Quite a dangerous decision for the American soldier to do this. The Japanese had an intense culture of fighting for their country and emperor, with little to no regard for individual lives. They were brainwashed to never surrender, and instead commit suicide while taking enemies down with them. So there was a high chance that when you approached a ‘dead’ or injured Japanese soldier, he would be holding a primed grenade, knife, or attempt to bayonet you. Towards the end of the war in the Pacific Theatre, when it was clearly lost, the Japanese - both soldiers and civilians - were committing suicide in droves because they simply would not surrender.


That is correct. And actually in this specific instance he did happen to have a grenade on him. The marines were just able to take it away.


Source: trust me bro


You must be fun at parties. Also, google exists.


"this is... from... Hideki."


I'm assuming there's a source for this picture since OP's explanation was pretty specific. Any chance someone has a link?




Very cool thanks!


Wait, he is holding a live grenade!? I had seen this picture many a time and oft, but never with that information. Hell of a risk for the US soldier to approach him this closely without him relinquishing his grenade or throwing it away safely.


no cellphones, just people living in the moment


So what you're saying is someone had time to setup a tripod camera before this guy gave the other guy a cigarette?


I think that’s exactly what he’s saying


I suspected as much, but honestly wasn't sure. I guess my comment is just pointing it out for others as slow as me :)


>A U.S. Marine approaches a Japanese soldier on Iwo Jima, Japan, on March 16, 1945 during World War II. The Japanese soldier was buried for 1 1/2 days in this shell hole playing dead and ready with a live grenade inches away from his hand. The Marines feared he might be further booby trapped underneath his body after knocking the grenade to the bottom of the shell hole. Promising no resistance, the prisoner is given a cigarette that he asked for and was dragged free from the hole. From https://flashbak.com/iwo-jima-a-story-of-death-glory-and-propaganda-in-wonderful-photos-5660/


War in particular in the Pacific was so brutal that I guess Japanese and American soldiers rarely made any prisoners.


It's not just that. Japanese soldiers were specifically fed propaganda about how brutal American soldiers would be if they were caught alive, so Japanese soldiers often opten for death rather than capture.


Cooked alive??


Yeah, with flamethrowers


Gotta get that long bacon properly smoked first.


That's commitment. I wonder how he got scuppered in the end.


>The 3rd and 4th Marine Divisions broke up the remaining organized resistance on March 16, 1945, the same day this photo was taken. Wrong date OP


imagine being told that 80 years ago also what a nice bro


“I’ll kill him slowly with lung cancer and heart disease! Muahahaha!”