The actual cave built by Yokoiand his fellow soldiers has since collapsed. Its original location is obliterated from view by the lush jungle growth. In its place a replica cave has been created, nothing more than a hole in the ground, nestled beside the shrine and memorials to the three soldiers.
It is interesting to watch visiting Japanese tourists pay their respects at this memorial to their Japanese hero. He is admired for his ingenuity and resourcefulness to survive for nearly three decades, invisible to the outside world. It is hard to stand at this site and not dwell on the irony of this story, for although Yokoi did eventually return to Japan, the loss of half a lifetime to this futile and unnecessary feat is the ultimate tragedy.
This important phase of Guam’s history is remembered in other points along the island’s coast. On the east coast, a short drive from the resort area of Tumon Bay in Agat Bay is Ga’an Point. Here, the Guam, American and Japanese flags fly side by side overlooking a mounted WWII Japanese artillery gun, one of the few preserved after the recapture of the island in 1944.
Farther north along Highway 1 at Asan Beach is the “War in the Pacific National Park.” Here, descriptive plaques detail the landing by the US forces and show photos of what this now tranquil and peaceful beach looked like only hours after the Americans landed.
To learn more about the story of Sergeant Shoichi Yokoi and his 28 years hidden in the Guam jungle, you can visit the Guam Museum in Hagatna where the tools and implements he fashioned to aid his survival are on display.
If You Go
Guam Visitors Bureau