A tunnel dug during the war in Longtan township in northern Taiwan. The entrance of the tunnel is only half a meter tall. (Photo courtesy of the leader of Sanhe village)
Legends say that the former Japanese colonial masters of Taiwan left a large fortune in underground tunnels in the mountains of the northern township of Longtan before they lost control of the island after the end of World War II. Two men have recently been on the trail of this treasure by digging a 20-meter hole in the area, reports our sister paper China Times.
One man digging the hole said he was hired by a man surnamed Hung, who claimed his ancestors appeared to him in a dream and told him to dig there. Local residents suspect they are seeking the fabled treasure, though they have not found anything so far.
More than ten tunnels were constructed in the mountains for military use by Japanese authorities between 1942 and 1945, according to a local elder surnamed Chu, who was part of the labor team formed to help with their construction, said the leader of Sanhe village, where Japanese troops were stationed during the war.
Chu, now 82, said locals were made to remove the rocks and dirt from the tunnels but were banned from approaching them as they were considered military secrets and all dug by Japanese soldiers.
The tunnels were emptied after the soldiers left Taiwan following Japan's surrender in August 1945. Some local residents believe the soldiers buried treasure they were not able to take away with them in the hope that they could come back for it one day. Many people have reportedly come to this area to look for the treasure over the last sixty years, they said.