Study Guide

Unbroken Chapter 20

By Laura Hillenbrand

Chapter 20

Farting for Hirohito

  • Louie meets a few other POWs, including one man who was tortured: clubbed, penknives under the fingernails, and water-boarding.
  • Louie mostly hangs out with William Harris, another man who made a miraculous escape only to be captured in the end. He has a photographic memory like Cam Jansen.
  • Another of Louie's friends is Gaga the duck, who follows the soldiers around and cheers them up.
  • Jimmie Sasaki frequently visits Ofuna, and Louie suspects that Sasaki is using his influence to protect him.
  • Captives do what they can to defy the guards: passing around war news, calling the guards things like "Turdbird, Flange Face, the Weasel, Liver Lip" (4.20.12), and farting when forced to bow to Emperor Hirohito.
  • One day, a one-legged captive named Fred Garrett hunts down Louie. It turns out that Louie added his name to the list of names on the board, and Garrett asked around, hearing that Zamperini had survived. The name had given him hope that he, too, would live.
  • Later, a Japanese civilian is brought in to race Louie.
  • Louie, malnourished and practically on death's door, actually beats the man, and then gets beat himself… by a club to the head.
  • The next time Louie is made to race, he's offered a rice ball if he throws it. He does, and collects his food as payment.
  • In March, Phil is taken away to Ashio, a camp north of Tokyo.
  • He says goodbye to Louie. In Ashio, he writes a letter home, but someone burns it instead of delivering it. Phil finds the charred remains and vows to deliver it someday in person.