Myth of the 20th Century: Yamashita’s Gold – Spoils of War

War is an expensive business, and historically to the victors went the spoils. When an invading army such as the Japanese during its imperial drive to conquer Asia sought treasure, it did so by looting the vast historical and cultural artifacts of places like China and Burma with their temples full of gold. When the Japanese saw their control over Asia disappearing as WWII neared its end, legend has it that General Yamashita was tasked with hiding billions of dollars worth of gold, diamonds, and precious artifacts in caves scattered about the crumbling Japanese empire. No one knows for certain where the gold was buried, but as the invading American army took control of the former Japanese colonies such as the Philippines, the chances are high that at least some of the treasure found its way into Yankee hands.

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— References —

– Empire of the Sun, Spielberg (1987)
– The Last Emperor, Bertolucci (1988)
– Gold Warriors, Seagrave (2006)
– China Uighurs: Xinjiang legalises ‘re-education’ camps, BBC (2018) –