Books: Straggler's Ordeal

THE EMPEROR'S LAST SOLDIERS by Itō Masashi. 191 pages. Coward-McCann. $4.95.

For most Japanese, World War II ended in 1945. Not, however, for Sergeant Itō Masashi, a machine gunner in the Imperial Army. Separated from his unit during the American invasion of Guam in July 1944, Itō fled with two comrades into the jungle—and hid there until 1960, convinced throughout that a Japanese task force would soon arrive to drive the enemy away. This book is his account of his 16-year struggle in the jungle and his torment upon return. It is disjointed in places, and it suffers somewhat from a...

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