Shoichi Yokoi - Last Japanese WWII Straggler on Guam
Yokoi in 1972
Sgt Yokoi after
1972 discovery
Corporal Yokoi during WWII
Corporal Yokoi
during WWII

Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi, a Japanese imperial army straggler who lived in the jungles of Guam for 28 years after World War II ended, died at 5:07 pm Monday Sept 22, 1997 of heart failure at JR Tokai General Hospital in Nagoya Japan. He was 82. Yokoi lived in a tunnel-like, underground cave in a bamboo grove until Jan 24, 1972, when he was discovered near the Talofofo River by hunters. Yokoi, who had been a tailor's apprentice before being drafted in 1941, made clothing from the fibers of wild hibiscus plants and survived on a diet of coconuts, breadfruit, papayas, snails, eels and rats. "We Japanese soldiers were told to prefer death to the disgrace of getting captured alive," Yokoi said in 1972. "The only thing that gave me the strength and will to survive was my faith in myself and that as a soldier of Japan, it was not a disgrace to continue on living," Yokoi said in 1986. No one in the history of humanity, except stragglers later discovered in Philippines, has equaled his record. Few have struggled with loneliness, fear, and self for as long as twenty-eight years.
exodus from jungle 1972
exodus from
1972 jungle
Hands raised by other stragglers
hands raised by
fellow soldiers

The people of Guam during World War II survived atrocities committed by the Manchurian Japanese Army. This web page is offered as a medium for the healing to continue.

According to the records about Guam (called Omiya-jima island by Japan), Sergeant Yokoi's unit was located in the Fena Mountain region of the upper reaches of the Talofofo River when the Americans landed on the night of July 21. The Japanese troops made a night attack on the Americans in Nimitz (Showa) Bay; but having managed to bring U.S. tanks on shore, the Americans were on the offense. At this juncture Yokoi's unit already faced a situation in which they would soon be forced to fight until the last man had been killed. Some of them, managed to escape to the west shore of Nimitz (Showa) Bay and ultimately to rejoin the main force in Agana (Akashi). But Yokoi journeyed to the Talofofo area to which he says "I hid in the mountains."

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