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Thread: WW2 - attempted Korean mutiny in the Japanese Army

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    Junior Member Stage Three's Avatar
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    Default WW2 - attempted Korean mutiny in the Japanese Army

    [*******#765301]Japan Focus[/COLOR] in its current issue has an article written by Kiriyama Keiichi about the experiences of Cheon Sanghwa during World War Two and afterwards. Cheon was a Korean who was forced into the service of the Japanese Army during the Second World war. He was also a supporter of Korean independence who did not take his new position quietly. He became part of a small group of Korean forcible recruits who were planning to poison their Japanese 'comrades' and then take over the Japanese units in Korea. The plot was discovered setting Cheon on a torturous path. The article can be read at [*******#765301]http://japanfocus.org/-Kiriyama-Keiichi/3151[/COLOR].

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    Koreans in the Imperial Japanese Army were treated very badly IIRC.

    The Highest Rank one could be promoted to was So-Cho (Company Sergeant Major) and 3,000 were used as POW Camp Guards. Surabaya & Bandung POW camp's Guard force were mostly Korean

    130,000 were conscripted, wholly seperate from the Gunzoku (150,000) serving with the IJA/IJN.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Linedoggie View Post
    Koreans in the Imperial Japanese Army were treated very badly IIRC.

    The Highest Rank one could be promoted to was So-Cho (Company Sergeant Major) and 3,000 were used as POW Camp Guards. Surabaya & Bandung POW camp's Guard force were mostly Korean

    130,000 were conscripted, wholly seperate from the Gunzoku (150,000) serving with the IJA/IJN.
    [*******black][FONT=Verdana]Linedoggie, in general I think that you are spot on but, unsurprisingly, there were a handful of Koreans who did very well in the IJA/IJN. This website gives a list of some of the most prominent http://www.kimsoft.com/2002/sk-japs.htm - note that a lot were graduates of the Japanese military academy and therefore officers. I am not saying that they did not experience racism but they did at least get a foot in the door of the Japanese establishment. Also here is a quote from another article:[/FONT][/COLOR]

    [*******black][FONT=Verdana]The Korean cadets at the Academy spilt into two factions: a pro-Japanese faction led by Hong Sa Ik and Kim Suk Won, and an anti-Japanese faction led by Ji Chung Chun and Kim Gyong Chun. Years later, Hong Sa Ik became the top-ranking Korean in the Japanese Army. On [/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana]April 18, 19[/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana]48[/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana], Lt. Gen. Hong was convicted of war crimes and hanged by the [/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana]US[/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana] military. Col. Kim Suk Won was awarded numerous medals by Emperor Hirohito for his valor in [/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana]China[/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana] and went around [/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana]Korea[/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana] making speeches in support of the Emperor’s war effort. [/FONT][/COLOR]

    [*******black][FONT=Verdana]The role of former South Korean President Park Chung-Hee in the Japanese military is still a subject fraught with tension in [/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana]South Korea[/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana]. He was a graduate of the [/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana]Japanese[/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana]Military[/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana]Academy[/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana] and according to some stories led forces against the anti-Japanese guerrillas operating along the China-Korea border.[/FONT][/COLOR]

    [*******black][FONT=Verdana]I believe that there were even some Korean kamikaze pilots.[/FONT][/COLOR]

    [*******black][FONT=Verdana]Despite the above I agree with your comments and I believe that the experiences of a few do not invalidate your remarks about the majority.[/FONT][/COLOR]

    [*******black][FONT=Verdana]Cheers, Stage Three[/FONT][/COLOR]
    Last edited by Stage Three; 05-27-2009 at 08:09 AM. Reason: I missed out a 'not' that changed the meaning of my post.

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    During World War II, my dad served as an infantry sergeant in the Philippines during MacArthur's campaign to retake the islands. He told me that on one occasion he and his men were told that the men of the unit opposing them weren't Japanese, but Koreans. He said they fought as well as any other enemy forces and were indistinguishable from the Japanese. Of course, they were too busy trying to kill these Koreans, and avoid being killed by them, to scrutinize them for any special patches or insignia that might have distinguished them from Japanese troops.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James Phillips View Post
    During World War II, my dad served as an infantry sergeant in the Philippines during MacArthur's campaign to retake the islands. He told me that on one occasion he and his men were told that the men of the unit opposing them weren't Japanese, but Koreans. He said they fought as well as any other enemy forces and were indistinguishable from the Japanese. Of course, they were too busy trying to kill these Koreans, and avoid being killed by them, to scrutinize them for any special patches or insignia that might have distinguished them from Japanese troops.
    Likely, there wouldnt have been any special markings, as the IJA wasnt big on unit insignias.

    The Takasago 1st & 2nd Raiding Companies (Raised from Aboriginal Highland Tribesmen on Formosa) wore standard Japanese service uniforms, their only identifiable item being the traditional Formosan Giyuto sword. These Men were expert Trackers with highly developed skills in Fieldcraft.


    2nd Company deployed to Morotai near New Guinea and was used as Trackers & Scouts, 1st Company went to Luzon and was supposed to go to New Guinea as well, but the invasion left them in the PI.

    1st Company (Kaoru unit) executed a night assault on Brauen Airfield via crashlanding bombers onto the runway, the teams spreading out to destroy as much as possible.

    Largely Ineffective, most were quickly killed by USAAF ground crews and Airborne troops from the adjacent 11th Airborne Div.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James Phillips View Post
    During World War II, my dad served as an infantry sergeant in the Philippines during MacArthur's campaign to retake the islands. He told me that on one occasion he and his men were told that the men of the unit opposing them weren't Japanese, but Koreans. He said they fought as well as any other enemy forces and were indistinguishable from the Japanese. Of course, they were too busy trying to kill these Koreans, and avoid being killed by them, to scrutinize them for any special patches or insignia that might have distinguished them from Japanese troops.
    [*******black][FONT=Verdana]James Philips, Interesting and it makes sense. The Japanese saw Korea as being part of Japan and had units stationed there for defence against external attack, not necessarily for internal security; Korea was considered pacified so the troops were mainly at either end of the peninsula. So it would be logical for [/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana]Japan[/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana] to raise a unit there of 'Japanese' troops and send them off to war. From what Linedoggie says the IJA did it with the Formosans.[/FONT][/COLOR]

    [*******black][FONT=Verdana]Thanks for sharing, hopefully I will find some time to follow it up.[/FONT][/COLOR]

    [*******black][FONT=Verdana]Cheers, Stage Three[/FONT][/COLOR]

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    It seems that this Korean fought on all fronts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stage Three View Post
    [*******black][FONT=Verdana]Linedoggie, in general I think that you are spot on but, unsurprisingly, there were a handful of Koreans who did very well in the IJA/IJN. This website gives a list of some of the most prominent http://www.kimsoft.com/2002/sk-japs.htm - note that a lot were graduates of the Japanese military academy and therefore officers. I am not saying that they did not experience racism but they did at least get a foot in the door of the Japanese establishment. Also here is a quote from another article:[/FONT][/COLOR]

    [*******black][FONT=Verdana]The Korean cadets at the Academy spilt into two factions: a pro-Japanese faction led by Hong Sa Ik and Kim Suk Won, and an anti-Japanese faction led by Ji Chung Chun and Kim Gyong Chun. Years later, Hong Sa Ik became the top-ranking Korean in the Japanese Army. On [/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana]April 18, 19[/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana]48[/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana], Lt. Gen. Hong was convicted of war crimes and hanged by the [/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana]US[/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana] military. Col. Kim Suk Won was awarded numerous medals by Emperor Hirohito for his valor in [/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana]China[/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana] and went around [/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana]Korea[/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana] making speeches in support of the Emperorís war effort. [/FONT][/COLOR]

    [*******black][FONT=Verdana]The role of former South Korean President Park Chung-Hee in the Japanese military is still a subject fraught with tension in [/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana]South Korea[/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana]. He was a graduate of the [/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana]Japanese[/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana]Military[/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana]Academy[/FONT][/COLOR][*******black][FONT=Verdana] and according to some stories led forces against the anti-Japanese guerrillas operating along the China-Korea border.[/FONT][/COLOR]

    [*******black][FONT=Verdana]I believe that there were even some Korean kamikaze pilots.[/FONT][/COLOR]

    [*******black][FONT=Verdana]Despite the above I agree with your comments and I believe that the experiences of a few do not invalidate your remarks about the majority.[/FONT][/COLOR]

    [*******black][FONT=Verdana]Cheers, Stage Three[/FONT][/COLOR]
    Park is a man with a thousand masks. If his dictatorship did not lead to such great economic success today, he would be one of the most reviled men in Korea.

    As for Korean kamikaze pilots, according to a documentry I watched a long time ago, it seems towards the end of the war with Japan running out of able pilots and volunteers, they decided to recruit Koreans...some as young as 17.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James Phillips View Post
    During World War II, my dad served as an infantry sergeant in the Philippines during MacArthur's campaign to retake the islands. He told me that on one occasion he and his men were told that the men of the unit opposing them weren't Japanese, but Koreans. He said they fought as well as any other enemy forces and were indistinguishable from the Japanese. Of course, they were too busy trying to kill these Koreans, and avoid being killed by them, to scrutinize them for any special patches or insignia that might have distinguished them from Japanese troops.
    The first 'prisoners' taken from Japanese side by US were actually Korean laborers on Guadalcanal. I've always wondered where they are now. I've never read any personal accounts recorded by them...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ordie View Post
    It seems that this Korean fought on all fronts.
    OMG. I heard about this case somewhere but could't remember where. I wonder what the man is thinking among all those whites? His expression tells me he's not scared/cowered at all. "I've seen it all..."

    I wonder what happened to him...

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    Quote Originally Posted by BearInBunnySuit View Post
    Park is a man with a thousand masks. If his dictatorship did not lead to such great economic success today, he would be one of the most reviled men in Korea.

    As for Korean kamikaze pilots, according to a documentry I watched a long time ago, it seems towards the end of the war with Japan running out of able pilots and volunteers, they decided to recruit Koreans...some as young as 17.
    No, the most reviled man would be President Chun, Do Whan. The man who pratically stole a billion $ while in office...

    Interestingly, the only SK presidents NK tried to assassinate were President Park (1968) and President Chun (in Burma). Both were instrumental/in-charge when SK made very positive turns economically. I guess NK knows which president they don't want in charge of SK...

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