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An interesting debate was opened some time ago in the Japanese section of Wikipedia when, on our input, the story was assumed, involving the Japanese rear-admiral Toyo Mitsunobu who died during a Zone 11 (headed by Manrico "Pippo" Ducceschi) partisan attack near Abetone mountain locality. The Japanese section of the encyclopedia online, after having asked the cooperation of the American part, approved the definitive text which we reassume as following:

"Toyo MITSUNOBU (9.10.1897 (Meiji 30)-9.6.1944 (Showa 19)) was official of the Japanese imperial harbor. His last degree was admiral. He was born in Kouryou, situated in the province of Okayama.

PERSONALITY: he took his diploma by the Kitano medium school in the Province of Osaka, and he attended the military school of the harbor (47th cycle), resulting first to the examinations of diploma. Nevertheless he didn't attend the course "Kousyu" of the military university of the harbor. He often went in Europe both for job trips and military purposes near the embassy. His judicious character was appreciated by Narumi Inoue. After the surrender of the government Badoglio to the Allies, during a trip in Switzerland to make relationship, he was attacked by the partisan on the Appennineses. While his companion Dengo Yamanaka, captain of vassels, was seriously wounded, Mitsunobu was killed by a hit of fire weapon.

Also Yujiro Makise, employed of the Mitsubishi Shoji and Mitsuro Asaka, employed of Okura Shoji, they were attacked by the partisan and they were killed after having been put to the hard labors."

But which was the role of Toyo Mitsunobu and why did he travel along Abetone statal road straight to Brennero well conscious of the dangers? We find a possible answer in this critique of the film-documentary "The Castle of Pounds":

"The Castle of Pounds- The true history of the false banknotes.

Labers castle, owned by Stapf-Neubert family, in Merano, is the set of the historical documentary which tells about falsification of the English Pounds, conceived by the Nazi, known as "Bernahard Operation". The director Roberto Condotta and the journalist Roberto Rinaldi have written and played the docu-fiction "The Castle of Pounds" which ever narrates one of the most greater finished frauds to the world: the million banknotes falsification, happened in the darkest '900 period during the Hebrews holocaust. In the Nazi concentration camp of Sachsenhausen, a group of experts counterfeiters driven by Salomon Smolianoff, were forced to reproduce false pounds. After September 8 the banknotes clearing center was transferred to Merano town which was part of the territory occupied by the Nazi. The nucleus of Bernhard operation was created in Labers Labers. The movie was possible thanks to the witnesses who told what happened during the Nazi occupation in Merano: the false banknotes clearing also after the end of the second world conflict. A complex story on which even today is not completely cleared.

(...) the false banknotes clearing, the presence of Japanese diplomats, and captain Mitsunobu's killing fallen in a partisan ambush, the recovery of false pounds.

(...) Amos De Marchi was captain Toyo Mitsunobu's driver with the assignment to accompany him in his missions. In one of these the partisan on the Appennineses in Tuscany, killed the diplomat in an ambush. The driver was captured but after one month of imprisonment he succeeds in returning home. From that moment the life of De Marchi will change because of the false banknotes and it will become the driver of major Schwend (...) "

A different story was the one involving the other two Japanese quoted by wikipedia: Yujiro Makise, employed  of the Mitsubishi Shoji and Mitsuro Asaka, employed of Okura Shoji.

In fact in a critique to the book of Paolo Savegnago and Luca Valente "The mystery of the mission Japanese Valleys of the Pasubio, June 1944: the solution of one of the most enigmatic episodes of the war in Italy occupied by the Germans, ISTRE-VI - Cierre Edizioni, 2004, Paolo Valente writes:

The mystery of two Japanese

Rebuilt an obscure affair which caused the death to a couple from Merano.

The story takes place among Merano, alto Garda, Rovereto and Pasubio Valleys. In additional: among Rome, Berlin and Tokyo.

Paul Savegnago and Luca Valente from Vicenza, authors of the book The mystery of Japanese mission, after years of careful research, now offer the solution to one of the most enigmatic war episode in German occupied Italy.

Facts in brief. We are in early June of 1944. Two Japanese drive by car from Venice to Merano. Along the path took on board a well known woman. Maria Clementi Giusto, the Meran hostess of one of the two, who has been visiting some relatives in Vicenza. The car is on the State road of the Pasubio straight to Rovereto. Shortly before the village of Sant'Antonio di Valli car was broken down. Hardly arrived in the village the three are arrested by a local group of partisans. They were kept in custody for some time and then inexplicably gone for weapons. Even more tragic what happened few days later. Giovanni Giusto, husband of Mary, not seeing his wife, reconstructs the path and looks to Sant'Antonio di Valli. Mistaken for a spy maybe he suffered the same fate of Maria and of two Japanese. The same day of the arrest of two, on June 8th, there is a in many ways similar episode. A dark car, driven by the meranese Amos De Marchi, carries two japanese officers. From Montecatini, the command of the German Navy, towards the town of Passirio. In the late afternoon the car passes near the Fosso degli Affrichi, a few kilometres from Pianosinatico. The car starts to skid. A partisan patrol has littered the asphalt with nails three tips. De Marchi is a skilled driver and manages to stop the vehicle without consequences. Suddendly from the bushes some armed partisans came out. In the chaos that follows are some shots of gunfire. Captain Mitsunobu remains helpless on the seat of the car. His Deputy Yamanaka, although wounded, he was held to flee while De Marchi deliveried to attackers. These are, in this case, the holders of Japanese Naval Mission, transferred from Rome to Merano in 1943. Mission offices are accommodated in the villa Burgund, on the left bank of Passirio River. Other Japanese diplomats, in those days, are resident in Venice (Embassy) and Cortina d'Ampezzo (military officer).

If the Pianosinatico story is clarified by time, not so for Valli del Pasubio one. For over sixty years, for example, the two Japanese fall into the hands of the partisans were left without identity. Now Savegnago and Valente, following carefully traces, have given them a name and rebuilt the entire affair. The book is published by Cierre and "Ettore Gallo" historical Institute of contemporary Resistance and age in the province of Vicenza. It will be presented in the coming days in the Vicenza province and, soon, also in Merano.

Published on Alto Adige of Thursday April 7, 2005 "

Finally a curiosity: in an interview to Yoshiro Fujimura, Japanese intelligence officer, is an explanation of the meaning of the name "Toyo Mitsunobu":

"... Toyo Mitsunobu consisting of [three Chinese words] mitsu meaning light, nobu, the same Chinese character with enshin [stretch], indicating expansion and toyo referring to Asia, staying in Asia ... "



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