The unbelievable story of a Japanese soldier who hid in a jungle cave for 27 years until he was found in 1972
Caitlin FosterJan 25, 2019, 02.43 AM
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Talofofo Falls Resort Park, where Shoichi Yokoi dug a cave and hid for nearly 28 years after the US invasion of Guam during World War II.Panoramio/CC by 3.0/Wikimedia Commons
On January 24, 1972, two hunters came across a man setting fishing traps in a river near Talofofo Falls in Guam.
The man was later identified as Shoichi Yokoi, a Japanese soldier who had been living in isolation in a self-made cave since World War II.
Yokoi fled and hid during the US invasion of Guam in 1944 rather than surrender and be taken prisoner.
He was repatriated in Japan in February 1972.
Shoichi Yokoi was 26 when he was drafted into the Japanese Army in 1941.
At the time, soldiers were taught that surrender was the worst possible fate for a soldier - so when US forces invaded Japanese-occupied Guam in 1944, Yokoi fled into the jungle.
He dug a cave near a waterfall, covered it with bamboo and reeds, and survived by eating small animals. He had no idea, when he was discovered on January 24, 1972 by two hunters near a river, that the war had ended decades ago.
He attacked the hunters, who were able to overpower the weakened soldier and escorted him to authorities, where he revealed his bizarre story.