20 Jun, 2011

This article is about the United States island territory of Guam. For GUAM, an eastern European international organization, see GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development.

Latte stone set on Guam.

Beach scenery in GuamGuam (/ˈɡwɑːm/ ( listen); Chamorro: Guåhan) is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government.[3][4] Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United Nations.[5] The island's capital is Hagåtña (formerly Agaña). Guam is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands.

The Chamorros, Guam's indigenous people, first populated the island approximately 4,000 years ago.[6] The island has a long history of European colonialism. First discovered by Europeans by Ferdinand Magellan on March 6, 1521, the first colony was established in 1668 by Spain with the arrival of settlers including Padre San Vitores, a Catholic missionary. The island was controlled by Spain until 1898, when it was surrendered to the United States as part of the Treaty of Paris following the Spanish-American War.

As the largest island in Micronesia and the only U.S.-held island in the region before World War II, Guam was captured by the Japanese on December 8, 1941, hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and was occupied for two and a half years.

During the occupation, the people of Guam were subjected to acts that included torture, beheadings, and rape,[7] and were forced to adopt the Japanese culture.[citation needed] Guam was subject to fierce fighting when US troops recaptured the island on July 21, 1944, a date commemorated every year as Liberation Day.[8]

Today, Guam's economy is supported by its principal industry, tourism, which is composed primarily of visitors from Japan. Guam's second-largest source of income is the United States military.[9]

Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi, a Japanese imperial army straggler who lived in the jungles of Guam for 28 years after World War II ended, died at 5:07 pm Monday Sept 22, 1997 of heart failure at JR Tokai General Hospital in Nagoya Japan. He was 82. Yokoi lived in a tunnel-like, underground cave in a bamboo grove until Jan 24, 1972, when he was discovered near the Talofofo River by hunters. Yokoi, who had been a tailor's apprentice before being drafted in 1941, made clothing from the fibers of wild hibiscus plants and survived on a diet of coconuts, breadfruit, papayas, snails, eels and rats. "We Japanese soldiers were told to prefer death to the disgrace of getting captured alive," Yokoi said in 1972. "The only thing that gave me the strength and will to survive was my faith in myself and that as a soldier of Japan, it was not a disgrace to continue on living," Yokoi said in 1986. No one in the history of humanity, except stragglers later discovered in Philippines, has equaled his record. Few have struggled with loneliness, fear, and self for as long as twenty-eight years.
exodus from
1972 jungle
hands raised by
fellow soldiers
The people of Guam during World War II survived atrocities committed by the Manchurian Japanese Army. This web page is offered as a medium for the healing to continue.

According to the records about Guam (called Omiya-jima island by Japan), Sergeant Yokoi's unit was located in the Fena Mountain region of the upper reaches of the Talofofo River when the Americans landed on the night of July 21. The Japanese troops made a night attack on the Americans in Nimitz (Showa) Bay; but having managed to bring U.S. tanks on shore, the Americans were on the offense. At this juncture Yokoi's unit already faced a situation in which they would soon be forced to fight until the last man had been killed. Some of them, managed to escape to the west shore of Nimitz (Showa) Bay and ultimately to rejoin the main force in Agana (Akashi). But Yokoi journeyed to the Talofofo area to which he says "I hid in the mountains."

At 9pm, January 24, 1972, Roman Quinata, Guam Commissioner of Talofofo Village reported to the Guam Police Department that a japanese World War II Straggler was brought to his office by Jesus M. Duenas, 43 years old, and Manuel Degracia, 36 years old, both residents of Talofofo Village.
Lieutenant Mariano C. Cruz described the Straggler to be male about 5'6" tall, skinny, pale, appeared weak, short beard, hair roughly trimmed on the back, barefooted and dressed with dirty short pants and shirt.

Messrs. Duenas and DeGracia told the police that they were checking their shrimp traps around 6:30pm, Jan 24, 1972, when they spotted a person up a hill. As they surprised the person, the person dropped a homemade net sack containing shrimp traps and charged them. After the hunters subdued the Straggler, they covered him with their rifles and marched him to Commissioner's Office.

Duenas and DeGracia picked up the sack and traps and took the person to Duenas' ranch where they fed him before driving him to the Commissioner's Office.

While the person was being transported to Agana Police Headquarters, the Straggler related to Lieutenant Cruz that it has been thirty years since he left his home in Japan. That he came to Guam before the U.S. invasion. He was an Army Sergeant. He had been hiding at the area since the invasion with two other japanese Stragglers, but later they separated. "We dug a cave in a bamboo thicket, but after a few months our food ran out. The others moved to a new hiding place where there was more food. We visited each other." About 8 years ago, he found both of them dead. "I believe they died of starvation". That the pants and shirt he was wearing were made of local fibers (hibiscus bark) and he made them himself.
Smoke blackened utensils found in Yokoi's cave.

Shoichi Yokoi - Guam Police Transcripts on Straggler

During the interview at the Police Director's Office on the night of 24 January 1972, by Honorary japanese Consul James Shintaku, he claimed his name to be Shoichi Yokoi, 58 years old, and he came originally from Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya, japan. Other records showed that he had been drafted in Nagoya in 1941. He served with the 29th Infantry Division in Manchuria from 1941 until he was transferred in 1943 to the 38th Regiment in the Mariana Islands. Remnants of the unit, all but decimated on Saipan, were sent to Guam in 1944. Yokoi arrived on Guam from Manchuria in February 1943. Never been married and gave Mr. Shintaku several names of relatives, he hopes are still alive in Japan. He was an Army Sergeant, attached to Supply corps, when he arrived on guam. He had been living in his manmade cave for the whole time and they were originally ten of them. However, for the last 8 he has been alone and before that he was with his two companions that died eight years ago. He has known for twenty years that the war was over, but he was afraid to come out of hiding.

Guam (bahasa Chamorro: Guåhan ), secara rasminya Wilayah Guam Amerika Syarikat, ialah sebuah pulau di Lautan Pasifik Barat yang merupakan wilayah terancang Amerika Syarikat yang |tidak diperbadankan. Kaum Chamorro yang merupakan penghuni asli Guam tinggal di pulau buat pertama kali pada sekitar 6,000 tahun dahulu. Guam ialah pulau yang terbesar dan yang terletak paling selatan antara pulau-pulau di Kepulauan Mariana. Ibu kotanya Hagåtña, dahulu dikenali sebagai Agana. Sebahagian besar ekonomi Guam didukung oleh pelancongan, khususnya pelancong-pelancong dari Jepun, Korea dan Taiwan, serta pangkalan-pangkalan Tentera Amerika Syarikat. Jawatankuasa PBB tentang Penyahjajahan memasukkan Guam ke dalam Senarai PBB untuk Wilayah Tak Memerintah Diri.

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