Snake Sign Meaning | Japanese Treasure Sign

By popular demand, here’s the post about the interpretation of snake signs for the hidden Yamashita treasures.

Everybody surely knows what a real snake looks like and many people are afraid of these reptilian creatures because most of their species are venomous. But when it comes to the hidden Yamashita treasures, the Japanese Imperial Army often use snake as signs to represent warning for poison traps. These poison traps can be in the form of chemicals or gas.

The good thing about snake signs is that, aside from giving a warning, they also give directions to specific locations of the hidden treasure deposits.

Snake Head Sign

Let’s start with the first sign which is a snake head. Throughout my treasure hunting career, I have already encountered engraved snake heads on surfaces of old rocks. Some of them were artistically carve or engraved with clarity where they have tongues, fangs, and eyes.

When it comes to direction, you have to follow the direction where the head is facing at. Treat the head like an arrow sign that is pointing to a specific direction.

On this illustration, we have here a snake head sign with an open mouth. This means that the trap that is lying ahead consists of gas trap. But if the mouth is closed, you will be dealing with chemicals.

Snake in Striking Position Sign

On this illustration, we have here a snake that is in its “striking position”. If you try to observe an actual snake with its striking position particularly targeted toward its prey, you will notice that the snake will never miss on its target. This goes the same way with the snake sign aiming at a specific direction. You have to determine the possible striking spot or location of the snake sign and that will be the spot that you need to dig.

However, you should always proceed with caution when digging a spot pin-pointed by snake signs. It’s because you will surely encounter gas or chemical type of traps.

Coiled Snake Sign

The best among all Yamashita treasure snake signs is the one that has a coiled body. It’s because unlike the snake with the striking position, a coiled snake indicate that the treasure deposit is right underneath it. In comparison to an actual coiled snake, it seems that the creature is like protecting its valuable eggs and it will stand on its ground no matter what happens.

Again, proceed with extra caution because you will surely deal against gas or chemical types of traps.

Snake Head Looking Upward Sign

On some cases, you may encounter snake sign that is composed of only the head but instead of staring onto a certain surface of the ground, it is staring at an upward direction. If you happen to came across a certain actual snake that is staring up, what is your impression about it? Most likely, it wants to go up particularly to climb up on a tree. So in relation to the hidden Yamashita treasure, a snake head sign that is looking up is referring to a certain old tree nearby. The item could possibly be an “inside the tree treasure deposit”. Or the item can also be buried underneath or close to it.

Crawling Snake Sign

If you happen to encounter a crawling snake sign then you have to follow the direction where it is heading. But unlike the snake sign that is in a striking position, a crawling snake sign often refer to far distance location. The reason behind this sign is that, a crawling snake means that it has a long way to travel.

Snake is actually a reptilian creature that preys on other animals and the majority of them are poisonous. Their fangs acts like a syringe which delivers their deadly venom right into the blood stream of their victim or prey. Anyway, I’m pretty sure that you are already familiar about the danger of being bitten by a poisonous snake.

In relation to Japanese treasure signs, snake is commonly used as a warning for poison traps. This could be in the form of a chemical/liquid mixed on the soil or in the form of gas. Aside from the warning, a snake sign also tells direction. In most cases, you have to follow the direction where the snake’s head is pointing. If it is pointing into a certain spot then that must be the digging spot. But if it is pointing to a wide area, you need to explore it until you run into another sign.

Different Japanese Treasure Snake Signs

The Japanese or Yamashita treasure signs does not only consists of one kind of snake sign. There are actually several of them and each offers more specific meanings.

1. Snake Head

I already encountered engraved snake heads as signs several times. There was no body but just the upper part which was the head. Some of them even have their long extending tongues while others simply do not have tongues. Either way, they are both interpreted exactly the same.

But common to all snake heads as danger signs is that, they indicate “poisonous gas traps”. The gas can be encountered in the form of small bottles or more commonly known as “Cyanide Capsules”. Or, concealed inside the chamber where the items are stored. On some rare cases, items contained in tightly sealed containers also contains poisonous gas. When unsuspectingly punctured or opened, the gas will leak out.

2. Snake in Striking Position

One of the best snake signs that accurately tells something about the direction of the hidden item is the one with “striking position”. It’s upper body must be standing and the head seems like ready to strike its target.

When you encounter a snake sign on this kind of position, you just found an ultimate clue to the location of the buried item. As stated above, the snake’s head is “directly pointing towards the hidden spot of the deposit”.

3. Coiled Snake

A coiled snake sign is another interesting Japanese treasure sign that tells about the exact location of the buried item. Take note, the body of the snake must be coiled several times.

If it happens that you encountered a coiled snake sign, it means that the treasure is “buried underneath it”.

4. Snake Looking Upward

A snake sign with its head looking in an upward direction means that the hidden object is “hidden on the tree”.

5. Crawling Snake

The most common markings among all snake signs is the one that is crawling towards horizontal direction. This sign simply meand that the snake is “facing towards the location of the hidden item”. But if the eyes of the snake sign is clearly carved in detail, it means that the snake is “directly staring into the hidden spot of object”.

View Comments (28)

  • Anonymous says:
    • Agila Hunter says:

      Sir Elmo, I sent some pictures of our excavation site in your FaceBook page via Private Message. Although, there are some signs that I forgot to include. One of them is a big foot shape rock with an engrave number which is 733. On the same rock, the other signs engrave are flower and a snake.

      Can we have a private conversation on FaceBook chat?

      Thank you Sir.


      The 733 represent the item which is enclosed by a certain container. It could be inside a rock, tree, wooden box and etc… Unfortunately, the flower and snake are danger signs referring to traps so be extra careful as you attempt to dig your site. Anyway, I have to check those photos that you sent into my FaceBook page before giving out some further details.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      Sir, what is the meaning of an orange color rock that has a shape like a snake head? The size of the rock is three times bigger than an adult man’s head. It is placed on a rip-rap up the hill facing a creek down below (about 200 meters away). Thank you Sir.


      It means that the deposit is hidden somewhere at the creek. Thus, you have to explore that area to find additional signs which should tell you the exact digging spot or what to do next.

    • sherwin benenoso says:

      Sir, what is the meaning of 7 and bottle sign written on the stone?

      • It means that you have to dig under that rock.

      • sherwin benenoso says:

        Sir, about my sign which consists of 7 bottles that I dug in 5 feet. It is followed by another sign which is a head of a snake then something that is like a fish. What do you think Sir?

        • Those bottles that recovered are good markers which can confirm that the site is positive. However, the snake which is followed by a fish states more about warning. In short, there is a trap so you have be careful.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      Sir. We dug a cemented well out of curiosity coz the water is so rusty. The cement of it is so solid. We found a lot of signs now we are on 18th feet and we found a coiled snake made in stone we stopped coz were afraid. Soil has a bad odor water is itchy too. What do we need to do Sir? Thanks.

  • Sir Elmo,

    What is the name of your FaceBook page? I can't locate the icon from this site. I have some photos to show to you. Thank you.

    • You can find it under the Contact page at the top navigation bar.

  • melody ang says:

    Good day Sir,

    We saw a site or location with 3 Anilao tree that form a triangle beside the river form with letter S. And when we dig, we smell a poison. How can you help us? This site used to be an old camp of the Japanese Imperial Army.

    • I already have a long detailed post about this, I suggest that you read it by using the Search Form above. Anyway, you got here an interesting site.

  • Anonymous says:

    Good morning Sir,

    What does metal plate imply to treasure hunting? It was dug along side with some items you already explained.

    • It usually mean that the hidden item has a very hard covering which is probably a thick hard cement.

      • Anonymous says:


        What if we found a snake head but it was carved on a rock?

        • A carved sign is actually way much better than a rock that takes the form of a snake head. You just have to make sure that it is man-made and not natural.

  • Sir Elmo,

    What does it mean when after digging around 23ft. then there are some small wires?


    • Keep following those wires and it should lead you to the chamber.

  • Hi Sir,

    What does a snake placed on a rock mean?

    • I assume that you are referring to an engraved snake treasure sign and not a real one. If so, then the post above have already pretty much covered the possible meanings.

  • Sir, what does it mean when an arrow is pointing a heart which is above a small rectangle cement?

    • My own interpretation to those signs means that, the item is hidden right on that spot. Thus, the item can be inside that rectangular cement or you have to dig underneath it for a certain amount of depth.

  • Anonymous says:

    Sir, how about a blue light that goes out from the site after we get a bone from there.

    • That is a strange phenomenon which is a good sign. However, cases like this means that there is a presence of spirits who are guarding that site. The problem is that, you have to figure out if they are willing to give the treasure to you or it could be the opposite where that blue light that you witnessed could be a warning from them.

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