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Anatahan: Lost Survivors of the Island of the Living Dead
     

Anatahan: Lost Survivors of the Island of the Living Dead

by Wilbur Cross, George Feise (With)
 

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Merriam Press Historical Fiction No. 15

Fourth Edition, 2012

This is a short, succinct, sometimes brutal, semi-fictionalized account of the people involved and the events that occurred from 1944 until 1952 on a jungle island in the Pacific. In brief, this is the story of 35 Japanese castaways who were marooned on a tiny island in the Pacific after their ships

Overview

Merriam Press Historical Fiction No. 15

Fourth Edition, 2012

This is a short, succinct, sometimes brutal, semi-fictionalized account of the people involved and the events that occurred from 1944 until 1952 on a jungle island in the Pacific. In brief, this is the story of 35 Japanese castaways who were marooned on a tiny island in the Pacific after their ships were sunk by American bombers, and who survived through their own innate skills and superhuman will and determination to stay alive under the most demanding circumstances. That 19 of them, including one female, managed to survive until they were ultimately rescued seven years later goes on record as an epic in the history of human endurance and fortitude.

This not a World War II story, but an epic novel of survival. Although the events were triggered by the war, the fighting soon moved away from the Marianas westward toward Okinawa and Japan, and Anatahan was left as a never-to-be visited backwater world of its own, far from any shipping lanes and seldom even flown over by planes. The castaways were imprisoned in a lost jungle in the ocean, where for years no ships appeared on the horizon, no planes flew overhead, and no natives returned for fear of the demons they heard were terrorizing their former habitat.

The survivors became such through their own ingenuity, determination, courage and creative talents. Many of those who failed to survive were doomed, either directly or indirectly by hatred, bullying, lust, greed, tyranny, spite, selfishness, stupidity, jealousy, anger, arrogance, envy, extortion, bribery-or combinations thereof. The Anatahan story is an embryonic allegory or morality tale of modern times.

That any castaways survived at all is almost inexplicable, in light of the fact that their situation was such that they were almost enemies to each other-fighting not only to stay alive but to counter the efforts of several barbarians in the group to take command, slaughter those opposed, serve their own needs, and especially to win the graces of the lone female in their midst, a voluptuous Japanese dancer in her twenties who had been living on the island as the mistress of the coconut plantation owner who had fled the island, along with native field hands when the bombed, and in some cases badly wounded, Japanese men staggered ashore at the outset. The presence of this lone female obviously was a catalyst in orchestrating the events that followed over the course of the years of isolation and constant threats to life and health. But it was only one part of the saga of survival, heroism, brutality, and endurance that played a part in the extraordinary story.

2 photos

5 illustrations

2 maps

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781475050813
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
03/22/2012
Pages:
132
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.31(d)

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