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Kuroda

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Character played by: John Fujioka
S2e14-Kuroda
Kuroda
Job/Career or Title Kamikaze pilot
Spouse(s) (if any:)
Appearances
SMDM  The Last Kamikaze
The Wolf Boy
BW  none
Reunion  none

Biography

Kuroda proudly proclaimed that his great-grandfather and all the fathers before him were of the order of the Samurai. As a young boy in Japan, he helped his father train hunting birds. Kuroda joined the kamikaze squadron during World War II at the age of 15. His mother went out into the streets to ask passersby to put one knot on a 'senninbari' or 'thousand prayers belt'. This belt represented a thousand prayers of protection for the bearer to take with him til the day he died. Before he left, knowing that the squadron only went on suicide missions, his hair was cut and his nails were clipped in preparation of his funeral. During battle however, Kuroda hesitated and missed the ship he was targeting. He and his navigator crashlanded on a Pacific island instead. As honor forbade the kamikaze to live, the navigator committed harakiri (suicide) but as Kuroda looked death in the face, he could not bring himself to do it. For many years Kuroda survived in the jungle, convinced the war was still in process. By staying clear of the native islanders as much as possible, Kurada soon developed a reputation as a wild and dangerous man. He was nicknamed 'The Old Devil' by the island people. Over time he fashioned several hidding places and shelters for himself and placed boobytraps all around the area. To amuse himself, he carved a flute out of bamboo and played it when noone else could hear.

The Last Kamikaze

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The Warhead

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Steve is at a disadvantage

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Kuroda with the "little hunting bird"

TLK - Near Death

Steve tends to Kuroda

In early 1975 an airplane carrying an experimental Perigrine-1 nuclear bomb crashlanded in Kuroda's territory. As the passengers and pilots lay wounded or dying, Kuroda came upon the site and found the Perigrine bomb. Recognizing it as a powerful weapon, he took it with him to his hideout. When American agents arrived on the scene to fetch the bomb, Kuroda immediately attacked them. One survivor was rescued from the crash, who reported that 'a wild man in a Japanese uniform' had taken the warhead. Because the experimental bomb was highly sensitive and could explode by the slightest disturbance and because it had landed in Japanese territory, OSI agent Steve Austin was send to retrieve it with the aid of a Philipino guide named Tomas Francesco Gabella, who already had some experience in finding Japanese soldiers still fighting in the jungle.

Kuroda had marked his territory with so many boobytraps that Austin and Gabella found it imposible to outflank all of them. One such trap left Austin wounded and unconcious. Tomas, feeling no pulse in Steve's right arm, left him for dead. Kuroda soon came upon the injured colonel and took him to one of his hideouts as a prisoner. He also bound his headwound so he could question him to find out the American's military objective. When Austin tried to explain to Kuroda that the war had been over since 1945, the kamikaze pilot refused to believe him. Likewize, he did not believe an instant camera could have been developed in the years since the war. Tomas Gabella turned out to be a traitor and was looking to get his hands on the nuclear bomb as well. With the help of three henchmen he atacked both Kuroda and Austin. During the skirmish Austin saved Kuroda's life. However, Austin's attempt to convince Kuroda that the war was over failed miserably when he mentioned that men, including himself, had set foot on the moon. Still, Austin managed to break free from the kamikaze warrior and began dismantling the warhead.

Believing that to live beyond one's moment was dishonerable, and having been outsmarted by Colonel Austin, Kuroda pretended to flee. Instead he led Austin into a trap, in which one of the American's bionic legs was damaged by a hidden knife. Faced with the sight of Steve's mechanical legs, Kuroda finally began to accept that the world had not stood still during his time on the island. However, he still felt it his duty to die during the war, as it would be shameful for a kamikaze to out-live it. His only solution would be to commit harikiri. At that moment Tomas Gabella and his henchmen arrived on the scene. Kuroda attempted to destroy the nuclear weapon but got shot by Tomas. After Steve Austin fought off Gabella and his men he returned to Kuroda and managed to stop him from commiting suicide. Soon afterwards a helicopter came to pick up Austin, who took Kuroda off the island that had been his home for almost thirty years.

Recuperating in a mainland hospital, Kuroda was certain he would be spending the rest of his life in prison. However, because he was never officially ordered to surrender, he would not be held responsible for acting like the war was still on. Faced with the prospect of going home at last, Kuroda wondered is his mother and brother were still alive and how they would greet him. Kuroda decided to give his last posession of value, his thousand stitch belt, to the man who twice saved his life. Steve Austin at first refused to accept such a personal gift, but Kuroda insisted. Steve then revealed that he had arranged for Kuroda's mother and brother to come to the hospital to fetch him and the three of them were reunited at last.

The Wolf Boy

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Kuroda back in his element

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Wolf Boy and Kuroda

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Kuroda and Gary

On his return to Japan with his family, Kuroda found himself without friends or a means to support himself. Luckilly a powerful business man called Shige Ishikawa provided him with work and medical aid when Kuroda's mother got ill. Still, Kuroda found it difficult to adapt to city life and sometimes longed to return to the Jungle.

About a year after his return, Ishikawa contracted Kuroda to locate a rumored wolf boy roaming the island forrests of Hoyoko, Japan. When asked to name a team of men to accompany him, Kuroda only wanted one person to join him: Colonel Steve Austin. Although Oscar Goldman innitially did not approve of the costly trip to Japan, Austin did some research on his own and concluded that the lost boy might be the son of U.S. Ambassador Emmerson and his wife who were murdered in the wilderness ten years earlier.

Working together again, Kuroda and Austin quickly located the boy, who did indeed appear to be Gary Emmerson, now about thirteen years old. The boy managed to escape from his captors at night, but eventually returned and struck up a rapport with the two men, especially Kuroda. Unfortunately they were being tracked by a rival group of hunters equally intend on finding the Emmerson boy. Col. Austin correctly deduced that this group must have been sent by Ishikawa as well. The rival team leader Bob Masters then revealed that it was Ishikawa who murdered the boy's parents ten years earlier in a bid to make Japan a military power once more.

Eventually Austin and Kuroda managed to defeat Masters and his men and free the Wolf Boy. Although Oscar Goldman had already gathered a team of child psychologists in Washington to treat the wild child, Austin managed to persuade him to give the boy some time on his own to adjust. Then the specialists could come over to Japan to treat him after a few months. And so Kuroda was allowed to go back into the woods with young Gary for a few months at least, in order to help the boy adjust to civilization gradually.

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