At the sight of the members of the Japanese imperial army and police, who had left for “punitive operation” against the anti-Japanese guerrilla army, returning stupefied by the tactics of guerrillas who appeared in an unexpected place at an unexpected moment and left no trace behind, the Japanese military authorities said: “As the guerrilla army of General Kim Il Sung is adept at guerrilla warfare, breaks through any encircling rings and makes a breach in any offensive operations, you should abandon the concept of the front in order to fight them. Even able operations planners and army commanders seem to lose orientation in the forests as the definite front disappears and all our units and troops are mixed with enemy counterparts and great confusion is caused.”
Nozoe, commander of the “punitive forces” of the Japanese imperialists at the time, said, “Kim Il Sung’s unit cleverly employed camouflage tactics to make it appear existing here and there as it moved divided into several detachments with each of them styling themselves Kim Il Sung’s unit.”
Unami, chief of the police affairs department of Helong County at the time, took part in the “punitive operations” against the anti-Japanese guerrilla army between 1938 and 1941.
He also admitted, “It seemed that General Kim Il Sung gave full play to his outstanding leadership also in his anti-Japanese guerrilla warfare. We suffered especially hard times because of his deft luring operations and ambushes.”
Amid the spread of many legendary tales including the one that the anti-Japanese guerrillas’ bullets have eyes, even the Japanese, who witnessed the battles at that time, said that “What I cannot understand even so far is that the footprints marked vividly on the snow suddenly disappeared. Their tactics were so protean we could not know whether they soared into the sky or sank into the ground,” and “The battle of Pochonbo was a big event that wreaked havoc on the body of the Japanese empire, which was giddy with an ambition for the invasion of the continent, and which made a hole through the tongue of the empire, which trumpeted about ‘oneness of Japan and Korea’ and ‘the Japanese and Koreans are of the same ancestors and roots’.”
“As the Japanese troops lost battles, the fear of the anti-Japanese guerrillas grew and at that time we talked much about General Kim Il Sung. What made me surprise is that though I realized everything later, General Kim Il Sung was a 23-year-old man at that time. It filled me with admiration that he was a peerless hero since he won fame across the continent as a political and military genius at that young age,” said Nakagawa Tomojo, a platoon leader of the Japanese Kwantung Army. This shows that the respect for Commander Kim Il Sung was dominant even among the enemy troops.