I have once heard that, during World War II, when the American Troops invaded Okinawa, they wanted the Japanese civilians to surrender, and in order to let the Japanese say the phrase "I surrender", the Americans threw fliers from the air that instructed the Japanese (of course in Japanese) to shout "愛されんだー" 'I am going to be loved' when they want to surrender. Is this true, or is it an urban legend, or is there a bit of truth behind this?

  • I do not think that this question is about the Japanese language. It is about history of Japan (whether certain event actually occurred or not). – Tsuyoshi Ito Jun 12 '12 at 12:10
  • @TsuyoshiIto I though of that too. I will leave it to the community to close it or not. – user458 Jun 12 '12 at 12:22
  • @TsuyoshiIto But it also has an aspect of a pun, and there are other questions in this site about puns. – user458 Jun 12 '12 at 12:31
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    I find nothing wrong with questions about puns. Your question is not really about puns. It is just asking whether the American troops threw particular fliers or not. – Tsuyoshi Ito Jun 12 '12 at 12:33

Quote from this page:

I surrender. (私は投降します)→「愛されんだぁ」 日本兵に向けたビラに、軍から取り残された時のための言葉として岡繁樹(1878-1959、日本からの帰化アメリカ人)が書いたもの(上坂冬子著、1989年中央公論社刊「女が振り返る昭和の歴史」より)。

Translation: I surrender (which was made as [愛]{あい}されんだぁ, a play on the English phrase) : Oka Shigeki (1878-1959, a native Japanese who became an American citizen) wrote this on flyers passed out to Japanese soldiers so that they knew what to say when they are left behind by their army (this was reference from a book by 上坂冬子 called 伝わらなかった真実―女が振り返る昭和の歴史.)

So, if this book (and reference) is correct, it is a true story. Also, the man, Oka Shigeki, left behind many papers on the history of World War II, unfortunately I could not find any evidence other than this reference to this book.