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No Surrender: My Thirty Year War
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No Surrender: My Thirty Year War

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  407 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
In the spring of 1974, Second Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda of the Japanese Army made world headlines when he emerged from the Philippine jungle after a thirty-year ordeal. Hunted in turn by American troops, the Philippine police, hostile islanders, and successive Japanese search parties, Onoda had skillfully outmaneuvered all his pursuers, convinced that World War II was still b ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published August 31st 1999 by US Naval Institute Press (first published 1974)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,232)
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I read this in one sitting, I couldn't put it down.

Five stars because of how crazy it sounds, it sounds like fiction, and the thing is, he wasn't unique, others like him also held out for years. I didn't know what to feel, I felt pity, I felt awe (perhaps a strong word?) and I also found myself feeling frustrated. How can someone be so fanatically deluded? With all the leaflets, radio broadcasts, search parties, how can you still believe it's all a plot by the enemy?

Amazing read. I believe he d
Krista Baetiong Tungol
This is the memoir of Hiroo Onoda, a Japanese soldier who was sent to Lubang Island in the Philippines during World War II and held out for the next thirty years in the belief that the war was still ongoing.

When Japan began its rescue missions for their holdout soldiers several years after the war, Onoda thought of these efforts as mere American propaganda and evaded contact. He continued to do his war duties even after his comrades’ death, “surrendering” only in 1974 after he was finally serve
Mar 21, 2012 Benjamin rated it it was amazing
This book was a random find of my brother's in a random antique shop's book sale. I read it on the flight home and I could not stop dreaming of the jungle for days afterward. I've been interested in WWII since I was a small child, visiting museums and such, but often reading books concerned more with the vast strategic overview of the naturally my familiarity with first-hand accounts was very low. THIS is the book that will explain the near-insane loyalty and tenacity of the individual ...more
Oct 19, 2008 Aussie rated it really liked it
Onoda's story is well known and his book documents the events in straightforward fashion. It's a good read, but where the (western) reader will feel short-changed is in the lack of an adequate explanation of how Japanese military discipline produced such a warped result. The strange and vain efforts of the Japanese government to bring Onoda out of the jungle will also leave readers scratching their heads. Still, it's a terrific tale that gives some insight into a culture that remains a mystery - ...more
Joshua Sussman
Jul 16, 2013 Joshua Sussman rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book. What an amazingly interesting story. It's an autobiography/ memoir, so it's hard to comment on the validity, but there are certainly parts where I did hit my forehead in disbelief that a person would interpret their surroundings the way Hiroo did and be so stubborn as to not come out of the jungle.

Overall though, I really liked it.

Also wished the ending went further into his re-assimilation back into modern Japanese society.
Jun 17, 2014 Philipp rated it liked it
Shelves: japan, war
What a strange, strange story. Onoda was trained in guerilla warfare by the Japanese army and had been sent to a small island in the Philippines to fight the war against the Americans. Unusual for Japanese soldiers, he had been explicitly forbidden from committing suicide and had been allowed to be captured. His orders were to cause mayhem until the Japanese army would sent explicit orders or would come to pick him up. That never happened, so he stayed for 30 years until a student found him in 1 ...more
James Clark
Apr 14, 2014 James Clark rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading this book about Lt. Hiroo Onoda's 30 year odyssey as a WWII Japanese military officer hold-out on the Island of Lubang in the Philippine Islands. In fact, I was in the U.S. Navy at the time of his final surrender in 1974 and was stationed in Misawa, Japan myself. I directly remember when this happened and I was amazed that there were still holdout soldiers from WWII hiding in the jungles. It made me wonder, at the time, how many other straggler Japanese soldiers there mig ...more
Tracy St Claire
Aug 06, 2014 Tracy St Claire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hold onto your hats, people. You are in 2014, and your books are all about vampires, the internet, sex, post-apocalyptic survival, global warming, zombies, 1st world problems and all that. Put it away. We're going 40 years back to 1974, to the Philippines and a true adventure so fantastic that you won't believe it. A Japanese soldier from WWII who never got the memo, still fighting with guns-a-blazing for the Japanese cause. It would be funny in a "Ripley's Believe it or Not" sort of way if he w ...more
Jul 24, 2013 Andrew rated it liked it
Shelves: world-war-two
This book is not a difficult read. It is a story told very simply and without flourish by Hiroo Onoda, a Japanese soldier who continued fighting WWII until 1974! The book is a testimony to man's capacity to determinedly believe a worldview despite all evidence to the contrary. Onoda explained away multiple newspaper and radio reports, communications by search parties and even broadcasted speeches by his own family telling him the war was over because he could not conceive of a Japanese surrender ...more
Mar 18, 2014 J. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of a too-loyal Japanese soldier who refused to surrender until he received orders to the contrary. Therefore he stayed hidden in a Philippines' island, conducting (very limited) guerrilla warfare for 29 years after WWII ended. He had received orders not to surrender, after all. I admire such dedication to orders. Those were the days when oaths were taken seriously!

Once the book gets going, however, it is made clear that he and his two compatriots (whom eventually died at the hand of th
Христо Блажев
30 години живот в делюзия:

“Не се предадох. Моята тридесетгодишна война” е биография на половин пропилян живот в името на идеали и заповеди, които отдавна не са в сила. Представете си японски войник, който продължава да спазва указанията да води партизанска война и да очаква контраатака срещу малкия остров, на който е разпределен, от 1944 чак до 1974 г. През годините няколкото му съратници или бягат, или умират, но той се приспособява изключително към шумк
Dec 16, 2015 Wiley rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves adventure or survival stories as well as anyone who loves WW2
What man fights for thirty years, even with the loss of his two best comrades? What man believes in their country so badly that they fight on and on and on, hoping their country will win when the enemy holds all the cards. In Hiroo Onoda’s autobiography, No Surrender-My Thirty Year War, Hiroo explains his time when he was that “man.” In stunning detail, we learn how Hiroo fights on and on and on, and what motivated him to do it.
Hiroo’s constant physical and mental battles all take place on Luban
Apr 29, 2014 Sicofonia rated it liked it
No Surrender is the story of a soldier who went on to fight for 30 years in a remote Philippines island, after the Japanese Empire was defeated in WW2. It's related in first person, but according to Wikipedia this autobiography was ghostwritten. At any rate it's poorly written, certain events are anticipated way before they have to be mentioned (as it tries to follow a chronology). Spoiling the storyline in the process.
It's funny how Onoda and his comrades were well aware of the Japanese current
Les Wolf
Mar 01, 2015 Les Wolf rated it it was amazing
Hiroo Onoda became a national hero in Japan, thirty years after World War II ended. He was a symbol of the last hold-out, the indomitable spirit, the invincible warrior; a man who just wouldn't quit. When he was finally convinced to come out of the jungle on a small island in the Philippines, it was with great caution, some trepidation and, eventually, an almost overwhelming wave of regret.
This book teaches an important lesson about how we interpret information to fit in with our personal paradi
Pat Shackleford
Feb 28, 2009 Pat Shackleford rated it it was amazing
Shelves: asia
Classic guerilla story about a Japanese soldier who is send to an Philipine island to conduct secret warfare. The ordinary officers act snooty and arrogant when Onoda wanted to conduct guerilla tactic. The others all got killed and Onoda survived for 30 years in the jungle.
Nov 13, 2008 Hanna rated it it was amazing
What this man did to survive so long in the freakin' jungle is insane. Loyalty to a fault - endearing and crazy at the same time. If anyone is interested in the Japanese psyche or of WWII from the Japanese point of view this is a great book.
Mar 07, 2008 Chelsea rated it really liked it
Fascinating. Insight into the proud Japanese culture with a shocking true story of a solider who fought on a remote island refusing to believe that his country would surrender during WWII.
Bill V
Jan 19, 2016 Bill V rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is an OK book. There is not a lot of detail and the writing style is casual. I did find it incredible that Mr. Onoda despite being given incontrovertible evidence that the war was over would somehow convince himself it was all a ploy and continued his struggle.
I decided to edit my rating from a 4 to a 1. I did a little research and saw the book failed to mention he killed many islanders during raiding missions he conducted. I think the book stated that during a firefight with the natives, o
Feb 06, 2009 Tiffanymlewis rated it really liked it
love it. easy read. autobiography about a japanese soldier that doesn't surrender from WWII until the 70s because he believes the info about japan surrendering is propaganda
Mark Hansen
May 04, 2015 Mark Hansen rated it it was amazing
This is the one and only book that will give you the reader a solid look into the mind of a fully trained Japanese army officer of WWII. If you do not already know, Hiroo Onada was the last Japanese soldier to surrender in/from WWII. He surrendered in 1974! Although this book details much of the psychological reasons Onada did not surrender, much of the book runs in the loop logic which created these very psychological problems in the first place.

Any history buff will be a huge fan of this book
Dec 16, 2015 Rory rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Who was Hiroo Onoda?
What was his motivation for doing what he did for so long?
How and why did he ignore the "facts" of the changing world around him?
How did he manage to evade capture for so long ?
What did he live on?
What kind of equipment did he use?
Where did he live while in the mountains?

The whole of Japan (then the world) wanted to know the answers to these questions and Mr. Onoda sets out to address them here. And a mighty fine job he does of it to. My 30 year war is a simply written stor
Aug 23, 2012 Mike rated it it was amazing
This book was a fascinating read. Though it was written more than 30 years after the earliest events occurred introducing the chance of false memories being reported, the level of detail included in the story is very impressive. I also appreciated the ability of the author to both distance himself from what he had lived through at the time (almost reporting his thoughts in hindsight as ridiculous) and to fully explain why he thought the thoughts that he did, making the thoughts seem reasonable.

Robert Drozda
Mar 12, 2013 Robert Drozda rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks
Jednoduchým nehledaným jazykem vyprávěný výjimečný příběh. Voják, který se držel svých rozkazů i třicet let po válce. Kolik z toho odhodlání přinesla propaganda a jakou část si již Hiroo Onoda přinesl na ostrov Lubang v sobě těžko říct. V knize se příliš neřeší motivace a filosofie. Ta byla jasně daná. Jde spíš o popis a vyprávění jak přežít ve třech, dvou a sám desítky let v džungli, s nabitou puškou ve dne v noci u ruky. A nezapochybovat. Pro naši historickou zkušenost a náš kulturní kontext n ...more
Jason Townsend
Jun 10, 2014 Jason Townsend rated it liked it
I first heard the story of Hiroo Onoda and the japanese holdouts many years ago and while the story is still hard to believe the meat and potatoes way in which this book was written left something to be desired.

Still though I recommend it as an interesting read for fans of WW2 stories, survival literature, and as a case study in the power of indoctrination.
Annie Corrigan
Jan 20, 2014 Annie Corrigan rated it really liked it
This book is a very detailed and thorough account of what he experienced. I was really interested to read his story and as it progressed, I became even more interested to understand his psyche during his time on Lubang. It was hard to believe that he was so convinced that the war was ongoing, however, after reading this I understood how he could and how that influenced everything he did. I would definitely recommend it. He does not glorify his actions, but simply gives you insight into a Japanes ...more
Ian Chapman
Sep 20, 2014 Ian Chapman rated it really liked it
An interesting story, and quite well told. It is less one star because I felt that the lieutenant author was a bit harsh to the ordinary soldiers who would have preferred to go home.
Yago de Artaza Paramo
Jul 27, 2011 Yago de Artaza Paramo rated it really liked it
Shelves: wwii
The story shows a different perspective from the John Wayne movies I grew up with were one could shot a bullet without looking and kill five Japanese soldiers at once. It definitely portrayed the determination of the Imperial Army and further validated the hardships both countries had to endure. Despite the war, the story also shows the determination of a man, how it survived, his experiences, etc. I found interesting how the equipment started to fail and rot as the time went by, a sign that hum ...more
Benjamin Guthrie
It is a beautiful thrill ing story

It was a great story I would recommend this to my friends who are interested in world war two -ben
Nikko Rustum
Apr 05, 2016 Nikko Rustum rated it it was amazing
he is very lucky during time .. for over 30 years we never met on the mountain.. because if we ever met once .. i shorten his madness...
Aug 02, 2014 Georgi rated it it was amazing
It's stunning! I still cannot understand how is this possible for a man - to spend 30 years of guerrilla hide-and-seek.
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Second Lieutenant and intelligence officer of the Japanse army.

Onoda was one of the last Japanese soldiers to surrender in world war II which he did in 1974.

After his surrender Hiroo Onoda got disappointed by the loss of Japanese traditional values. In 1976 he moved to Brazil were he rose Cattle.

In 1984 he went back to Japan and founded the Onoda Nature School.
More about Hiroo Onoda...

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“In what, then, can those engaged in this kind of warfare place their hope? The Nakano Military School answered this question with a simple sentence: “In secret warfare, there is integrity.” And this is right, for integrity is the greatest necessity when a man must deceive not only his enemies but his friends. With integrity—and I include in this sincerity, loyalty, devotion to duty and a sense of morality—one can withstand all hardships and ultimately turn hardship itself into victory. This was the lesson that the instructors at Futamata were constantly trying to instill in us. One of them put it this way: “If you are genuinely pure in spirit, people will respond to you and cooperate with you.” This meant to me that so long as I remained pure inside, whatever measures I saw fit to take would eventually redound to the good of my country and my countrymen.” 0 likes
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