Army Mom’s Safe Haven

Christina: Hiding
This Japanese Soldier named Yokoi
was finally convinced to come out of hiding in 1972

HIDING

Twenty-some years after World War II ended
Jap soldiers still hid in the hills they defended -
doing their duty to Emperor and country -
loyal beyond all logical meaning -
hidden behind their branch-and-leaf-screening
in caves and in hidey-holes,
alone and afraid -
year after year, and day after day...
Amazing, you say??
Some of our 'Nam vets
still hide out today.

©Copyright May 30, 1998 by Christina

World War II did not neatly end with Japan's surrender on September 2, 1945. At its height the Japanese Empire was more than 20 million square miles of land and sea. Soldiers in isolated regions fought on for years after the surrender some unaware the war had ended, other refusing to believe. Some hide in the jungles alone, others fought in groups and continued to make attacks and conduct guerilla warfare. These men were called Japanese Holdouts, or Stragglers and their stories are some of the most fascinating human interest stories of the 20th Century.