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Lo’ko’ Nippon (Japanese cave) and Buntu Tongko (Tongko hill)

Lo’ko’ Nippon or Japanese Cave (lo’ko’ means cave; Nippon means Japan) is a historic cave that is as the name suggests, famous since it was used by the Japanese army as a fortress or bunker defense during the colonial period. Japanese troops were in this cave around 1941 ago.

During the occupation, the cave was planned by the Japanese to be installed with electricity installations using hydropower from the Sa’pak Bayo-bayo spring. But 5 days before the fire, the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed by American troops which made Japan surrender. This makes all Japanese troops must be withdrawn to their country and leave Indonesia. Likewise the Japanese army based at Lo’ko’ Nippon also immediately left the cave.

This cave has a depth of about 700 m and is located on a rock hill called Buntu (hill / mountain) Tongko, Tongko Sarapung village, Sangalla district. In addition to this Japanese cave, under Buntu Tongko there are still several other natural caves.

Formerly above Buntu Tongko there was a traditional house (tongkonan) built by a nobleman named Puang Tomasaa with his wife Puang Lai’ Daun La’bi’ from Tarongko, Makale. They have children named Puang Bilondo’ and Puang Tumba’ Bilondo.

Tongkonan Buntu Tongko has the title “Tongkonan Dipalondong Kila’na Padang in Sangalla’, To Dipasaungan La’te Lambunna Kabarrean Allo”. This tongkonan is one of 4 supporting tongkonans (a’pa tulakna) of Tongkonan Layuk Kaero. Because it is located on a hill and difficult to reach, Tongkonan Buntu Tongko was then moved by a family group to a place called Balabatu, not far from its original location.

On the cliffs of Buntu Tongko, there are graves carved into stone owned by the descendants of Puang Tomasaa.

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