Sanji Iwabuchi (March 2, 1895 - February 26, 1945) was the Japanese rear admiral during World War II in command of the naval forces in Manila in 1945. Iwabuchi sought to defend the city, which was surrounded by American forces, in the face of insuperable odds. He engaged the Americans in street-by-street fighting, with devastating consequences: the loss of 17,000 Japanese defenders (including Iwabuchi himself), 100,000 civilians, and more than 1,000 Americans.
Iwabuchi's actions were in defiance of the orders of his superior, Tomoyuki Yamashita, who'd been prepared to let Manila fall and fight the Americans at Baguio City.
Captain Sanji Iwabuchi (d. 1943) lead a squad of the JapaneseSpecial Naval Landing forces that made up part of the occupation forces in Hawaii from 1941-43. He was a vicious and tenacious leader, drilling his men regularly, screaming at them and berating them constantly. When the United States retook the islands in 1943, Iwabuchi was initially in charge of the defenses of Honolulu Iwabuchi became the leader of Japanese forces after General Tomoyuki Yamashita was killed. He made sure that the Americans paid for every piece of ground taken in Honolulu, frequently ordering his troops to charge the enemy, usually heedless of the Japanese soldiers killed and of any civilians caught in the crossfire. Even Japanese leaders, such as Minoru Genda, were disturbed by the men wasted by Iwabuchi's tactics. American intelligence was horrified to learn that Iwabuchi's mentality was hardly unique among the Japanese military.
Iwabuchi fought until what was left of his command was forced out of Honolulu, and into Waikiki. There, he found himself pinned between the advancing Americans and an amphibious assault. Realising that it was all about to end, Iwabuchi decked himself out in his ceremonial whites and led one last banzai charge at the Americans. He was cut down as he ran across the open ground.