Hiroo Onoda: Japanese holdout from WWII

Updated 6:03 PM ET, Fri January 17, 2014
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Hiroo Onoda, center, salutes after handing over his military sword on Lubang Island in the Philippines in March 1974. Onoda, a former intelligence officer in the Japanese army, had remained on the island for nearly 30 years, refusing to believe his country had surrendered in World War II. He died at a Tokyo hospital on Thursday, January 16. He was 91. kyodo/landov
Onoda returned to Japan, where he received a hero's welcome, a figure from a different era emerging into postwar modernity. Here, he visits the Press Club in Tokyo in February 1975 for a luncheon that journalists gave in his honor. Keystone/Getty Images
Onoda holds an interview with the Asahi Shimbun newspaper in September 2013 in Tokyo. The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images
Onoda lays a wreath at the Philippine-Japan Friendship Shrine at Tilik on Lubang Island in the Philippines in May 1996. Onoda made his first visit to the island since coming out of hiding from the jungle there in 1974. Bullit Marquez/ap
Police escort Onoda shortly upon his arrival in Manila in May 1996. He was a controversial figure in the Philippines, where anger remained over the Japanese occupation. The Philippine government pardoned him, but relatives of people he was accused of killing gathered to demand compensation when he returned to Lubang. Bullit Marquez/ap
Onoda on horseback in Brazil in 1981. After his return to Japan, he moved to the South American country in 1975 and set up a cattle ranch. The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images
Onoda dances with a Playboy waitress at the Playboy Club in Chicago in 1975 while on a tour of the United States. AP
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, left, greets Onoda at Malacanang Palace in Manila under the watchful eye of first lady Imelda Marcos in March 1974. Nearly three decades after World War II's end, Onoda was persuaded to come out of hiding after his former commanding officer traveled to Lubang and told him he was released from his military duties. kyodo/landov
The former intelligence officer returns to Japan, landing at Tokyo International Airport in March 1974. He was 52 years old. The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images
In March 1974, Onoda, center, walks from the jungle where he had survived since World War II on Lubang Island. JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images
Onoda, left, accepts a pack of cigarettes from a member of a Japanese team sent in 1974 to persuade him the war had ended. KYODO
Somewhere in the jungles of the Philippines in the late '50s, where Onoda was hiding after the war's end. He survived on food he gathered from the wild or stole from local farmers. Keystone Pictures USA/ZUMAPRESS
Onoda as a lieutenant during World War II. CSU Archives/Everett Collection