near Yokoi Cave
A tailor when he was conscripted in 1941, Sergeant Shoichi Yokoi said he wove cloth from tree bark fibre from Guam's pago/hibiscus trees and made himself trousers and a jacket. He used a pair of scissors he had through the war to tailor the clothes and to cut his hair. He was heavily bearded. Besides the scissors, the only things he kept from his days as a soldier were a waistband embroidered by his mother and a Japanese flag, both of which he had hidden in the cave.
Present during the interview were Guam Police Director J.C. Quintanilla, Guam Governor Carlos G. Camacho, Major P.A. Camacho, Lieutenant M.C. Cruz, Guam American Red Cross Representative, Immigration & Naturalization Representatives and Pacific Daily News Reporters. After the interview, Sergeant Yokoi was transported to Guam Memorial Hospital by Dept Public Safety-1 ambulance for physical examination. Doctors at Guam Memorial Hospital said his blood pressure, heart and pulse were normal, but he appeared to be anaemic, as result of his salt-free diet. Sergeant Yokoi is the third former Japanese soldier to be found on Guam long after the war. Two others were discovered 16 years prior to 1972.
On january 25, 1972, the Guam Police organized a search party to search the hiding place of Sergeant Yokoi and the hiding place where Sergeant Yokoi's companions died. The search party left Talofofo Village in police jeeps as far as the end of a long dirt road through a crude map drawn by Sergeant Yokoi. After about two hours walk from where the police jeeps were parked, Sergeant Yokoi's cave was found. About twenty minutes walk from Sergeant Yokoi's hiding place was the cave where his companions died.
Sergeant Yokoi's hiding place is on a little bamboo grove on the side of a rolling slope which ended in a small stream. The entrance to the shaft of the tunnel was cleverly concealed. Bamboo slats were tied over the top and bamboo leaves scattered covering the opening of the shaft.
The shaft is about 20 inches wide and a drop of about 8 feet. The tunnel runs about 10 feet deep southwest. His stove, toilet and resting place were photographed and many homemade implements were found and seized.
On January 27, 1972, the search party returned to the tunnel with U.S. Naval Magazine Bomb Disposal Team. Two japanese handgrenades were dismantled and a 155mm American shell was removed from a second tunnel where Sergeant Yokoi's companions died.
On the same day, Detective Scharff again explored the same tunnel and found the bones and skulls of the two companions lying close side by side. Bones and skulls were turned over to Dr. Orlando Varona for study.
Sergeant Yokoi was hosted at the Government House by Governor and Mrs. Carlos G. Camacho. Admiral Paul Pugh, commander Naval Forces Marianas paid a visit to Sergeant Yokoi at the hospital. On Jan 27, 1972, Mr. Kazunari Nakamura, director of Repatriation of the Ministry of Health and Welfare and Mr. Masato Abe, assistant to Mr. Nakamura, arrived in Guam via Japan Self-Defense plane.
On February 2, 1972, at 12:00 Noon, Sergeant Yokoi departed Guam via Japan Special Flight, accompanied by Messrs. Nakamura, Abe and Japanese TV and News Reporters and Photographers. The remains of the two companions of Sergeant Yokoi were taken back to Japan on the same flight. He brought back his army-issue rifle, which he said he wanted to return to "the honorable Emperior," adding "I am sorry I did not serve his majesty to my satisfaction." Yokoi said he was from a village in Aichi prefecture, but when officials checked they found that his home town had been amalgamated in Nagoya, Japan's third largest city. Officials at the relief bureau there found his name listed in proper Japanese "alphabetical" order in a list of the prefecture's 98,000 war dead. He was listed as having been killed Sept. 30 1944. In November 1972, Yokoi married 44 year old Mihoko and return to Guam for his honeymoon. He has returned to Guam several times over the years.
Yokoi traveled around Japan giving lectures on survival topics and even starred in television special, "Yokoi and the Seven Beauties," in which he taught Japanese women about the art of survival. He ran unsuccessfully for the House of Councillors - Parliament's upper house - in 1974.
information about Yokoi at CNN, please Click here.