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Hiroo Onoda was a former Japanese intelligence officer, an imperial soldier for whom absolute loyalty and devotion to Emperor Hirohito and his country were paramount in his philosophy, so much so that he refused to surrender following Japan’s defeat in 1945. He remained hidden for another 29 years.

FAMILY TRAVEL: Journey to the Source - COCONUT SPOONS

THE MALDIVES is as good a place as any to go nuts - especially if the nuts in question are the coconut variety. OK, so coconut curries or coconut cakes are yum but, with its dark good looks and tough-on-the- outside, soft-on-the-inside (at the right stage of ripening) properties, this evocative and versatile product can be drunk, grated, cooked, carved or used for practically any other purpose. Best of all, though, the soft textured tones and natural durability of palm wood means that it can be shaped into sturdy household items.

They came in search of paradise

But it was what the makers of The Beach left behind that sparked the biggest drama of all.

Before the week is out ... read this

ARE YOU an oval or a coconut? Time to buy a box of chocolates and find out. Chocolate therapy is a new book that claims to explore what your choice of choccy tells you about yourself. The author, Murray Langham, a therapist, says he gained new insight by observing the different centres clients chose. Sadly his research is now complete, but with the help of his book you can easily try a DIY approach - and all in the name of science.

The Trader: Currying up to Jane's man

"SO LET me see if I've got this straight?" I've retreated to Jane's for the evening, and Tom is explaining the stock market to me. Amazingly, I'm enjoying it. Not only does it take my mind off the agonising wait for Jaap to stop being my deputy boss and start being my boyfriend, it also gives me a chance to have a look at my friend's new man. Not that Jane's prepared to admit to them being more than just friends, but from the way she breathes out every time she says his name, it's clear she's enamoured.

Country: Keep it in the family

In the countryside, a policeman's job is often much easier. By Harry Pearson

Untitled novel would like to meet catchy genitive title

In the case of `Nathaniel's Nutmeg' I never did get to find out who Nathaniel was

Eating In: Bounty hunting

The fairground coconut isn't worthy of the name, says Michael Bateman. The real thing provides delicious cooling drinks, tempers the fire of spicy dishes and transforms the simplest food

Restaurants: Where shall we meet in Soho? by Serena Mackesy

The venerable Leith's restaurant - 30 years old this year - foaled on 1 May last year and put it out to race in Soho under the care of Alex Floyd.

Verbal tangles unravelled by the dipsomaniac logomachist

Sometimes, when he's not in the pub, I welcome a visit from Dr Wordsmith, the language expert

Shopping & Design: Where the soaps are the stars

The ancient Greeks started it, and in London's East End, soap- making is still going strong. By Ros Byam Shaw

COMPETITION

This excerpt has been taken from a work of travel literature. Readers are invited to tell us: a) where is the action taking place? b) who is the author? Blackwell's Bookshops will award pounds 30-worth of book tokens to the first correct answer out of the hat. Answers on a postcard to: Literally Lost, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL. Usual competition rules apply. Entries to arrive by this Thursday.

Books: Thick-headed John Bulls made for the constable's bludgeon

Voltaire's Coconuts, or Anglomania in Europe

Where zebus and lemurs roam

From howling Indri indri to stir-fried eel, Martin Symington explores the magnificent menagerie that is Madagascar

The Sunday Poem: No 13 Neil Rollinson

Every week Ruth Padel discusses a contemporary poet through an example of their work. No 13 Neil Rollinson
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