The Man who refused to die - an interesting read!

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by patient_cow, Feb 25, 2010.

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  1. Definately one for Veteran Ally
  2. The Japanese youth of today are completely dinterested in the social-political history of their country between 1934-1945...particularly these aspects. Yet they love their military modelling and wargames. That's an amber light to me.
  3. chrisg46

    chrisg46 LE Book Reviewer

    Agreed, i like the bit about atonement. The Germans have, the Japs still dont see what they did wrong...
  4. This situation needs rectifying soonest:

    "But young Japanese are taught nothing of their nation's guilt."
  5. There's a very good book about an RAF doctor who pretty much went through the same, was even on the torpedoed boat and survived the atom bomb.
    If anyone is interested it can be found here
  6. Very humbling to watch and listen to those videos, I think such a book should be bought for every Secondary School in the U.K. for compulsory reading.
  7. An amazing story of a very brave man.

    My dad, who had picked the worst possible time to be in Singapore and subsequently spent the rest of the war on Formosa (now Taiwan) had it pretty easy (by comparison) but for what little he told me, it still wasn't exactly a walk in the park. When he died, I continued with the newsletters he had received, as he was a member of a couple of former POW organisations.

    I seem to remember in the FEPOW newsletter, a young Japanese woman expressed regret for the actions of her countrymen during WWII. She had found out by accident because as others have already said, this particular part of history is at worst not taught or at best, is only briefly mentioned. I also seem to remember this happening more than once.

    What's the current population of Japan? 128 million (ish) according to a quick Google. I suppose two people out of that 128 million acknowledging their country's actions during WWII AND genuinely expressing regret, is at least a start. :(
  8. I believe you may be talking of Keiko Holmes and if so, you are doing her a bit of a dis-service if you feel that she was unaware of Japanese War Crimes; I met her through being a neighbour at the time of her husband's memorial service (he was a banker and was killed in an aircrash in Bangladesh) and she was neither ignorant of, nor in denial of Japanese War Crimes

    What she wasn't aware of, until she came across it, was the memorial that the local people in her home town had built to honour the memory of allied prisoners of war who had died/been killed in that area.

    The problem of general ignorance of war crimes appears because the Japanese education authorities have authorised textbooks that have dealt very sparsely with Japan's wartime activities and that has upset neighbouring countries I've heard similar complaints about the lack of war history in UK schools teaching.

    Most Japanese of the post-war generation (and I've spoken to a large number over many years both here and in Japan) are aware of, and are not in denial of Japan's atrocities- what you do learn from a lot of them is that there is a general attitude that they feel that the dropping of the atomic bombs, which many of them feel was an atrocity too, squared things up and enabled them draw a line under the whole era without a guilt feeling and move on.

    No one can detract from the very real suffering of Alistair Urquhart, one of the most moving POW books I've read is Miracle on the Kwai written by a fellow Gordon. His feelings towards the Japanese are perfectly understandable and warranted, but the great strides in reconcilliation made by Keiko are also worth noting, too

    Here's some information on Keiko.

    Keiko Holmes OBE
  9. For what I remember and it was a while ago (and I no longer have the newsletters) but I don't believe we're talking about the same person(s). But thanks anyway for the info and the good news that there are a few more, who are actually aware of what actually happened.
  10. MY Grandfather Harry Miller was RSM in the REME there working on the railway and was awarded the Military OBE.
  11. I am not sure of my facts here but as usual will ramble on. When I came out of Cambridge Military Hospital having had a very serious lung operation in '76 I was living in a hiring in Yalding in Kent. My unit 50 fd sqn was away in some sh ithole or other and the rear party commander sent me home to recuperate. I registered with a softly spoken Jock doctor called Fincham in the village who was then around 65 -70 years old. On my first visit to him he asked about pain. I said I had a lot of pain, having had every rib on the right of my chest cut and pulled apart. He recommended that I take a large whisky every night before going to bed. Advice that I follow to this day. I heard from other patients that Dr. Fincham had been a Medical Officer in the army and had spent time as a prisoner of war of the Japanese. They told me that, whilst a prisoner, he had performed brain surgery on a patient with sharpened kitchen utensils and no anaesthetic and that the patient had survived. I wonder if it is true. I have tried to research the story unsuccessfully, but would be very interested if any light could be shed on the matter.
  12. I can recommend "The Naked Island" by (Australian) Russel Brandon for anyone interested in this aspect of WW2. The endurance of some of the prisoners was just astonishing.
  13. Get the DVD, war to end all wars. Missus couldnt watch it all,had her in bits. Step-dad fought in Burma,never had any jap goods till the 70s iirc
  14. I too have heard a similar story. I don't know the name of the MO involved but my former next door neighbour talked about a Scottish MO captured in Singapore.