Hiroo Onoda’s Scrapbook – Practicing POV and Chronolization

Posted on 04.08.2015


Hiroo Onoda after being persuaded that the war is over.

Hiroo Onoda after being persuaded that the war is over.

This week in WHAP students are reading about Nation Building in east Asia and the Pacific rim post WWII.  In addition to the chapter reading, students read about Hiroo Onoda, a Japanese soldier who did not surrender his post in the Philopines during WWII until 29 years after the

official end.  The NY times article (found here: http://nyti.ms/1cyEQvP) incited a great
discussion about Hiroo returning to his homeland a hero who has missed out on 29 years of development and who struggles with the newly changed world.

I love this story because it touches on a few historical thinking skills:

  • Chronological thinking: what has Hiroo missed or will be poorly adapted for in the future?
  • Comparison and contextualization: The changes and continuities of PERSIA in East Asia and the Pacific Rim regions.  In addition, it helps students think about the contexts and perspectives that Hiroo must navigate
  • POV : Navigating Hiroo’s POV with the rest of the emerging world’s POV

Hiroo died in 2014 but it raises questions on how people can best be included in past, present and future historical contexts.  This week our class will compose scrap books for Hiroo.  You can see the full assignment here: Hiroo Onoda’s Scrapbook.

I love this assignment because it is great for students to practice curating primary and secondary sources, historical thinking skills mentioned above, and their POV skills.  Check out some digital samples in our class blog!

Posted in: Methods, projects