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Son Relates Father's Role in Rescue of 1.7 Million from Manchuria

Retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Paul K. Maruyama recalls his father's part in prevention of a human catastrophe of historic magnitude in Manchuria after WWII

MONUMENT, Colo., March 31, 2010 — In the closing days of WWII, the Soviet Union attacked and occupied Japanese-controlled northern China, then called Manchuria. Immediately, misery and death from cold, hunger, disease, and brutality descended upon the Japanese civilians at the hands of the Soviet Army and revenge-seeking mobs and bandits. Nearly 2,500 Japanese died daily.

Three courageous men embarked on a secret mission and escaped to Japan to eventually bring an end to the Manchurian nightmare. In Escape from Manchuria (published by iUniverse), Paul K. Maruyama, Lt. Col., USAF (Retired), the son of one of the three men, narrates for Western readers the compelling true story of the rescue and repatriation of nearly 1.7 million Japanese that began almost a year after the surrender of Japan.

"Escape from Manchuria is the story of my father, Kunio Maruyama — then a 37-year-old Japanese citizen — and his two courageous friends, Hachiro Shinpo (31) and Masamichi Musashi (24)," explains career USAF Officer (1966-1987) and first-time author Maruyama. "When WWII broke, my father took my mother and his four sons, which included me — all of whom were U.S. Citizens — to Anshan, Manchuria where he worked at Showa Seiko, a major steel making company. My father recruited two companions who together devised a plan to surreptitiously escape to Japan in 1946 from Soviet-occupied Manchuria. The three men personally appealed to General Douglas MacArthur — who was then the Supreme Commander for Allied Power occupying the defeated nation of Japan. Escape from Manchuria is a story of true courage and perseverance of the three men who eventually brought about the repatriation of 1.7 million Japanese held captive under Soviet occupation in Manchuria."

The heroics of the three men have not been fully recognized, even in Japan, because they took on the mission of rescue as private citizens, without the consent or knowledge of the then utterly helpless Japanese government. In the introduction of Escape from Manchuria, Maruyama expresses hope that the courageous efforts of the three men will finally be publicly acknowledged, even after over 60 years, by the emperor of Japan, as a gesture to honor those thousands of Japanese who went to Manchuria, never to return.

"The more I read Escape from Manchuria, the more I realized this true story was the product of years of intensive research and is a testimonial from a devoted son to his father and two friends who were unsung heroes at the end of World War II," said former U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (Colorado). "This story is rich in personal anecdotes of the recollection of my lifelong friend Paul Maruyama, who was caught up in this drama as a five year old. What a wonderful legacy Paul has left, not only to his own family, but to generations of people to come in two of the world's great nations, Japan and the United States."

Maruyama is the co-founder and president of Japan-America Society of Southern Colorado, and is a recipient of a Certificate of Commendation from the Foreign Minister of Japan in July 2007, for promoting U.S./Japan relationship. Maruyama knows Escape from Manchuria will also serve as a reminder to American and Japanese people that, because the United States treated the defeated people of Japan with respect and dignity after Japan's surrender, a lasting peace has endured that is reinforced by a mutual feeling of respect for one another.

About the Author

Paul K. Maruyama, Lt. Col., USAF (Retired), was born in Tokyo in 1941. Trapped with his family in Manchuria when WWII ended, he and his family were not repatriated to Japan until January, 1947. Having competed in the 1964 Olympics (together with teammate Ben Nighthorse Campbell) and filled the role as Head Coach of the 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic Teams in the sport of Judo, Maruyama now teaches Japanese language and history at Colorado College and lives with his wife, LaRae, in Monument, Colorado.

Escape from Manchuria – March 2010 – 5.5 x 8.5 – 436 pages
Available from:,, and
Paperback – ISBN: 9781450205795 – $27.95
Dust Jacket Hardcover – ISBN: 9781450205818 – $37.95

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