Marpi Jungle

I never know what I will find in the jungles of Saipan but I always find something. Marpi is a great place to boonie stomp and explore.

Live WWII mortar round.

There is a whole lot of jungle in Northern Saipan for me to explore. Pretty much any direction you search you will find WWII artifacts. That is Suicide Cliff in the distance of the below picture where perhaps 1,000 Japanese women and children jumped near the end of the Battle of Saipan. That picture was taken while holding on to the side of a tall steep mountain just inland from Bird Island.

A five foot monitor lizard. He was resting in my hiking path. I was within several feet from him before I even saw him. He took off running and I followed him to this tree.

This was a surprise. The most complete cow skeleton I've found.

A pre-war Japanese teapot in the jungle near Suicide Cliff.

There are thousands of these pre-WWII Japanese bottles in the jungles and caves laying right where they were dropped 67 years ago. This one says from right to left: "Kirin Beer High Quality".

There are also thousands of American WWII beer bottles on the jungle floor. This one was made one month prior to the Battle of Saipan. It would have been put on a supply ship in 1944 and followed the war over the Pacific. The American soldiers in the battle certainly never saw a beer but the hundred thousand American soldiers stationed here for two years after the battle were given a ration of six beers a week. They brought their rations into the hills and left the bottles right where they were drank, and they are still there!

A WWII soldier got a second chance this time. The bullet almost exited this hardwood tree and is still there 67 years later. The tree has since died though. This bullet was fired downhill from a Japanese fortified cave near the cliffs of Marpi.

My exploring buddy meets a baby coconut crab.

Me trying a bull's head on for size. This bull apparently fell from a high cliff nearby.

Smoke grenade.

Don't worry. This one was empty.

Hand grenades found in the jungle south of the Last Command Post.

One million tourists, mostly Japanese, pass by the below spot every year on a tour of historic WWII sites in Saipan. If they happen to look out their window right here they probably won't believe their eyes. A Japanese WWII soldier has been sitting here watching the cars go by for the past 66 years.




WWII General Saito's Hideout:



Adam said...

Did you report the skeleton to the Historic Preservation Office? They go out and collect the remains.

EW Johnson said...

Hi Adam, You can still find remains in almost every cave if you look hard enough.

alexis said...

not always in caves but basicly anywhere on the island, you'll find things. when they first started clearing the land in Kagman to build the elementary school they found alot of artifacts, am nt sure what they found in the area that the jr. high is built on, but i do remember them finding human remains on the grounds of the high school, along with a few small latte stones.

EW Johnson said...

Hi Alexis, You're correct, there are artifacts everywhere in Saipan. In the jungles the smaller artifacts are often deteriorated or buried in the leaves and dirt where in the caves they are laying on the floor in plain site.

Glen Hunter said...

hi. i am with the Friends of Marpi group. i stumbled across your site and love the photos and videos. would it be possible to link to your site as well as use some of the photos in a montage slide show i have on the homepage? i will link each photo used back to this blog.

the website is :

EW Johnson said...

Hi Glen,
Yes you can link my site and pictures to FriendsOfMarpi.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much!


Koji said...

Good history lesson, Eric. Thanks.

EW Johnson said...

Thanks Koji.

Des. Lyttle said...

Hi Mr. Johnson..Do you live on Saipan? The reason I ask is I intend visiting this winter and a coffe with you would be super.

EW Johnson said...

Hi Des Lyttle. Yes I do live in Saipan.

Des said...

I certainly don't want to intrude in your normal life but closer to my arrival would you mind if I gave you a contact number of the hotel I will be staying in or how can i give you my email address??? Is it safe over your blog??

Derek said...

Thanks for posting the videos... I enjoyed watching them. I would love to come out there and explore and will some day


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