Oedipus in Indonesia

This article originally apeared on #ILLUSTRATI n. 49, “Incest”

There were once two animals: a dog called Tumang, and a female boar named Celeng Wayungyang. They weren’t ordinary animals, but two deities transformed into beasts because of a sin they had committed long before.
One day, in the jungle, the sow-goddess drank the urine of a king who was hunting nearby and got pregnant; being a supernatural creature, she gave birth to her daughter within a few hours. The king, who was still in the jungle, heard the baby cry, and when he found her, he adopted her.
The little girl, called Dayang Sumbi, grew up at the palace and became a skilful weaver, a beautiful girl courted by many princes and noblemen.
One day, while she was spinning on the terrace, her loom fell down to the courtyard and since, being a princess, she could not put her feet on the ground to go and get it, Dayang Sumbi promised aloud that she would marry anyone who would bring it back to her. To her great disconcert, it was Tumang the dog the one who granted her wish, and she was obliged to marry him, unaware that he was actually a demigod. As soon as the king found out about the outrageous union between his daughter and a dog, he disowned her and banished her from the palace.
The couple went to live in a hut in the jungle, where Dayang Sumbi soon discovered that on full moon nights Tumang returned to his original appearance, turning into a young and wonderful lover; together they conceived a son, and they called him Sangkuriang.

When Sangkuriang was ten years old, his mother asked him to find a deer’s liver, for which she had a taste. So the boy went hunting in the jungle with his loyal dog Tumang (he didn’t know the dog was his father).
In the forest there was no sign of deer, but the two of them bumped into a beautiful female boar, and Sangkuriang thought that maybe her liver would do anyway. However, when he tried to kill the beast, Tumang the dog – having realized it was the goddess, which means Sangkuriang’s grandmother – diverted the bow and made him miss the target. Sangkuriang was furious and aimed his arrows at Tumang, killing him. Then he brought the dog’s liver to his mother, who cooked it believing it was wild game. As soon as she discovered the trick, though, poor Dayang Sumbi flared up, realizing that she had just eaten her husband’s liver; therefore she hit her son on the head with a ladle, and the blow was so severe that the boy completely lost his memory, and ran away into the forest, terrified.

Twelve long years passed.
Sangkuriang had become a handsome, strong and attractive young man. He didn’t remember anything at all about his mother, so when one day he accidentally met her – being the daughter of a goddess, she was still young and beautiful – he fell in love with her. They decided to get married, until one day Dayang Sumbi, while she was combing her fiancé, noticed on his head the scar left by the ladle and realized Sangkurian was her son.
She tried to convince him to break off the engagement but the young man, still a victim of amnesia, didn’t believe her and insisted that the wedding should be celebrated.

Then Dayang Sumbi devised a trick, an impossible proof of love. She told Sangkuriang she would marry him only if he managed to fill the entire valley with water: furthermore, still before the cock crowed, he should build a boat so that the two of them could sail together on the newly formed lake. The woman was sure that this was going to be an impossible task.
But, to her great surprise, Sangkuriang invoked the help of heavenly spirits and made the riverbanks collapse, filling the valley with water: he had managed to create a lake!
Then he cut down a huge tree and started to carve a boat.
Dayang Sumbi realized that her son was going to succeed in the challenge, so she feverishly started to weave huge red veils; she too prayed the heavenly creatures, and they spread the big veils along the horizon. The cocks, deceived, thought that dawn had already come and began to crow. Deceived, Sangkuriang flared up and kicked the unfinished boat upside down, which turned into an enormous mountain. The splinters formed other mountaintops around the first one.

Mount Tangkuban Perahu, its profile reminiscent of a capsized boat.

This very old legend is still told nowadays by the Sundanese people of the Island of Java, and it sounds surprising not only because of its resemblance with the story of Oedipus.
This myth actually explains the creation of the Bandung basin, of Mount Tangkuban Parahu (which literally means “capsized boat”) and of the mountains nearby. But Lake Bandung, described in the legend, is dried out since no less than 16,000 years and the mountains took shape even earlier, because of a series of volcanic eruptions.
Archaeologists and anthropologists are positive that in the colourful legend of Sankguriang and of the challenges his mother threw down at him to avoid the incestuous relationship there is a kernel of historical truth: orally handed down through generations, it seems to bear the ancestral memory of the lake which disappeared thousands of years ago and of the seismic events which gave rise to the mountain range.
On the base of this myth, scholars have therefore dated the settlement of the Sundanese people in this geographical area to approximately 50,000 years ago.

Grief and sacrifice: abscence carved into flesh

Some of you probably know about sati (or suttee), the hindu self-immolation ritual according to which a widow was expected to climb on her husband’s funeral pire to be burned alive, along his body. Officially forbidden by the English in 1829, the practice declined over time – not without some opposition on behalf of traditionalists – until it almost entirely disappeared: if in the XIX Century around 600 sati took place every year, from 1943 to 1987 the registered cases were around 30, and only 4 in the new millennium.

The sacrifice of widows was not limited to India, in fact it appeared in several cultures. In his Histories, Herodotus wrote about a people living “above the Krestons”, in Thracia: within this community, the favorite among the widows of a great man was killed over his grave and buried with him, while the other wives considered it a disgrace to keep on living.

Among the Heruli in III Century a.D., it was common for widows to hang themselves over their husband’s burial ground; in the XVIII Century, on the other side of the ocean, when a Natchez chief died his wives (often accompanied by other volunteers) followed him by committing ritual suicide. At times, some mothers from the tribe would even sacrify their own newborn children, in an act of love so strong that women who performed it were treated with great honor and entered a higher social level. Similar funeral practices existed in other native peoples along the southern part of Mississippi River.

Also in the Pacific area, for instance in Fiji, there were traditions involving the strangling of the village chief’s widows. Usually the suffocation was carried out or supervised by the widow’s brother (see Fison’s Notes on Fijian Burial Customs, 1881).

The idea underlying these practices was that it was deemed unconcievable (or improper) for a woman to remain alive after her husband’s death. In more general terms, a leader’s death opened an unbridgeable void, so much so that the survivors’ social existence was erased.
If female self-immolation (and, less commonly, male self-immolation) can be found in various time periods and latitudes, the Dani tribe developed a one-of-a-kind funeral sacrifice.

The Dani people live mainly in Baliem Valley, the indonesian side of New Guinea‘s central highlands. They are now a well-known tribe, on the account of increased tourism in the area; the warriors dress with symbolic accessories – a feather headgear, fur bands, a sort of tie made of seashells specifying the rank of the man wearing it, a pig’s fangs fixed to the nostrils and the koteka, a penis sheath made from a dried-out gourd.
The women’s clothing is simpler, consisting in a skirt made from bark and grass, and a headgear made from multicolored bird feathers.

Among this people, according to tradition when a man died the women who were close or related to him (wife, mother, sister, etc.) used to amputate one or more parts of their fingers. Today this custom no longer exists, but the elder women in the tribe still carry the marks of the ritual.

Allow me now a brief digression.

In Dino Buzzati‘s wonderful tale The Humps in the Garden (published in 1968 in La boutique del mistero), the protagonist loves to take long, late-night walks in the park surrounding his home. One evening, while he’s promenading, he stumbles on a sort of hump in the ground, and the following day he asks his gardener about it:

«What did you do in the garden, on the lawn there is some kind of hump, yesterday evening I stumbled on it and this morning as soon as the sun came up I saw it. It is a narrow and oblong hump, it looks like a burial mound. Will you tell me what’s happening?». «It doesn’t look like it, sir» said Giacomo the gardener «it really is a burial mound. Because yesterday, sir, a friend of yours has died».
It was true. My dearest friend Sandro Bartoli, who was twenty-one-years-old, had died in the mountains with his skull smashed.
«Are you trying to tell me» I said to Giacomo «that my friend was buried here?»
«No» he replied «your friend, Mr. Bartoli […] was buried at the foot of that mountain, as you know. But here in the garden the lawn bulged all by itself, because this is your garden, sir, and everything that happens in your life, sir, will have its consequences right here.»

Years go by, and the narrator’s park slowly fills with new humps, as his loved ones die one by one. Some bulges are small, other enormous; the garden, once flat and regular, at this point is completely packed with mounds appearing with every new loss.

Because this problem of humps in the garden happens to everybody, and every one of us […] owns a garden where these painful phenomenons take place. It is an ancient story repeating itself since the beginning of centuries, it will repeat for you too. And this isn’t a literary joke, this is how things really are.

In the tale’s final part, we discover that the protagonist is not a fictional character at all, and that the sorrowful metaphore refers to the author himself:

Naturally I also wonder if in someone else’s garden will one day appear a hump that has to do with me, maybe a second or third-rate little hump, just a slight pleating in the lawn, not even noticeable in broad daylight, when the sun shines from up high. However, one person in the world, at least one, will stumble on it. Perhaps, on the account of my bad temper, I will die alone like a dog at the end of an old and deserted hallway. And yet one person that evening will stub his toe on the little hump in the garden, and will stumble on it the following night too, and each time that person will think with a shred of regret, forgive my hopefulness, of a certain fellow whose name was Dino Buzzati.

Now, if I may risk the analogy, the humps in Buzzati’s garden seem to be poetically akin to the Dani women’s missing fingers. The latter represent a touching and powerful image: each time a loved one leaves us, “we lose a bit of ourselves”, as is often said – but here the loss is not just emotional, the absence becomes concrete. On the account of this physical expression of grief, fingerless women undoubtedly have a hard time carrying out daily tasks; and further bereavements lead to the impossibility of using their hands. The oldest women, who have seen many loved ones die, need help and assistance from the community. Death becomes a wound which makes them disabled for life.

Of course, at least from a contemporary perspective, there is still a huge stumbling block: the metaphore would be perfect if such a tradition concerned also men, who instead were never expected to carry out such extreme sacrifices. It’s the female body which, more or less voluntarily, bears this visible evidence of pain.
But from a more universal perspective, it seems to me that these symbols hold the certainty that we all will leave a mark, a hump in someone else’s garden. The pride with which Dani women show their mutilated hands suggests that one person’s passage inevitably changes the reality around him, conditioning the community, even “sculpting” the flesh of his kindreds. The creation of meaning in displays of grief also lies in reciprocity – the very tradition that makes me weep for the dead today, will ensure that tomorrow others will lament my own departure.

Regardless of the historical variety of ways in which this concept was put forth, in this awareness of reciprocity human beings seem to have always found some comfort, because it eventually means that we can never be alone.

Smoked mummies

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The Morobe Province, in Papua New Guinea, is home to the Anga people.
Once fearsome warriors, leading terrible raids in nearby peaceful villages, today the Anga have learned how to profit from a peculiar kind of tourism. Anthropologists, adventurers and curious travelers come to the isolated villages of Morobe Highlands just to see their famous smoked mummies.

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It’s not clear when the practice first started, but it could be at least 200 years old. It was officially prohibited in 1975, when Papua New Guinea became independent; therefore the most recent mummies date back to the years following the Second World War.

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This treatment of honor was usually reserved for the most valiant warriors: as soon as they died, they were bled dry, disemboweled and put over a fire to cure. The smoking could last even more than a month. At last, when the body was completely dry, all corporal cavities were sewn shut and the whole corpse was smeared with mud and red clay to further preserve the flesh from deteriorating, and to form a protective layer against insects and scavengers.
Many sources report that the fat deriving from the smoking process was saved and later used as cooking oil, but this detail might be a fantasy of the first explorers (for instance Charles Higgingon, who was the first to report about the mummies in 1907): whenever Westeners came in contact with remote and “primitive” tribes, they often wanted to see cannibalism even in rituals that did not involve any.

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The smoked bodies were then brought, after a ritual ceremony, on mountain slopes overlooking the village. Here they were secured to the steep rock face using bamboo structures, so they could act as a lookout, protecting the abodes in the underlying valley. This way, they maintained their warrior status even after their death.

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The bodies are still worshipped today, and sometimes brought back to the village to be restored: the dead man’s descendants change the bush rope bandages, and secure the bones to the sticks, before placing the ancestor back to his lookout post.

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Despite the mummies being mainly those of village warriors, as mentioned, among them are sometimes found the remains of some woman who held a particularly important position within the tribe. The one in the following picture is still holding a baby to her breast.

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This method for preserving the bodies, as peculiar as it looks, closely resembles both the Toraja funeral rites of Indonesia (I talked about them in this post) and the much more ancient “fire mummies” which can be found in Kabayan, in northern Philippines. Here the corpse was also placed over a fire to dry, curled in fetal position; tobacco smoke was blown into the dead man’s mouth to further parch internal organs. The prepared bodies were then put in pinewood coffins and layed down in natural caves or in niches especially dug inside the mountains. The ancestor spirit’s integrity was thus guaranteed, so he could keep on protecting the village and assuring its prosperity.

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In The Eternal Vigil I have written about how, until recent times, the Palermo Catacombs allowed a contact with the afterlife, so much so that young boys could learn their family history before the mummies, and ask for their help and benevolence. Death was not really the end of existence, and did not present itself as an irreparable separation, because between the two spheres an ongoing interchange took place.
In much the same way, on the other side of the world, ritual mummification guaranteed communication between the dead and the living, defining a clear but not impenetrable threshold between the two worlds. Death was a change of state, so to speak, but did not erase the personality of the deceased, nor his role within the community, which became if possible even more relevant.

Even today, when asked by a local guide escorting the tourists to see the mummies, an Anga man can point to one of the corpses hanging from the rock, and present him with these words: “That’s my grandpa“.

(Thanks, batisfera!)

Street Monkeys

In Jakarta, capital of Indonesia, urban overpopulation entails extreme poverty. In order to survive, people have to come up with new ways of gathering attention. When Finnish photographer Perttu Saska saw what was going on at the corner of every street, he decided to document it in a series entitled A Kind of You.

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These monkeys are exhibeted at traffic lights or in the alleys, dressed up in baby clothes and forced to wear doll’s heads that give them an unsettling, almost human appearance. They are trained to ask for charity, and sometimes to enact sad little performances like riding a small bike, or applying makeup while looking in a mirror.

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The phenomenon of topeng monyet (“masked monkeys”) is certainly not a sight to behold: various animal rights associations are fighting to save the 350 macaques that are exploited, undernourished, often abused and locked up inside minuscule cages every night, in appalling sanitary conditions. There have already been some good results, as reported on this article.

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But Saska’s photographs have the merit of raising questions not only on animal cruelty. The little monkeys, chained by their neck, with their dirty and torn clothes, with those doll heads (probably found in a dump), look like a grotesque and transfixed version of their owners: poor people, choked by the chains of misery, who live by their wits because there’s nothing else to do.

Saving the monkeys is important and righteous; it’s difficult to see how the ones on the other end of the leash will be saved.

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This is what is really disturbing in Saska’s work: the feeling we are actually looking in a mirror, at “a kind of you”.

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Here is Perttu Saska‘s official website.

(Thanks, Stefano!)

Le esequie dei Toraja

Sulawesi è un’isola della Repubblica Indonesiana, situata ad est del Borneo e a sud delle Filippine. Nella provincia meridionale dell’isola, sulle montagne, vivono i Toraja, etnia indigena di circa 650.000 persone. I Toraja sono famosi per le loro abitazioni tradizionali a forma di palafitta e dal tetto allungato, chiamate tongkonan, e per le colorate fantasie geometriche con cui intagliano e decorano il legno.

Ma i Toraja sono noti anche per i loro complessi ed elaborati rituali funebri. Essi risalgono ad un’epoca remota, quando i Toraja seguivano ancora la loro religione politeistica tradizionale, chiamata aluk (“la Via”, un sistema di legge, fede e consuetudine); quest’ultima, con il tempo e a causa della lunga guerra contro i musulmani, è oggi divenuta un miscuglio di cristianesimo ed animismo.
Sebbene molti dei rituali “della vita”, cioè quelli propiziatori e purificatori, siano man mano stati abbandonati, le cerimonie “della morte” sono rimaste pressoché invariate.

Per i Toraja, la morte di un membro della famiglia è un evento di fondamentale importanza, e le celebrazioni funebri sono lunghe, complesse ed estremamente dispendiose, tanto da essere probabilmente il principale momento di aggregazione sociale per l’intera popolazione. Più il morto era potente o ricco, più le cerimonie sono fastose: se si tratta di un nobile, il funerale può contare migliaia di partecipanti. A spese della famiglia, in un campo prescelto per i rituali vengono costruite delle tettoie e dei gazebo per ospitare il pubblico, dei depositi per il riso, e altre strutture apposite; per diversi giorni ai pianti e alle lamentazioni si alternano la musica dei flauti e la recitazione di poemi e canzoni in onore del defunto.

Il momento culminante è il sacrificio degli animali – maiali, bufali, polli: ancora una volta, il numero varia a seconda dell’influenza sociale del morto. La lama del machete può abbattersi anche su un centinaio di animali. Particolarmente importanti sono però i bufali d’acqua: oltre ad essere le bestie più costose, sono quelle che assicureranno al morto l’arrivo più celere al Puya, la terra delle anime. Le loro carcasse vengono lasciate in fila sul prato, in attesa che il loro “proprietario” sia partito per il suo viaggio, alla conclusione dei funerali. In seguito, la loro carne verrà spartita fra gli ospiti, mangiata o venduta al mercato.

Viste le enormi spese da sostenere, la famiglia impiega spesso anche anni a cercare i fondi necessari per la cerimonia. Di conseguenza, i funerali si svolgono molto tempo dopo il decesso; in questo periodo di attesa, l’anima del morto è considerata ancora presente a tutti gli effetti e si aggira per il villaggio. Quando finalmente i funerali si sono compiuti, il suo corpo viene seppellito in un cimitero scavato all’interno di una parete di roccia, e un’effigie con le sue fattezze (chiamata tau tau) viene posta a guardia della tomba.

Se invece il morto era meno abbiente, la bara viene fissata proprio sul ciglio della parete, o in alcuni casi sospesa tramite delle funi. I sarcofagi rimarranno appesi fino a quando i sostegni non marciranno, facendoli crollare.

Anche i bambini vengono tumulati in questo modo, ma talvolta è riservato loro un posto in particolari loculi scavati all’interno di grandi tronchi d’albero.

Con questa prima sepoltura, però, il rapporto dei Toraja con i loro morti non è affatto finito. Ogni anno, in agosto, si svolge la cerimonia chiamata Ma’Nene, durante la quale i cadaveri dei defunti vengono riesumati.

I corpi mummificati vengono lavati, pettinati e vestiti in abiti nuovi dai familiari; nel caso fossero rimaste soltanto le ossa, invece, queste vengono comunque lavate e avvolte in stoffe pregiate.

Una volta che i rituali di cosmesi sul cadavere sono completati, i morti vengono fatti “camminare”, tenendoli ritti, e portati in giro per il villaggio. Questa parata, al di là delle valenze religiose, si colora del vero e proprio orgoglio di esibire i propri antenati: la gente li ammira, li tocca, e si scatta delle fotografie assieme a loro. Il Ma’Nene è il segno dell’amore dei parenti per il morto che, in effetti, non potrebbe essere più “vivo” di così.

Alla fine di questa processione d’onore, la salma viene seppellita per la seconda volta, nel suo luogo di ultimo riposo. Completato finalmente il passaggio del morto nell’aldilà, viene così sancita la sua appartenenza agli antenati, ogni sua ira è scongiurata, ed egli diviene una figura esclusivamente positiva, alla quale i discendenti potranno permettersi di chiedere protezione e consiglio.

Il rito del Ma’Nene può sembrare inusuale ed esotico ai nostri occhi odierni, abituati all’occultamento della morte e della salma, ma non è esattamente così: anche in Italia la riesumazione e l’affettuosa pulitura del cadavere fa parte della cultura tradizionale, come abbiamo spiegato in questo articolo.

Molte delle foto che trovate in questo post sono state scattate dall’amico Paul Koudounaris, il cui spettacolare libro fotografico Memento Mori dà conto dei suoi viaggi nei cinque continenti alla ricerca dei costumi funerari più particolari.

(Grazie, Gianluca!)

Soldati fantasma

La Seconda Guerra Mondiale era finita. Il 2 settembre 1945 entrò formalmente in vigore l’ordine di resa imposto dagli Alleati alle forze armate giapponesi. A tutte le truppe dislocate nei vari avamposti per il controllo del Pacifico vennero diramati dispacci che annunciavano la triste verità: il Giappone aveva perso la guerra, e i soldati avevano l’ordine di consegnare le armi al nemico. Ma, per quanto incredibile possa sembrare, alcuni di questi soldati “rimasero indietro”.

Shoichi Yokoi era stato spedito nell’arcipelago delle Marianne nel 1943. L’anno successivo gli Stati Uniti presero il controllo dell’isola di Guam, sconfiggendo la sua armata, ma Yokoi fuggì e si nascose nella giungla assieme ad altri nove soldati, deciso a resistere fino alla morte all’avanzata delle truppe americane. Passò il tempo, e sette dei suoi nove compagni decisero di separarsi: del gruppo originale, rimasero Yokoi e altri due irriducibili soldati. Alla fine, anche questi ultimi tre decisero di separarsi per motivi di sicurezza, ma continuarono a mantenere i contatti finché un giorno Yokoi scoprì che i suoi due compagni erano morti di fame e stenti. Ma neanche questo bastò a convincerlo a darsi per vinto. Anche una morte solitaria era preferibile alla resa.

Yokoi imparò a cacciare, durante la notte, per non essere avvistato dai nemici. Si preparò abiti con le piante locali, costruì letti di canne, mobili, utensili. Un giorno di gennaio due pescatori che stavano controllando le reti lo avvistarono nei pressi di un fiume. Riuscirono ad avere la meglio, e dopo un breve combattimento riuscirono a catturarlo e a trascinarlo fuori dalla foresta. Era l’anno 1972. Yokoi era rimasto nascosto nella giungla per 28 anni. “Con vergogna, ma sono tornato”, dichiarò al suo rientro in patria, dove venne accolto con i massimi onori. La fotografia del suo primo taglio di capelli in 28 anni apparve su tutti i giornali, e Yokoi divenne una personalità. L’esercito gli riconobbe la paga arretrata in un ammontare di circa 300$.

Ma Yokoi non fu il più tenace dei soldati fantasma giapponesi. Due anni più tardi, nel 1974, nell’isola filipina di Lubang, venne scoperto il rifugio segreto di Hiroo Onoda, ufficiale dell’Esercito imperiale giapponese che si trovava lì dal 1944.

Dopo essere sfuggito all’attacco statunitense nel 1945, Onoda ed altri tre commilitoni si erano nascosti nella giungla, decisi a frenare l’avanzata del nemico ad ogni costo. Il codice etico e guerriero del bushidō impediva loro anche solo di credere che la loro patria, il grande Giappone, si fosse potuto arrendere. Così, nonostante fossero arrivate notizie della fine della guerra, essi non vollero prestarci fede, e anche alcuni volantini furono reputati dei falsi di propaganda degli Alleati. Dopo che un compagno si era arreso e gli altri due erano rimasti uccisi, Onoda continuò da solo la “missione” per quasi trent’anni.

Nel 1974 un giapponese, Norio Suzuki, riuscì infine a scovarlo e a confermargli che la guerra era finita. Onoda si rifiutò di lasciare la sua posizione, dichiarando che avrebbe preso ordini soltanto da un suo superiore. Suzuki tornò in Giappone, con le foto che dimostravano che Onoda era ancora in vita, e riuscì a rintracciare il suo diretto superiore, che nel frattempo si era ritirato a fare il libraio. Così il vecchio maggiore intraprese il viaggio per Lubang, e una volta arrivato in contatto con Onoda lo informò “ufficialmente” della fine delle ostilità, avvenuta 29 anni prima, e gli ordinò di consegnare le armi. Finalmente Onoda si arrese, riconsegnando la divisa, la spada, il suo fucile ancora perfettamente funzionante, 500 munizioni e diverse granate. Ma al suo rientro in patria, la celebrità lo sorprese negativamente; per quanto si guardasse attorno, i valori antichi del Giappone secondo i quali aveva vissuto e per i quali aveva combattuto una personale guerra di trent’anni, ai suoi occhi erano scomparsi. Onoda vive oggi in Brasile, con la moglie e il fratello.

Sette mesi più tardi di Onoda, un ultimo soldato fantasma venne rintracciato a Morotai, in Indonesia. Si trattava di Teruo Nakamura, ma il suo destino sarebbe stato ben diverso da quello degli altri tenaci guerrieri solitari giapponesi. In effetti Nakamura era nato a Taiwan, e non in Giappone. Non parlava né cinese né giapponese; inoltre, non era un ufficiale come Onoda, ma un soldato semplice. Aveva vissuto per trent’anni in una capanna di pochi metri quadri, recintata, nella foresta. Già gravemente malato, visse soltanto quattro anni in seguito al suo ritrovamento. Taiwan e il Giappone si scontrarono a lungo sulla sua vicenda, su questioni di rimborsi e risarcimenti, e l’opinione pubblica si divise sul diverso trattamento riservato ai precedenti soldati fantasma.

Voci relative ad altri avvistamenti di soldati fantasma si sono spinte fino ai giorni nostri, ma spesso si sono rivelate dei falsi, e Nakamura rimane a tutt’oggi l’ultimo “soldato giapponese rimasto indietro” ufficialmente riconosciuto. Eppure, forse, da qualche parte nella giungla, c’è ancora qualche guerriero, ormai ultraottantenne, che scruta l’orizzonte per avvistare le truppe nemiche, e ingaggiare l’eroico combattimento che attende da una vita.

Ecco la pagina di Wikipedia che dettaglia tutti i ritrovamenti dei vari soldati fantasma giapponesi dal 1945 ad oggi.