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Daily History

January 24, 1972 – Japanese soldier found hiding on Guam after 28 years


Shoichi Yokoi

Shoichi Yokoi

After 28 years of hiding in the jungles of Guam, local farmers discover Shoichi Yokoi, a Japanese sergeant who fought in World War II.

Guam, a 200-square-mile island in the western Pacific, became a U.S. possession in 1898 after the Spanish-American War.

In 1941, the Japanese attacked and captured it, and in 1944, after three years of Japanese occupation, U.S. forces retook Guam.

It was at this time that Yokoi, left behind by the retreating Japanese forces, went into hiding rather than surrender to the Americans.

In the jungles of Guam, he carved survival tools and for the next three decades waited for the return of the Japanese and his next orders.

After he was discovered in 1972, he was finally discharged and sent home to Japan, where he was hailed as a national hero. He subsequently married and returned to Guam for his honeymoon.

His handcrafted survival tools and threadbare uniform are on display in the Guam Museum in Agana.

About Craig Hill

Social Justice Campaigner. Business and Education Consultant. Former Business/ESL Teacher. Lived in China and USA. Dealing with disability. My articles have been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and many other international publications.

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