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September 1996, Week 1


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Christopher Douglas <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 4 Sep 1996 16:04:38 -0400
text/plain (44 lines)
I want to thank those on the list who responded to my original query about
films or television episodes about Japanese war hold-outs in Pacific
Island jungles, especially Mark Cross, Ken Nolley, Blaine Allen, Michael
Plott, and Aaron Gerow.  Based on their and others' responses, I was able
to locate two television episodes which rewrote these actual events.=20
For those of you who are interested, this is what I found out: Hiroo
Onoda, it turned out, was the last repatriated (1974) jungle hold-out,
though other Japanese soldiers had similar experiences: Ito Masahi's _The
Emperor's Last Soldiers: The Grim Story of Two Japanese who hid for
Sixteen Years in the Guam Jungle_ tells how he and Bunzo Minagawa hid on
Guam until they were captured by American soldiers in 1960, and _The Last
Japanese Soldier: Corporal Yokoi's 28 incredible years in the Guam jungle_
tells of Shoichi Yokoi's 28 years on Guam until his capture in 1972.=20
Jean-Marc Pottiez's _Les Vainqueurs de la D=82fait_e (1975) combines the
stories of Masahi, Minagawa and Yokoi with that of Hiroo Onoda.  Such
stories attracted considerable media attention in the 1960s and 1970s, and
indeed became material for episodes of popular television series.  In an
episode of Gilligan's Island entitled "So Sorry: My Island Now," a
Japanese soldier played by Vito Scotti lands on the island, and believing
the war to be ongoing, begins to capture the Castaways.  The episode aired
on CBS affiliated stations on Saturday, January 19, 1965.  A less comic
rendering of this theme was the episode of The Six Million Dollar Man
entitled "The Last Kamikaze," which aired on ABC affiliates on Sunday,
January 19, 1975--only ten months after Hiroo Onoda's surrender in the
Philippines.  In this episode, the "bionic" Steve Austin must overcome the
Japanese soldier Kuroda (played by John Fujioka), who still believes the
war is continuing, in order to recover a lost atomic weapon on a remote
Pacific island.=20
Thanks again for all your help.  I'm signing off this list, as the volume=
of material is much too prodigious for me to read.  If anyone thinks of=20
anything else, please reply to me privately at my email address.
Christopher Douglas
University of Toronto
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