|Days of Infamy |
POD: March, 1941;
Relevant POD: December 7, 1941
|Type of Appearance:||Direct POV|
|Date of Birth:||c. 1915|
|Date of Death:||1943|
|Cause of Death:||Gunshot wound|
|Military Branch:||Imperial Japanese Army|
(World War II)
Takeo Shimizu (c. 1915-1943), a Japanese corporal, led a squad of troops, including Yasuo Furusawa, in the Fifth Division of the Imperial Japanese Army. The son of a farmer, Shimizu was capable, but perceived as being too easy-going by his superiors. Thus, by 1941, he had only reached the rank of corporal.
Shimizu nonetheless took his duty seriously. He and his division were packed into the ship Nagata Maru and taken to Hawaii. He was part of the initial invasion of Oahu and the force that finally occupied the American territory. Shimizu and his men were briefly allowed to lower their guard in the first months of the occupation, but when the United States launched Doolitte's Raid on Oahu, Shimizu and his men were forced back into a strict regimen of training and drilling in preparation for the return of the U.S.
In June 1942, Shimizu and his regiment marched to Oahu's northern beaches in anticipation of the U.S. counter-invasion. However, the Imperial Japanese Navy succeeded in defeating the American forces, sinking the carriers Yorktown and Saratoga, and crippling the Hornet. Without air support, the U.S. withdrew without launching a landing force and Shimizu and his comrades returned to their barracks without fighting.
During the occupation, Shimizu experienced culture shock with American society in Hawaii such as the number of privately-owned cars compared with Japan and Korean police officers, the latter of which he (and his countrymen) were inherently prejudiced against. One such encounter was meeting with a Hawaiian Nisei, which Shimizu tried to befriend. But much to his surprise and then disgust, the timid Nisei spoke very little Japanese and was more accustomed to American society than that of Japan. Flustered, Shimizu stormed back to the barracks and complained of his encounter, criticizing American society to his comrades.
When the American invasion finally came in 1943, Shimizu was part of the first line of Japanese troops to defend against the US Marines landing. He and his squad were taken by surprise when American bombers destroyed their barracks and the armory. Shimizu was in a complete daze from being taken utterly unawares. He and his men lost their Arisaka rifles during the bombing which forced them to wield American Springfield rifles instead. He was killed early in the fighting on the northern beaches of Oahu, ironically where he and his unit had landed on the island a year and a half earlier. Before he died, he attempted to shoot the nearest American marine, Les Dillon, as he lay wounded on the ground. However, he was shot dead by a second marine before he had the chance.