Based from all the previous comments here on my blog and private messages that I received from FaceBook, one of the major concerns by many are all about the hidden Yamashita treasures inside “Japanese concrete vaults”. For those who does not know, the JIA (Japanese Imperial Army) didn’t just dug a hole with a certain depth, placed the treasure and then covered it back.

It isn’t that kind of simple. The JIA won’t just let anyone take their war loot with so much ease where they had cleverly setup deadly traps and blockages that are very hard to penetrate. Vaults is one among these annoying obstacles.

What is a Japanese concrete vault?

Concrete vaults made by the JIA during the WW2 has only one purpose but to store something valuable inside them particularly the Yamashita treasure. Unlike any other commercial concretes that we use today, the JIA used a special type of concrete known as the “Japanese Grade II Bunker Cement”. This special cement is intended to be used for building bunkers the reason why it is so hard to break by just using ordinary tools.

Japanese Concrete Vault

As a treasure hunter myself, I already encountered several concrete vaults and I have to say that not all of them contains deposits. Some of them were just empty which was very disappointing – all because of the time and effort that simply went to waste. I already know some group of treasure hunters who permanently quit just because of this kind of terrible experience.

Japanese made concrete vaults back in WW2 can be encountered under the ground, underwater and on the surface.

Under the Ground

After going through all the effort of digging your way through the hidden item which include decoding the markers and dealing with dangerous traps, you may finally encounter the item. But in most cases, the items are stored inside a concrete vault.

Some amateurs who encounter concrete vault on their diggings do often have the common mistake of ignoring the object. What they usually do especially when they hit the top portion of the concrete vault is that they will dig to the side and continue going down.

One commonly asked question about concrete vaults encountered deep underground is whether to break it under or pull it out to the surface before breaking it. The answer to this question really depends on the situation but in my own personal opinion, it is always best to pull it out. If the object is quite impossible to be pulled out then you got no other choice but to break it on its original spot.


I do have one experience of an underwater treasure deposit stored inside a small size concrete vault measuring 30 inches (length) x 12 inches (width) x 15 inches (height). Although, we didn’t recovered it from the ocean or sea but from a creek.

It’s an old creek but the water that flows through it is almost comparable to a river. And, the portion where we found the vault has a depth of around 10 to 15 feet deep. Moreover, I will tell you more about it on a separate post since this discussion is all about concrete vaults.

If it happens that you discovered a concrete vault underwater then it is always best to pull it out. I really find it hard to imagine someone breaking such a very hard object while submerged under the water at the same time.

On the Surface

Some of the JIA were too clever to build concrete tombs. Since we Asians do have deep respect to the dead where we are taught not disturbed their resting place, it puts an end to our curiosity. But when it comes to those strange tombs built by the JIA, there is a huge chance of hidden treasures inside them.

Concrete Tombs

Tombs are just one example of concrete vaults made by the JIA where they hid their treasures. Others include concrete posts, walls and many other concrete objects built by the JIA that can be found on strange places.

I have another experience that I would like to share. This was about a huge rock split into half. At the center, the JIA carved a hollow where they placed the items inside then they filled the empty spaces with their specialized cement and re-stuck the rock back to its original form. This was actually a very common tactic used by the JIA especially on places with a lot of huge rocks around.

Natural Rock or Concrete

One problem that I noticed to all new treasure hunters is that they do not know how to distinguish natural rock from concrete. The Japanese Grade II Bunker Cement will actually have a similar appearance to an ordinary rock as its age.

The most common method used by treasure hunters in trying to distinguish ordinary rock from a concrete is by using muriatic acid. If it’s concrete then there should be a chemical reaction where the surface easily get etched by the substance and it bubbles. On the other hand – where there is no reaction, it means that it is just an ordinary rock.

Ways of Breaking a Hard Concrete Cement

Lately, I was heavily promoting the use of the product known as Dexpan for breaking hard concretes. However, there is a problem in most countries who just recently started banning this product. I believe that this isn’t just the case for Dexpan but to any other similar products as well.

Before you start breaking hard concrete with suspected Yamashita treasure, it is always a wise decision to confirm it if it’s really positive or not. You have to know that not all concrete vault made by the JIA do contain precious items. Most of them are just plain empty. The worst part is the hassle of breaking it which isn’t really an easy thing to do and then only to find nothing inside.

The only working method that I know about how to confirm if there is a precious item inside a concrete vault is to use a metal detector. It must have a reliable discrimination feature that can discriminate ferrous from non-ferrous materials. If you do not have such equipment then perhaps you can rely on the concrete vault’s weight. So if it is heavy for its size then you should break it.

There are actually many effective products for breaking hard concrete that are available in the black market. This means, they are illegal products that are strictly prohibited by the authorities. If you got caught using such product then you could end up in jail. Thus, I won’t be endorsing any products from the black market here.

Anyway, if you want to stay on the safe side then you should use the old traditional method of using fire and water.

38 Comments to “Japanese Concrete Vault with Hidden Yamashita Treasure”

  • Do you have any idea about what is the best equipment to use for searching buried treasures?

    • Metal detectors would be the best equipment to use particularly those that are designed to penetrate deep targets from the ground if you are searching for the Yamashita treasure or similar deposits.

  • Good evening Sir Elmo. I just want to ask if you already encounter/recover small stone like magnet around 2″ x 1/2″ diameter pointed at both ends and 6″ x 6″ x 1/2″ thick magnet.

    • No, I still haven’t but there is one thing for sure. That object is definitely a marker.

  • Hi Sir Elmo,

    Inside the cave, I dig 15 feet now. How many layers going down until the item is found?

    • You have provided very little information about your project. For this reason, I do not have basis to provide a good answer to your question.

  • Good day Sir,

    In our dig site, this present we encounter 3 x 3 x 6 ft hard concrete cement surrounded with fine asphalt. In the first layer, when we try to break it, it’s covered with smooth choker consist with silica and like a dusty pyrites we seen. This cement place in slanting position and it has a grove in the middle where you can see its like 2 box where it form trapezoidal. Is this cement has probably the item inside? We did not yet finish breaking it.

    Thank you Sir and more power!

    • I think that you dug the right spot. Anyway, you have to break that cement since it is the only possible way to know if it contains something inside it. Otherwise, you have to continue digging down further.

  • Such a great experience. Sir Elmo, we encountered such vault in our project and indeed it is very hard to break. A bit before that, as we dug at about 3ft, we encounter a tree brunch with the measurement of about 2ft. That said vault was very hard to break that our chisel will make fire every time. Our site is near the sea.

    Please help us! Thanks.

    • You really have to find a way on how to break that cement. If you do not have the necessary tools then you may want to try digging your way around underneath it if possible. Anyway, I already know some group of treasure hunters who made extreme efforts by manually breaking such kind of very hard concrete. It actually took them around 2 years to breakthrough the layer. And the good part was that, all their sacrifices was paid off when they finally recovered the item.

  • Good day Sir, just ask where I can buy the chemical for breaking the stone or cement. Please help.

    • You can buy it from the black market.

  • Hi Sir Elmo, we have encountered a concrete vault measuring 6x4x5ft before we hit a concrete vault. We encounter a frog shape stone and a bar shape stone near the frog.

    Underneath the frog are sand mixed with pebbles but the sand has a sweet aroma and like an expired syrup medicine. Luckily, we have a self breathing apparatus inside the tunnel.

    3ft below the aromatic sand, we encounter a concrete vault. It has a box grove at the center of the vault it is very hard and it has a fine grain.

    When we examined the sample of broken cement of the vault, we try to demolished it with bomb but nothing happen. Its like bomb proof at all.

    Is it possible that the item is inside the concrete vault? How many feet we will going to break before we get the items?

    • I highly suggest that you should break that vault apart to confirm if the deposit is inside it. It’s because, it is actually pointless trying to continue digging deeper if it happens that the item that you are looking for is inside that concrete vault.

  • Sir, currently we dig for about 12 feet beside the creek and we reached the human skeletons. Can you guide us what directions to continue our digging? Is it near?

    • Those skeletons are probably the human sacrifice. Anyway, I suggest that you should continue digging down underneath.

  • Hi,

    We found a cement (color is army green). The hole is about 21 feet depth. Do you think its a vault?

    • It is possible so I suggest giving a try breaking it apart.

  • Hi Sir Elmo,

    I need your thought, I found a big stone that is very old. We broke the stone and inside the stone is cement. In the middle of the stone, there are two bars of metals. They are inside the stone, what does that mean? Dig more or stop?

    • Since you have found nothing inside the rock then your best next option is to continue digging down deeper.

  • Sir, I encountered a rainbow color file of sand. Every 20 cm is another color and its smell very badly then I also found 2 sticks on top of it aand root of Mulawin tree. It looks like a kris blade sword with v shape! on top or at the back there is a v shape in square position pointed down.

    I dug 5 ft.deep and I found a concrete. I think it is the vault. Then my cousin tried chipping that concrete 80 mm deep and 80×80 wide but still nothing found.

    • The reason why there is nothing found is that, that concrete serves as a blockage rather than a container for the item. Since you have confirmed that nothing is inside the concrete, you need to continue digging underneath it.

  • Hello, we just exposed (Nov. 21, 2018) a concrete slab about 3-4ft deep with a 16mm reinforced bar at the corner of the slab. Thickness is about 18 to 20″, it measures 3 x 6ft and laying down horizontally.

    Do we have to dig at its siding or do we have to uncover all the soil on top of the slab? What do you say about this?

    • That is an interesting slab that you discovered. What I can say about it is that, you may choose to break it provided that it isn’t quite hard. But before you do, inspect the surface of the slab for any possible engrave markings which could provide more vital clues to the location of the hidden treasure.

      If digging on the sides of the slab is a lot more convenient then you can choose this option.

      Anyway, your objective is to check what’s underneath that slab so my advise is to make the necessary adjustments if those methods won’t work.

  • Sir Elmo,

    I read your comments, it is a big help to our TH and it is very informative. Thanks for your effort and knowledge to answer all queries of our fellow TH.

    I am a beginner and I need your light to guide me.

    Sir Elmo, in my site at the river bank it is called KAWA” in our Visayan word, but the story of the oldest people that lived here before they said that this is a water falls but now it is running out of water. The depth of the water is almost 15 ft depth.

    We found in the wall of the river triangle dots and it has a distance of 5 inch each dot and arrow pointed to the triangle dots. As we continued searching, we found a piled bricks and it is likes stairs below the water going up.

    What does it mean and where is the possible or exact location of the precious item? Thank you so much and God Bless.

    • As a beginner of the TH industry, simply keep reading my blog post and you will be guided.

      Waterfalls are one of the most common places where the JIA had hidden their looted treasures. It is indeed a perfect place to hide valuable items because it is a lot harder to find and recover.

      Base on my own interpretation, there are three deposits around the corner which is due to the three dots arranged in triangle with the confirmation of the arrow sign. The bricks that you discovered piled like a stair case is one among the three spots. What you need to do here is to follow the bricks down to its bottom end and dig on that spot. Or, to dig under the stairs itself.

      As for the other two spots, you have to explore the site and try to discover strange objects or markers such as those bricks.

  • Hi Elmo,

    On our site top surface a lot of broken shells digging down skin very itchy and smell of gas. Found a seashell pointing down very defined shaped that points down. Inside the shell looks to be a small embossed or carved number 5 or letter s. What to do? We dug down 5ft but nothing.

    • I suggest that you should continue digging a little bit further.

  • Sir Elmo, does Yamashita treasures have bricks but it is already quiet soft and black color?

    • Yes, it is possible that bricks will become soft through time. As for the color, that depends on the environment where they got exposed.

  • Hello sir Elmo this is Nelson.

    We found a concrete vault and dugged beside the vault. After digging about 10 feet we found a tunnel at the bottom and we saw arrows (sunodsunod na arrows) how do we interpret those arrows Sir? Is there anything deposited inside the tunnel? Thanks for your immediate response Sir.

    • Arrows are direction signs. So you have to follow where all these arrows are trying to point. If its in the tunnel then you have to explore that tunnel.

  • Sir Elmo, we found a small concrete vault measuring 36 inches length 12 inches wide and 12 inches height. We found it in creek we are now planning for operation. Sir can I ask mostly how many pieces of Au will found be in such a small concrete vault?

    • It really depends on what items are hidden inside the vault. But if it is purely gold bars then you will get around 20 to 30 pieces.

  • Hi Sir Elmo,

    We found a small concrete vault in creek the water is almost 6ft the size of the vault is 36 inches length, 12 inches wide and 12 inches the height. Is it possible that this vault contain precious inside? Did you experience this kind of vault? The creek is near to a waterfalls.

    Thanks Sir Elmo. How many bars of Au this kind of vault. Sir if we recover this vault, we can give you reward money for encouraging us. Thanks a lot.

    • Yes, I already have a lot of experience with different type of vaults. But in most cases, vaults that are too heavy for its size do contain precious items inside them.

  • My friend had found an stone egg in the door of the cave in mindanao.

    • That egg is definitely a marker.

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