Golden Buddha Hidden by JIA General Tomoyuki Yamashita


If you are going to ask old Filipino people who survived the tragic WW2 (World War II) event about the infamous Japanese Military General Tomoyuki Yamashita, most of them describes him as a “war criminal”.

Historical records indicate that he was one among the highest JIA (Japanese Imperial Army) General assigned in the Philippines. As the highest military officer in command, he allowed “killings and tortures of the innocent civilians”.

Other than killing the innocents, General Yamashita also betrayed most of his fellow comrades or Japanese soldiers particularly after hiding all treasures in their possessions. In short, he “murdered” them for the sake of keeping the secret locations of their hidden treasures to only few of his trusted co-officials.

Despite of the crime involved, some individuals who worked in hiding and burying the Yamashita treasures miraculously managed to escape their deaths. As a TH myself, I already came across several WW2 survivors who witnessed the buried treasures themselves with their own naked eyes.

I actually came across a WW2 survivor with an interesting story about the Yamashita treasure. “Pelimon Andrada” (not his real name) was only 15 years old when the JIA took him away from his home to work as one their slaves. According to him, they carried tons of gold bars and coins contained in large wooden boxes up in the mountains. Other than these objects, he also saw several statues/images of golden Buddha.

As they carried their loads up in the mountains, certain group goes on their separate ways to find a good hiding spot for their own respective cargoes. Fortunately, Pelimon’s group had chosen a site with natural spring of water nearby allowing them to replenish their thirst. Thus, they were able to dig extremely deep and complicated tunnels.

The time finally came when all the slaves including most of the Japanese soldiers were instructed to carry the items deep inside the tunnel except for Pelimon. He was called by one of the Japanese officers to fetch some water for him to drink. According to him, the Japanese officer was saying things and making gestures that he could not understand. He was also puzzled why no one came along to stop him from any possible attempt of escaping.

So Pelimon went to fetch some water at the nearby spring then suddenly, he heard a loud explosion then followed by multiple gunfire. At first, he thought that the Allied Forces finally came to their rescue. But checking them from his distance, the explosion was intended to close the entrance of the tunnel trapping all his other fellow slaves and Japanese soldiers inside. As for the remaining JIA soldiers outside, they were killing one another. Realizing the situation, Pelimon immediately ran and escaped.

Another interesting story of a WW2 survivor that I came across in my entire THing (treasure hunting) career in the Philippines is about a JIA soldier who knows a lot about the hidden Yamashita treasures. “Kuitchi Takazagi” (not his real name) was one among the Japanese soldiers who worked under the direct command of General Tomoyuki Yamashita. He claim as one of the soldiers who specialized in marking engraved signs and plotting treasure maps.

When they finally completed their task of hiding all treasures in their possession, Kuitchi accidentally overheard a private conversation of his superiors. He heard them talking that they successfully accomplished their mission where they can now peacefully surrender themselves to the Allied Forces. However, all slaves including their own men who witnessed the locations of their buried treasures “must be eliminated”.

Upon realizing the hideous plan of his superiors, Kuitchi warned his other fellow soldiers but they did not believed him. So he took his opportunity to find the perfect timing and escaped alone on his own.

Today, Kuitchi married a Filipina and they have one happy family. When asked why he did not went back home after the war ended, he is afraid that Japan’s Court Martial might charge him with “treason”. Anyway, he no longer have any reason to go back home because Kuitchi is now one happy man with a family living peacefully in the Philippines.

Golden Buddha Yamashita Treasure Signs

As the assigned supreme commander of the JIA in the Philippines during the previous WW2. General Tomoyuki Yamashita’s main objective particularly during their near defeat was to hide all “war loot treasures” that they plundered from different Asian countries in the Philippines. Thus, he took the responsibility of hiding the most valuable loots such as golden Buddha and precious diamonds.

What is a golden Buddha?

A Buddha is a human figure or image symbolizing different positive aspects of life. The most common type of Buddha is the one representing the “path to enlightenment”. Majority of Asian countries even consider them as their “deities” the main reason why most of them are made of gold.

Here are some of the following Yamashita treasure signs representing golden Buddha as deposits: