Tokyobling's Blog

The Coconut Miracle

Posted in People by tokyobling on June 24, 2011

First off, a disclaimer. I don’t know if this amazing story is true or if it is actually possible for a coconut to spend 31 years in the ocean without disintegrating, but I post this story anyway, as it is widely accepted as true with good documentation and physical evidence.

In a shrine not far from the castle in Matsue City in Shimane Prefecture, on the northern coast of Japan there is a relic of the Second World War that has a remarkable story to tell. Tucked away in the main hall of the shrine is a small plaque and a photo of a weather worn cold oconut. According to the story, this coconut spent 31 years traveling on the ocean from The Phillipines to a beach in the small town of Izumo City, Shimane Prefecture.

In the summer of 1944, as US forces were preparing the liberation of the Phillipines from the Imperial Japanese army two young men in the Japanese military met by chance in occupied Manila. The two young men, Yamanouchi (山之内辰四郎命) and Iizuka (飯塚正一 or 正市), were both from the same little town (now Izumo City) in Shimane and quickly formed a bond, becoming good friends. As the US was preparing a land invasion and stepped up bombing campaigns the situation was soon becoming desperate and it was decided to evacuate as many wounded Japanese soldiers as possible from the islands while there was still a chance that they would be able to leave. That autumn the last remaining hospital ship left Manila and Iizuka who was a combat medic in the army was forced to leave his friend behind to face certain death.

In 1975 a carpenter out fishing on the beach of Izumo City noticed an odd looking coconut washed up on the sand and took it home, where he discovered writing – the name and details of Combat Medic Iizuka – and inside a message written from Yamanouchi that just says: “We are going into the jungle to fight”. The carpenter located Iizuka, who was now a farmer still living in the same city, and gave the coconut and its message to him. The coconut itself is now on display at the Yasukuni Shrine war museum in Tokyo.

Now this is a story just waiting to be made into a movie, in my humble opinion.


9 Responses

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  1. tokyobling said, on June 24, 2011 at 7:06 am

    Oh, if anyone is puzzled as to the connection between the shrine in Matsue City with a beach in Izumo City and the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo I can take the time to explain it. But it’s absolutely not interesting at all so I’ll refrain from spelling it out unless someone specifically finds the suspense too much to bear! (^-^)


    • pk1154 said, on June 25, 2011 at 1:16 pm

      Well, since YOU brought it up, you are obligated to explain, aren’t you?


      • tokyobling said, on July 7, 2011 at 5:47 am

        Haha… I’d rather not… (^-^;)


  2. said, on June 24, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Awesome story there…luv it….


    • tokyobling said, on July 7, 2011 at 5:47 am

      Thanks fotoamater! (^-^) Love your blog!


  3. dreaming Artemis said, on June 26, 2011 at 12:25 am

    wow….these are the stories I love to hear. Things that survived the odds


    • tokyobling said, on July 7, 2011 at 5:47 am

      Thanks for the kind comment Artemis!


  4. yanangski said, on July 2, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Wow! This is a very nice plot for a movie. 🙂 I can imagine the scenes taking place in the Philippines.


    • tokyobling said, on July 7, 2011 at 6:35 am

      I think it would be great! But that war was so bad I don’t think anyone will ever be able to make a movie where the soldiers on either side are portrayed as humans… I really hate wars!


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