Yutaka Tani (谷 豊 Tani Yutaka, Malay: Mohd Ali bin Abdullah; November 6, 1911- March 17, 1942), was a hero who was active in Malaya.
He was born in Minami-ku, Fukuoka, and moved to Malaya with his family. After he took his education in Japan, his family returned to Malaya, where he lived at Kuala Terengganu where they worked at a shop. There, he was so influenced by the local Malay culture of his friends that he later converted to Islam. He also secretly married a Malay woman, but they divorced.
In 1931, when he was 20 years' old, he returned to Japan for a military inspection. Although he worked for a shoe company, he missed his home and returned to Malaya.
On November 6, 1933, a Chinese thug killed and beheaded his two sisters over the Mukden Incident. Seeking revenge against the thug and his gang, he became a bandit known as Harimau (Malay word for "Tiger"). Tani attacked some Chinese gangs and British officers, and giving away what he looted from richer officials to the poor, making him into a local hero. He was then arrested at Hat Yai and imprisoned for two months.
Before World War II, he became a Secret Agent for the Imperial Japanese Army, sabotaging the British war effort.
He died in Singapore where he is buried in the Japanese Cemetery Park. However, the accounts of his exact death differed: some sources claimed that he was killed during a mission to sabotage a dam at Johor, while others claim that he succeeded in the sabotage, and either died of his wounds or from malaria.
He was also one of the soldiers who were enshrined at the Yasukuni Shrine, in spite of his Muslim faith.
In popular culture
His life story has been depicted in novels and in the films Marai no Tora (1943) and Harimau (1989).