Japanese soldier did not surrender for 28 years

Shoichi Yokoi (横 井 庄 一 Yokoi Shōichi) is a Japanese born on March 31, 1915 in Saori, Aichi Prefecture, and is perhaps the strangest person in the world. In 1941 he was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army, and in 1943 he was sent to serve on the island of Guam. After American forces recaptured the island in 1944, Shoichi Yokoi and several of his fellow soldiers were forced into hiding in order not to be captured.

Seven Japanese soldiers left their hideout during the first two years, and the remaining three split up and lived on opposite ends of the island. Friends unfortunately only met periodically, but in 1964 Shoichi Yokoi found his colleagues dead. In the following years, he had to live in complete solitude.

For 28 years, he hid in his own dug underground cave in the jungle, afraid to get out of hiding. All this time, he ate small animals and rodents, and made clothes from plant stems.

And only on January 24, 1972, Yokoi was discovered in a remote part of Guam by fishermen, who mistook him for a criminal hiding from the authorities. They tied him up and handed him over to the authorities.

The hermit who returned home, hiding in a cave for 28 years, said that he considered it a shame to return to Japan alive.

For many years the name Shoichi Yokoi appeared in the Japanese press. In 1977, a documentary film about him was filmed and shown entitled: “Yokoi and His Twenty-Eight Years. Secret life in Guam. " In 1991, he received an audience with the Japanese Emperor Akihito, which he later considered the greatest event of his life.

And only many years later he spoke about the true reasons for his seclusion: “I had a difficult childhood, and many of my relatives treated me badly. I was stuck in the jungle because I wanted to get even with them. "

On September 22, 1997, at the age of 82, Shoichi Yokoi died of a heart attack. He was buried in the Nagoya Cemetery, under a tombstone commissioned by his mother back in 1955.