Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Did WWII end in 1972?

This newspaper photograph was described as Yokoi's first haircut in 28 years; but the image is also a document of his first ordinary contact with another person and a step in the transformation from solitary soldier to the role of celebrity
After 28 years of hiding in the jungles of Guam, local farmers discover Shoichi Yokoi, a Japanese sergeant who was unaware that World War II had ended.
Guam, a 200-square-mile island in the western Pacific, became a U.S. possession in 1898 after the Spanish-American War. In 1941, the Japanese attacked and captured it, and in 1944, after three years of Japanese occupation, U.S. forces retook Guam. It was at this time that Yokoi, left behind by the retreating Japanese forces, went into hiding rather than surrender to the Americans. In the jungles of Guam, he carved survival tools and for the next three decades waited for the return of the Japanese and his next orders. After he was discovered in 1972, he was finally discharged and sent home to Japan, where he was hailed as a national hero. He subsequently married and returned to Guam for his honeymoon. His handcrafted survival tools and threadbare uniform are on display in the Guam Museum in Agana.


Visitors to Guam can take a short ropeway ride to "Yokoi's Cave", a tourist attraction / monument to Yokoi's life located on the site of the original cave at Talofofo Falls Resort Park. The original cave was destroyed in a typhoon

Leesah

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