If there were any question as to the fanaticism, or raw courage and determination if one prefers, of the Japanese military during World War II, the tale of Sergeant Shoichi Yokoi would have answered it. For 28 years after the liberation of Guam he survived in the jungles, initially with nine other soldiers. He learned in 1952 that Japan had lost the War, but he did not surrender because Japanese soldiers did not do that. On January 24, 1972 he was discovered by two local villagers on Guam who subdued him and brought him from the jungle with minor bruising. On returning to Japan he said, “It is with much embarrassment, but I have returned.”
Two Japanese soldiers of World War II surrendered in 1974 and none since then. Shoichi Yokoi married, became a popular television personality and advocated leading an austere lifestyle. He passed away in 1997, his tombstone being the one purchased by his mother in 1955 under the assumption that he was dead.