Everyday History
Lt. Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita
Daily History Japanese Occupation of the Philippines Tomoyuki Yamashita

Tomoyuki Yamashita surrenders: Sept. 2, 1945

On this day in 1945, Lt. Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita, commanding general of the Imperial Japanese Forces in the Philippines, surrenders in Kiangan, Ifugao along with his staff. This as the Japanese Government signed the instrument of surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, Japan.

Appointed as commanding general of the Imperial Japanese Forces in the Philippines on Sept. 26, 1944, Yamashita was faced with the impending return of the Americans to the Philippines. Less than a month later, on Oct. 20, 1944, the Americans landed in Leyte.

Faced with a formidable enemy and depleting resources from his homeland, Yamashita ordered his to retreat to the Cordillera Mountains of Ifugao as the Americans invaded and retook Luzon. He made Mt. Napulawan in Hungduan town as his place of last stand.

After his surrender, he flew to Baguio City the next day, Sept. 3, where he formally surrendered to American military authorities at the US Ambassador’s Residence in Camp John Hay. Dubbed the Tiger of Malaya, he was charged with war crimes in December 1945 and hanged on Feb. 23, 1946.

Today, the Kiangan National Shrine that was built in 1975 commemorates Yamashita’s surrender. The school building where he surrendered to Capt. Grisham of the US Sixth Army also remains standing as a reminder of the historic event.

President Duterte has signed Republic Act No. 11216 in February 2019, designating Sept. 3 as a special working holiday throughout the country to commemorate Yamashita’s surrender.

References:

Kenworthy, A. S. (1953). The Tiger of Malaya: The Story of General Tomoyuki Yamashita and “Death March” General Masaharu Homma. New York: Exposition Press, pp. 31, 39–41.

Lagasca, Charlie (September 1, 2013). “Ifugao to mark Yamashita surrender.” The Philippine STAR

Codamon, Daniel (September 3, 2018). “Why Victory Day is celebrated in Kiangan.” Philippine Information Agency.

Agoot, Liza (September 4, 2018). “PVAO wants Yamashita surrender included in school books, curriculum.” Philippine News Agency.

Lopez, Virgil (February 19, 2019). “Duterte signs law declaring holiday to commemorate Yamashita surrender.” GMA News Online.

Trivia Question:

Yamashita surrendered to Capt. Grisham of the US Sixth Army in the Home Economics Building of which school?

Yesterday’s answer: Manuel Escarilla

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