The Tokkotai Commemoration Peace Memorial Association
initiated the Tokkou (Special Attack Forces) web site in 2001. This
association, established in 1993, has roots that go back to 1952, when a group
of former Imperial Japanese Navy and Army men joined together to support the
creation of two Special Attack Forces Peace Kannon (Goddess of Mercy) statues.
In 1953, the two Kannon were placed in the Setagaya Kannon Temple in Tokyo. The
organization now has over 2,500 members and publishes a quarterly magazine, also
called Tokkou. The web site has a page to buy association publications,
such as the reference book Tokubetsu Kougekitai (Special Attack Forces)
published in 1990. This reference book has three main sections: history of all types of tokkotai (special attack forces), names and other data
about men who died in special attacks, and tokkotai monuments throughout Japan.
This web site has many interesting sections on tokkotai, but the site lacks a
general historical summary on tokkotai like that contained in the association's
book Tokubetsu Kougekitai.
This nicely-designed web site includes sections on letters
and poems written by tokkotai members, excerpts from the association's
quarterly magazine Tokkou, paintings of different types of special
attack weapons, photos and paintings of planes used in kamikaze attacks, pieces written by
bereaved family members and association members, and information about the
Tokkotai Commemoration Peace Memorial Association. The letters section includes
three touching last letters sent by fathers to their children prior to going on
suicide attacks. Since most tokkotai members were in their late teens and early
twenties, very few of them had children. The tone of these three letters
differs greatly from other letters written by tokkotai members to their parents
or other adult family members.
Several web site articles describe activities of Tokkotai
Commemoration Peace Memorial Association members. The group meets each year in
April at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo and in September at Setagaya Kannon Temple in
Tokyo. The organization also supports memorial services throughout the country
and organizes tours to special attack bases and other sites of interest. In 2000, group members toured sites in southern
Kyushu, the location of many kamikaze sortie bases. In 2001, the organization
sponsored a trip to former bases in the Philippines, where Vice Admiral Ohnishi
organized the first kamikaze corps in October 1944. In 2002, the group planned an Okinawan
memorial service on board a ship.
The site has no information translated to English.
Only a few web pages on the site contain photos, but the top page has the most
famous Japanese kamikaze pilot photo, which has five pilots smiling with one of
them holding a puppy. Since this valuable web site's creation in 2001, the
Tokkotai Commemoration Peace Memorial Association has continued to add pages on