Surrendered - January 1972
One of the most famous of holdouts, his
story was widly reported in the world media, and he wrote a book
translated to English about his wartime experiences and 28 years
hiding on Guam as a Japanese holdout.
In 1941, Shoichi Yokoi was drafted and
assigned to the regiment in China. Next, he was assigned to Guam. After
the American landings on Guam, the regiment
Yokoi belonged to was almost annihilated, he flees into jungles. Yokoi
was assumed to have been killed in the battle, Japanese government made
announcement of his death.
Circumstances of His Surrender
Corporal Shoichi Yokoi, was found by two hunters while he was fishing along
the Talofofo River and captured in January 1972. He brought back his army-issue
rifle, which he said he wanted to return to "the Honorable Emperor," adding: "I
am sorry I did not serve his majesty to my satisfaction."
"We Japanese soldiers were told to prefer death to
the disgrace of getting captured alive,"
"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"
In February 1972, Yokoi returns to Japan. He landed Tokyo first, and then came
back to Nagoya, where he was born and raised. He marries Mihoko. He died on September 23, 1997 click
to read his obituary A
Shoichi Yokoi Photo
Click on the thumbnail to see a larger version.
His pants and shirt he was wearing when discovered were made of local
fibers (hibiscus bark) that he wove himself. He
had been living in his manmade cave for the whole time and they were
originally ten Japanese holdouts. However, for the last 8 years, he has
been alone and before that he was with his two companions that died in
1962, eight years before his discovery. According to Yokoi, he had known
since 1952 that the war was over, but he was afraid to come out of hiding.
Yokoi during WWII
Greeted on Guam
after discovery in 1972
Yokoi in 1972
Hands raised in
"banzi" back in Japan
||Utensils and supplies
Yokoi's Cave in 1972
Yokoi's Cave in 1997
on Shoichi Yokoi
Internet Links about Shoichi Yokoi
This Guam holdout returned to Japan to lecture on survival tactics
and even ran for political office.
Japanese Straggler on Guam
Transcript of the Guam police interrogation
of Sgt. Yokoi, and many photographs of him. Thanks to James Oglethorpe for this link.
Syoichi Yokoi Museum
Exhibit related to to Yokoi opens in Nagoya. It is open there free on every Sunday from June 25 2006. Thanks to Yohji Sakaida for this link
Hide & Seek
Article about Hiro Onoda and Shoichi Yokoi