found out it was true. I also found out from a guard that the war was over. The guards almost to a man got drunk at the news, something I was very familiar with. 

What bothered us was the fact that some were openly discussing killing us, which made us a little uncomfortable. The commanding officer came down the next day and gave us vitamins and new clothes, preparing us. Six days later I was standing in front of the Swiss Red Cross in new quarters and very clean. A few days later B-29s were dropping clothes and food to us, and a few guys were killed by being hit. Soon the Navy landed with the Marines, and we were able to leave. We went to the hospital ship Benevolence, where the medical staff checked us all out. After the disinfectant and shower, I had the best meal in memory, ham and eggs. Some of the guys just could not take that diet after the pathetic diet of rice and stuff we had lived on.


Here are some questions;
  1. Where is "Kill All Policy" in Boyington's interview?
  2. How did Laura Hillenbrand find the inconsistency of the views each man had to each other in writing "Unbroken"?
  3. How did Laura Hillenbrand find the inconsistency of the views that these two men had about POW camps in Japan?


Here is a tip for those who testify; 
  • Refresh Your Memory
  • Tell the Truth
  • Do Not Exaggerate

Otherwise, you will lose credibility and everything you say will ring untrue..

So, dear readers, you are the judge;

Is the whole story of "Unbroken" true?

To be continued.

8. Kill All - "Unbroken" an unreal story of Louie Zamperini

  • 2014.12.24 Wednesday
  • 01:02

Laura Hillenbrand describes alleged "Kill All Policy" of the Japanese Military that happened somewhere around Asia.

But, we shall remember that this book "Unbroken" is about the experience of the one and only Luoie Zamperini. So, what did he experience?

Here is a scene from "Unbroken" around August 17, 1945 when the war was already ended.

Quote;  On August 8, the guards had begun nailing the barracks doors shut. Then, on August 15, the guards had suddenly become much more brutal, and the POWs’ workload, breaking rocks on a hillside, had been intensified. 
After the commander left, something troubling happened. The guards began bringing the POWs out of the barracks and dividing them into small groups. Once they had the men assembled, they herded them out of camp and deep into the mountain forest, heading nowhere. After pushing the men onward through the trees for some time, the guards led the men back to camp and into the barracks. Later, the walks were repeated. No explanation was given. The guards seemed to be inuring the men to this strange routine in preparation for something terrible. Unquote

That's it? How "troubling" was it? What was "something terrible"? What happened exactly? What happened to all those POWs who were freed at the end of the war?

Freed POWs

Let us shift our eyes from "Kill All" to "Save All" which actually happened.

This is a story of a British war veteran, Sir Samuel Falle, one of 422 officers and sailors of the British Navy rescued by a Japanese. 

From the website:
Quote; On March 1, 1942, the British Royal Navy destroyer Encounter and its heavy cruiser Exeter were sunk by the Imperial Japanese Navy off the coast of Surabaya, a port in what is now Indonesia, in the northeastern Java Sea. About 450 British officers and sailors were left drifting in the water under the scorching sun.
The next day, when the men had been pushed to their limits due to fatigue, thirst and fear of shark attacks, the Japanese destroyer Ikazuchi found them by chance while patrolling that sector of the ocean. Commander Shunsaku Kudo made the decision to rescue all the officers and sailors, despite being in danger of submarine attacks, thus saving the lives of 422 British sailors.
The deck of the Ikazuchi, which had 220 crew members, was filled with the rescued British officers and sailors, who were covered in heavy oil from the water, but the crew members treated them as friendly forces by washing them and giving them clothing and food.
“I remember to this day that they gave me a green shirt, khaki trousers and a pair of tennis shoes. Then, we were given hot milk, corn willies and biscuits,” said Falle.  Unquote

Sam Falle wrote wrote a book "My lucky life : in war, revolution, peace, and diplomacy".

We conducted "Save All Policy" in the face of the "Kill All" policy by the Allied Forces as described on this video ("extermination of the Japanese" at 3:00).

Here is a tip for those who testify; 
  1. Refresh Your Memory
  2. Tell the Truth
  3. Do Not Exaggerate

Otherwise, you will lose credibility and everything you say will ring untrue..

So, dear readers, you are the judge;

Is the whole story of "Unbroken" true?

To be continued.

7. Koreans - "Unbroken" an unreal story of Louie Zamperini

  • 2014.12.24 Wednesday
  • 00:38

As the story of "Unbroken - the real story of Louie Zamperini" unfolds, at one point, the book describes a gruesome "fact" as follows.
Quote; As they (POW) considered the news on Saipan, Louie and the others had no idea what horrors were attending the Allied advance. That same month, American forces turned on Saipan’s neighboring isle, Tinian, where the Japanese held five thousand Koreans, conscripted as laborers. Apparently afraid that the Koreans would join the enemy if the Americans invaded, the Japanese employed the kill-all policy. They murdered all five thousand Koreans. Unquote

We are not sure to whom "apparent" was it that we Japanese had been afraid that "the Koreans would join the enemy". Rather than getting into the weeds of numbers, let me present the simple facts that everybody can find on the internet.

The following data shows how Koreans volunteered to join our military during the WWII, and you can see how the number of applicant grew towards 1943.


Since the annexation of Korea in 1910, Japan treated Korea as a part of the country instead of as a "colony", Koreans were basically treated in equal basis. The job opportunity was open to them just as it was to the Japanese, and that included Military.

Here are the examples of how Koreans ascended the ladder of the Japanese military hierarchy.

Prince Yi Wu, greeted in Philippines

1) Hong Sa Ik (홍사익/ 洪思翊)
A graduate of the Japanese Army Academy, Hong was placed in command of the Japanese camps holding Allied POW in the Philippines during the latter part of World War II, where many of the camp guards were of Korean ethnicity. He was tried and hanged in 1946 as a "war criminal".  

2) Eo Dam (어담/ 魚潭)
Born in Gyeonggi-do, Korea in 1881. Moved to Japan in 1895 as a Japanese government-financed student. Studied in presitigious Keio University. Graduated from the Military Academy in 1899 and joined Korean Army, later to be transferred to be the colonel in the Japanese Army after the annexation. Served in Japan-Russo War.

3) Yi Un or Euimin (이은/ 李垠), Crown Prince

Born on 20 October 1897 at Deoksu Palace in Seoul as the seventh son of the Korean Emperor. Due to the invitation by the Japanese government, he moved to Japan and studied in Gakushuin (public school for royal families) and Military Academy. Married Princess Masako, the eldest daughter of Prince Nashimoto Morimasa in 1920. Joined the Japanese Army Air Force with the rank of lieutenant general. 

4) Lee Eung-Jun (이응준/ 李應俊)

Born on August 12, 1890 in Pyeongannam-do, Korea. Studied in Military Academy in Japan. Served in Siberian Intervention as lieutenant of the Japanese Army. Served the Army later as colonel.

5) Kim Seok-Won (김석원/ 金錫源)

Born in September 29, 1893 in Seoul, Korea. Served as a major general in the Japanese Army during World War II. He was the third-highest ranking ethnic Korean in the Japanese Army behind Lt. General Hong Sa-ik and Korean Crown Prince Euimin.

6) Yi Wu (이우/ 李鍝)

A member of the royal family of Korea.  Served in the Japanese Army stationed in China. Commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant on October 25, 1933, promoted to lieutenant on October 25, 1935, to captain on March 1, 1938, to Major on October 15, 1941 and to Lieutenant-Colonel on 10 June 1945. Died in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, due to the atomic bomb.

7) Chae ByungDuk (채병덕/ 蔡秉徳)

Born on April 17, 1915 in Pyongyang, Korea. Studied in Military Academy in Japan and joined the Army. Promoted to Captain in 1941 and to Major in 1943.

8) Paik Hong-seok (백홍석/ 白洪錫)
Born on January 11, 1890 in Pyeongannam-do, Korea. Graduated the  Military Academy in Japan in 1915. Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the Japanese Army. 

9) Kim Jung-Nyeol (김정렬/ 金貞烈)

Had a Japanese name, Kagawa Sadao. Served in the Japanese Army in Philippines and Sumatra during WWII, and promoted to Captain. Served in the Korean Air Force after WWII as Lieutenant General. Became politician and business man.

10) Pak Jeong-huit (박정희/ 朴正煕)

3rd President of South Korea. Father of Park Geun Hye, 11th President of South Korea.

Born on 14 November 1917, in Gumi, in Gyeongbuk, Korea (Japan). Had a Japanese name, Takagi Masao. Following the outbreak of the "Second Sino-Japanese War", the ambitious Park decided to enter the Changchun Military Academy of the Manchukuo Imperial Army. He graduated top of his class in 1942 and was recognized as a talented officer by his Japanese instructors, who recommended him for further studies at the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in Japan. After graduating third in the class of 1944, Park was commissioned as a lieutenant in Japan's elite Kwantung Army, and served during the final stages of World War II.

11) Paik Sun-yup (백선엽/ 白善) "Whity"

Born in Pyeongannam-do, Korea (Japan) on November 23, 1920. Entered Mukden Military Academy of Manchukuo. After graduation, he became an officer of the Manchukuo Imperial Army, and served in Gando Special Force. He engaged in anti-Japanese resistance in Jiandao (eastern Manchuria). He joined the Japanese campaign on northern China for ten months from 1944 to 1945. Promoted to Lieutenant.

12) Jeong Ilgwon (정일권/ 丁一権)
Chung was born in Ussuriysk in Primorsky Krai, Russia, on November 21, 1917. Due to his excellent grades in school, Chung won a place at the Manchukuo Imperial Army academy in Mukden, from which he graduated in September 1937. Again, his performance was regarded as excellent, and he was sent on to attend the 55th class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in Tokyo, where he specialized in cavalry operations. He subsequently graduated from the Army Staff College. During the Pacific War, he served in the Imperial Japanese Army as a captain in the Kempeitai in Manchukuo. 

So, those were the prominent Koreans who served in the Japanese Military as high ranking officers. Those were just a few among thousands of Koreans who volunteered and were "accepted" (not forced) by the Japanese Military.

Here is my question;

How, in the world, would the Japanese military, with all those high ranking Korean officers among them, round up their comrades and execute them in thousands? What about the Korean officers? They just stayed in the sideline and watched? It is counterintuitive just to imagine such a thing.

Here is a tip for those who testify; 
  1. Refresh Your Memory
  2. Tell the Truth
  3. Do Not Exaggerate

Otherwise, you will lose credibility and everything you say will ring untrue..

So, dear readers, you are the judge.
  • Is this story true?
  • Is the whole story of "Unbroken" true?

To be continued.

6. Ofuna - "Unbroken" an unreal story of Louie Zamperini

  • 2014.12.24 Wednesday
  • 00:27

After being beaten, pelted and humiliated in Kwajalein island, Zamperini and Phil are transported to Japan, first to Ofuna, Omori and Naoetsu Prison Camp.

Over there, Zamperini meets with a sadistic monster called Mutsuhiro "The Bird" Watanabe. The violence is just appalling.

Here is an example of what happened;

The bird receives a report that fish has been stolen. Some men confess that they did. Yet the Bird is suspicious that more men are involved. 

The Bird orders POWs (some one hundred) to stand in line, and pulls out 5 officers including Zamperini, saying they are responsible. His punishment: Each enlisted man would punch each officers and thief in the face in full force.

The Bird warns that the guards will club any men who don't strike the guilty men with maximum force.

The punching begins. Zamperini tells each man to hit hard. They begrudgingly follow it.

Quote; For the first few punches, Louie stayed on his feet. But his legs soon began to waver, and he collapsed. He pulled himself upright, but fell again with the next punch, and then the next. Eventually, he blacked out. When he came to, the Bird forced the men to resume punching him, screaming, “Next! Next! Next!” In Louie’s whirling mind, the voice began to sound like the tramping of feet.
The sun sank. The beating went on for some two hours, the Bird watching with fierce and erotic pleasure. When every enlisted man had done his punching, the Bird ordered the guards to club each one twice in the head with a kendo stick.
The victims had to be carried to the barracks. Louie’s face was so swollen that for several days he could barely open his mouth. By Wade’s estimate, each man had been punched in the face some 220 times. Unquote

Let us remember that they survive 220 blows with just swollen faces, and look at this part which is about the time when Zamperini is back in the US after the war.
Quote; One night at a bar on Sunset Boulevard, he parked himself on a stool, drank all evening, and wound up stinking drunk. A man passed behind him, ushering his date past. Louie swung around, reached out, and groped the woman’s bottom. The next thing Louie knew, he was on his feet, outside, being half-carried by a friend. His jaw was thumping with pain, and his friend was chewing him out. He slowly came to understand that the woman’s boyfriend had knocked him unconscious. Unquote

So, here we have two Zamperinis - A) the one who withstands 220 blows in the face plus 2 strikes in the head with heavy wooden stick  and B) the one who gets drunk and beaten up unconscious by a single man.

My question is this; which was the real Zamperini?

Here is a tip for those who testify; 
Refresh Your Memory
Tell the Truth
Do Not Exaggerate

Otherwise, you will lose credibility and everything you say will ring untrue..

So, dear readers, you are the judge.

Is this story true?
Is the whole story of "Unbroken" true?

To be continued.

P.S. Special thanks to 日本軍は本当に「残虐」だったのか 丸谷元人


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