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.



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