This book charts comprehensively the various discoveries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific of Japanese soldiers still fighting the Second World War many years after it had ended. It explores their return to Japan and their impact on the Japanese people, revealing changing attitudes to war veterans and war casualties' families, as well as the ambivalence of memories of the war.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. The Shared Past: Mobilisation for War 2. Creating Stragglers: Demobilisation, 1945-1950 3. 'Five Years on Mice and Potatoes': Exotic stragglers, 1950-1952 4. 'Living Spirits of the War Dead', 1954-56 5. 'But They Are Not Gorillas', 1959-1960 6. The Past in the Present: Yokoi Shôichi Returns from Guam, 1972 7. 'In the Jungle, the War was still Going on': Kozuka Kinshichi, Onoda Hirô and the last of Lubang, 1972-1974 8. 'Nakamura Teruo: The Last Straggler and the Issue of Imperialism Conclusion
'Sometimes the best presents come in little packages. And so it is with Beatrice Trefalt's Japanese Army Stragglers, which uses a small story to get at the much larger question of the ways in which Japanese have thought about the Asia-Pacific War and postwar society since 1945.' - Japanese Studies