Shoichi Yokoi, the Japanese Soldier Who Faught World War II Until the 1970s.

In 1941, Shoichi Yokoi was conscripted in to the Imperial Japanese Army and didn’t surrender until 1972. As the U. S. and Japanese were fighting in 1944’s Battle of Guam, Yokoi and ten other soldiers would go in to hiding. Eventually the other ten men would leave the island or die over the ensuing twenty years. From 1964 to 1972, Yokoi survived on the island alone, hunting and hiding in a cave.

On January 24th, 1972, Yokoi was discovered in the jungle by two local fishermen. Upon emerging in to civilization, Yokoi received his first haircut in twenty-eight years (seen here). Yokoi would soon become a celebrity in Japan and would tour the country detailing his almost three decades in near-solitude. Of all the questions Yokoi was asked, the most frequent was why had he not surrendered, despite finding leaflets saying the war was over. Turns out that Yokoi had assumed they were just propaganda.

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About Michael Darling
Collector of the interesting and absurd.

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