- The Washington Times - Friday, December 12, 2014

Angelina Jolie’s film “Unbroken,” which depicts the life of World War II hero and U.S. Olympian Louis Zamperini, is facing a boycott campaign in Japan over claims made in the 2010 Laura Hillenbrand book it used for inspiration.

Mutsuhiro Takeuchi, a nationalist-leaning educator and a priest in the traditional Shinto religion, is part of a campaign to get the film — and possibly the director — banned in Japan because of claims that some Japanese resulted to cannibalism during the war.

“There was absolutely no cannibalism,” Mr. Takeuchi said, The Associated Press reported Friday. “That is not our custom.”

In Ms. Hillenbrand’s book, she says, “Japan murdered thousands of POWs on death marches, and worked thousands of others to death in slavery, including some 16,000 POWs who died alongside as many as 100,000 Asian laborers forced to bild the Burma-Siam Railway. Thousands of other POWs were beaten, burned, stabbed, or clubbed to death, shot, beheaded, killed during medical experiments, or eaten alive in ritual acts of cannibalism.”

Mr. Takeuchi’s message for Ms. Jolie was for her to study history, AP reported. He asserted that Japanese war criminals were charged with political crimes — not torture.



“Even Japanese don’t know their own history so misunderstandings arise,” Mr. Takeuchi said, AP reported. He currently heads a research organization called The Japan Culture Intelligence Association.

“Unbroken” will be released in the U.S. on Dec. 25.

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