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Gunny G: That Flag On Suribachi - Japanese Witness Tells His Story….

October 23 2008 at 9:13 AM
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Gunny G: That Flag On Suribachi - Japanese Witness Tells His Story….

Japanese Iwo Jima eyewitness tells it in his own words
MSN Japan News Manichi ^ | 20 February 2007 | As Indicated

Posted on Wednesday, February 21, 2007 7:05:59 AM by gunnyg

“On the morning of February 23, he saw the first U.S. flag go up on Suribachi’s peak, followed shortly thereafter by the second, larger flag, the raising of which was immortalized at 1/400th second in Rosenthal’s famous photograph. Akikusa’s descriptions up to this point correspond completely to American accounts of the event. But what followed afterward appears to contradict the official U.S. Naval version of the battle.

The following morning, as Akikusa relates in his book, “It was not the Stars & Stripes, but the Nissho-ki (Japanese Sun flag) that was waving. Even though the peak was the target of attack from every direction on the island, I thought how hard they must have fought, and tears naturally came to my eyes. The valiant fighters were defending Mt. Suribachi to the death.”

The U.S. troops quickly hauled down the Japanese standard and replaced it with their own flag. But early the next morning, February 25, “the Nissho-ki was once again fluttering in the morning sunshine. It was a dazzling, beautiful sight.”

“The flag was a different one from the day before,” Akikusa recalls. “It was a smaller one, and square. It may have been improvised. The red circle in the center looked brownish, so it could have been blood.”

“It may have been made out of a shirt. It moved me to tears. ‘Our guys are still up there,’ I thought. ‘They’re giving everything they’ve got. So will I.’”

“I had hoped to see the Nissho-ki still flying the next morning, but that miracle was not to be,” Akikusa writes. “I said to myself, ‘Well, I guess that’s the end of it.’”

By March 8, the US attackers had turned their overwhelming numerical superiority on Mt. Tamana. Akikusa, wounded in the left leg and right hand, witnessed scenes of incredible carnage. Unconscious from multiple wounds, he awakened in a POW hospital on Guam.

Repatriated after the war, Akikusa called on the families of comrades killed in the fighting. But his visits were not necessarily welcomed.

“Their reactions were about half positive and half negative,” he relates. “Many of them told me, ‘We’ve already completed our Buddhist memorial services.’ I guess they wanted to put it behind them as quickly as they could.”

Shukan Bunshun asks Akikusa if he felt deaths of his comrades in arms was meaningful.

“Considering how this country has been without war for the past 60 years, I think it’s commendable,” Akikusa replies. “If you regard them as ’sacrificial stones’ who caused Japan to relinquish what it sought to become in those times, then I

On the morning of February 23, he saw the first U.S. flag go up on Suribachi’s peak, followed shortly thereafter by the second, larger flag, the raising of which was immortalized at 1/400th second in Rosenthal’s famous photograph. Akikusa’s descriptions up to this point correspond completely to American accounts of the event. But what followed afterward appears to contradict the official U.S. Naval version of the battle.

The following morning, as Akikusa relates in his book, “It was not the Stars & Stripes, but the Nissho-ki (Japanese Sun flag) that was waving. Even though the peak was the target of attack from every direction on the island, I thought how hard they must have fought, and tears naturally came to my eyes. The valiant fighters were defending Mt. Suribachi to the death.”

The U.S. troops quickly hauled down the Japanese standard and replaced it with their own flag. But early the next morning, February 25, “the Nissho-ki was once again fluttering in the morning sunshine. It was a dazzling, beautiful sight.”

“The flag was a different one from the day before,” Akikusa recalls. “It was a smaller one, and square. It may have been improvised. The red circle in the center looked brownish, so it could have been blood.”

“It may have been made out of a shirt. It moved me to tears. ‘Our guys are still up there,’ I thought. ‘They’re giving everything they’ve got. So will I.’”

“I had hoped to see the Nissho-ki still flying the next morning, but that miracle was not to be,” Akikusa writes. “I said to myself, ‘Well, I guess that’s the end of it.’” CONTINUED….

http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/waiwai/news/p20061211p2g00m0dm003000c.html


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