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 300In 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....
|Title||:||Oba, the Last Samurai: Saipan 1944-45|
|Format Type||:||Unknown Binding|
|Number of Pages||:||241 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Oba, the Last Samurai: Saipan 1944-45 Reviews
I am saddened to hear that this book is out of print. I came across it entirely by accident in a university library, but it was a thumping good read, and I am glad I was so fortunate.This is the tale of a Japanese Army officer stationed on the isle of Saipan in WWII. He hid from and fought the American occupation until the end of the war, a feat unrivaled in all the Pacific theater. What is most amazing, is Captain Oba had the courage to live and fight on, when the rest of the island's defenders had engaged in a traditional, and arguably foolish, mass suicide attack.This stunning portrait is written by an American serviceman who actually came under attack by Captain Oba during his tour of duty. The respect evident for this great warrior is not something often found, and makes for a book worth reading. In America and Japan, few think to honor those who fought for the losing side. This book serves their memory.
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 forces.Its a quick, easy read and a good story.
Read this in Saipan — couldn’t put it down! A very powerful book.