Japanese Straggler Shoichi Yokoi, 28 Years in Hiding in Guam Jungle

Shoichi Yokoi spent 28 year in hiding in the jungle of Talofofo, Guam after American forces conquered the island in World War II. He went into hiding in 1944 and was discovered by two local men in 1972.

Born in Saori, Aichi Prefecture, he was conscripted into the Imperial Japanese Army in 1941 and sent to Guam shortly thereafter. In 1944, as American forces reconquered the island, Yokoi went into hiding. Yokoi hunted primarily at night and used much of the native plants to form clothes, bedding, and storage implements, which he carefully hid in his cave. Many of his items are on display at the public library in Hagåtña, Guam. Yokoi feared harsh reprisals if he fell into the hands of the residents of Guam, due to the cruel treatment that the occupational Japanese Army had meted out during the occupation of Guam. For twenty-eight years, he hid in an underground jungle cave, fearing to come out of hiding even after finding leaflets declaring that World War II had ended.

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