Yamashita's gold, also known as the Yamashita treasure, is the name given to the alleged war loot stolen in Southeast Asia by Imperial Japanese force
Yamashita’s gold, also known as the Yamashita treasure, is the name given to the alleged war loot stolen in Southeast Asia by Imperial Japanese forces during World War II and hidden in caves, tunnels, underground complexes, or just underground in the Philippines.
It is named after the Japanese general Tomoyuki Yamashita, nicknamed “The Tiger of Malaya”. Though accounts that the treasure remains hidden in the Philippines have lured treasure hunters from around the world for over fifty years, its existence is dismissed by most experts.
When Word World II ended, the Philippine economy was in its lowest form. Many livestock has been affected so as other infrastructure. Filipino people were confused how to get by another day living. In that time of difficulty, rumors have spread about the infamous Yamashita Treasure and one certain man has the strong will to find it.
Rogelio Roxas, a former Filipino soldier dedicated his life to finding the treasure. In 1971, he allegedly succeeded. Roxas said he has found a tunnel of World War II era rifles, bayonets, radios and a skeleton wearing a Japanese army uniform. He also found a 10 foot concrete wall. He blasted through it and uncovered a 2000 pound solid gold statue of Buddha surrounded by crates of gold bars worth an untold amount. And it was still a fraction of amount that Yamashita had hidden.
Ferdinand Marcos, the wealth-crazed dictator of the Philippines, learned of the discovery. When Roxas returned with the treasure, Marcos ordered his men to raid Roxas’ home, where part of the treasure was hidden. They stole the Buddha, the gold bars and even the piggy bank of the Roxas’ children. Roxas was the beaten and tortured for the locations of the remaining treasure but divulged nothing.
Marcos and his wife Imelda fled to Hawaii in 1986. In 1988, Roxas sued the former dictator over the stolen treasure in Hawaiian court. Before he was supposed to testify, Roxas died under what many considered suspicious circumstances. But the trial went on. In 1992, Imelda admitted much of her husband’s wealth was built on Yamashita’s treasure. And in 1996, a jury awarded the Rogelio Roxas estate and his investors $22 billion, the largest award in judicial history at that time. The court clearly stated that Roxas found a portion of Yamashita’s treasure and that Marcos stole it.
To this day, treasure hunters are still risking their lives to find the rest of World War II’s lost gold.