Japan’s Lost Treasures - Yamashita Gold and Awa Maru

Do you know the many lost treasures that Japan has? In this article, we will talk about the lost treasures of Yamashita and the Awa Maru Shipwreck, Tokugawa, as well as other treasures buried throughout Japan.

Japan is full of lost clan treasures and Daimyos from the long wars that took place between the 12th and 19th centuries. In 1963 one of these treasures was found worth more than 10 billion yen. So this article is no joke!

Many other treasures have been found over the years ranging from 10 to 100,000 yen. These places are called Maizoukin Densetsu [埋蔵金伝説] which literally means legend of the buried treasure.

In World War II alone there were 50 reports of treasures discovered. It was often old gold, copper and other artifacts discovered in excavations and public works. Now let’s start talking about Japan’s greatest lost treasures!

General Yamashita’s Lost Treasure

It’s not One Piece, but a Japanese man hid a treasure, a priceless fortune. In this article, we are going to talk about General Yamashita who hid his treasure somewhere in Asia and has not yet been found.

Around the Second World War, Japan accumulated several treasures and riches from more than 12 countries in Asia. For years, there have been rumors involving a treasure estimated at billions of dollars composed of gold bars and precious stones.

Japan’s lost treasures - yamashita gold and awa maru

Legend has it that General Yamashita Tomoyuki hid part of the treasure in the mountains of Luzon in the Philippines and imploded with tons of dynamite a tunnel to hide the gold bars and precious stones.

Although General Yamashita was captured by the Americans and surrendered on September 2, 1945, nothing was revealed about the treasure. Members of his army were tortured to find out the location of the treasure, but nothing was discovered.

Anthropological experts say that nothing is more than an urban legend, even though the Japanese were in the Philippines around 1941. They say that many knew about the location of the treasure, but were killed during the war.

Japan’s lost treasures - yamashita gold and awa maru

Many treasure hunters and pirates searched for Yamashita Gold for several years, but many gave up and caused only archaeological damage. This legend even generates conspiracy theory involving the Philippine government to have hidden all treasure.

Rumors circulate that the treasure was found in 2017 alongside a video, but the video is probably fake and the treasure remains lost. Filipino folklore is filled with legends of hidden treasures, which strengthens the legend.

Awa Maru - Japan’s Shipwrecked Treasure

Yamashita’s lost treasure is not Japan’s only treasure. The Awa Maru was a Japanese ocean-going vessel that sank with more than 5 billion in wealth during World War II.

The construction of the Awa Maru took place between 1941 and 1943, in Nagasaki. It was initially designed for passenger transport, but at the beginning of World War II, it was taken over by the Japanese Navy.

Japan’s lost treasures - yamashita gold and awa maru

His aim was to serve for agents and military personnel, but rumors claim that he carried a large fortune. On March 28, 1945, the ship reportedly left Singapore, but was intercepted on April 1 by torpedoes.

Of the 2004 passengers, only one left alive. If in fact there was any treasure, is it still lost at the bottom of the sea or has it been found by an explorer? We will never know…

Buried Treasure TOYOTOMI HIDEYOSHI and Tokugawa

There is another legend that says having a treasure buried in Tokugawa’s home for more than 250 years in the Edo Period. These were the war funds used by the shogunate for emergencies after Chief Minister Bakumatsu was murdered in the Sakuradamon incident. 

It is believed that there are more than 400 Koban coins that have been hidden and converted may be worth a few billion yen. In the 1990s, a TV program used an excavator to dig a hole in the floor of the site, which was ridiculed but also gave a great boom to the legend of the treasure buried in Japan.

Japan’s lost treasures - yamashita gold and awa maru

There is another legend that says Toyotomi Hideyoshi would have an estimated treasure of more than 200 trillion yen buried in some tunnel in southwest Japan in Hyogo. The treasure is called Tadakinzan and it’s a silver mine.

One part of this treasure is funds from the disputed Tenshou Ooban, which claims to have 112 tons of gold, 30,000 kan and 410 million ryo, the name of the coins of the time. Will anyone find this treasure or is it just urban legends?

Other Lost Japanese Treasures

Honjō Masamune - A famous and legendary samurai sword created by the master Goro Masamune between 1288 and 1328. This sword was passed through Shogun to Shogun for several centuries and is considered an invaluable artifact.

Japan’s lost treasures - yamashita gold and awa maru

Kusanagi it is another sword and one of Japan’s three priceless lost treasures of great importance in the history of Japan. You can read our article that talks in detail about these lost treasures by clicking here.

Takeda Shingen he was responsible for making Japan’s first large-scale gold mine. He already boasted of having the greatest fortune and created the country’s first gold coins called Koushoukin. It is not known where he hid his fortune.

Minamoto no Yoshitsune was dethroned for his older brother and fled to Hokkaido. He is said to have a large amount of gold dust hidden somewhere. It is not known if this legend is true, like all the legends lol.

Did you know these lost treasures from Japan? Do you know other legends? If you liked the article, share and leave your comments. Thank you and see you next time!

Share This Article:

Leave a Comment