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No Surrender: My Thirty-Year War

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  320 ratings  ·  48 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
Paperback, 220 pages
Published August 31st 1999 by US Naval Institute Press (first published 1974)
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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
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
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.
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
Tracy St Claire
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
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
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
James Clark
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
It's stunning! I still cannot understand how is this possible for a man - to spend 30 years of guerrilla hide-and-seek.
Stephen Thompson
This is really an amazing tale of how someone with hope and belief in their cause can withstand time, nature and perceived enemies for 30 years. I read an article on his death so I went out and found the book.
Jason Keenan
You are probably familiar with this story - at least the distorted version. Japanese soldier lost on Pacific island keeps fighting Second World War. One day walks out of the jungle to discover the war is over.

This autobiography is far more fascinating. It's the story of how Onoda-san remained on the island for 30 years hitting in the wilderness while setting newspaper and radio reports that he interpreted to mean the war was still on.

It's a gripping psychological story - and one of the incredi
Very interesting read! Shows the dedication and loyalty of one man for his country.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
An enjoyable story with a political point. "I think he's delusional," my sister said when she read it. And indeed, this book shows how a the normal thoughts of an everyday person, thrust by circumstances into a dangerous situation, can become ideology. At first the ideology is useful, but after a certain point the person's desperate need to be right (or rather, to avoid acknowledging that he/she was wrong) makes it impossible to change.
Equally interesting and inspiring; really an amazing story... An absolute must read for those interested in military or similar survival and evasion field craft.

The psychological aspects (i.e. preconception, identity, etc)are fascinating...and though somewhat irrational (to most, I would assume), powerful enough for the author to invest 30 years of his life. There are some very interesting lessons to be learned therein...
Onoda's story is amazing. Unfortunately, he was trained as a soldier rather than as a writer, so the book is far less interesting than one might hope. Onoda focuses a great deal on his military objectives and tactics, and relatively little on his and his companions' emotional and psychological experiences. The resulting read is as dry an account as one could possibly write of such an astonishing life as Onoda's.
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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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