Kakogawa Special Attack Corps Monument
Kakogawa City, Hyōgo Prefecture
Kakogawa City had an Army airfield and a training squadron
during World War II. This monument dedicated to Special Attack Corps members, known as kamikaze pilots, was erected in 1959 by means of private funds
from Kamenosuke Miyata, who during the
war owned a ryokan (or inn) in Kakogawa where Special Attack Corps members
would sometimes stay.
In 2001, the monument was moved to Kakurinji, a Buddhist
temple in Kakogawa with several buildings dating back to the 12th to 15th
century. A sign on the right side of the monument has the following explanation:
Japan declared war on the U.S. and Great Britain on December
8, 1941, and fought with them followed by France and Holland. Just before the
end of World War II on August 15, 1945, young pilots from 17 years of age to
about 20 volunteered for the Special Attack Corps organized by the military.
Hoping for peace for their homeland Japan and their families, while apologizing
to their parents for their prior lack of filial piety, they gave their lives
for our country by crashing into and sinking enemy ships with bombs loaded on
their planes or by plunging into enemy lines in Leyte Bay in the Philippines or
off Okinawa and Kerama Retto where many enemy ships had gathered. The Battle of
Okinawa, our place of last defense, became extremely fierce, and the fighting
became horrific as it involved even civilians and children.
Special attack squadrons were formed at air bases around the
country. Many items left behind by these men, such as last letters and other
writings including ones written in blood, were feared to have been scattered
and lost. However, these last items, unknown to family members, were entrusted to
the safekeeping of the Kakogawa City Cultural Assets Protection Society.
Kamenosuke Miyata, who during the war was owner of the Nakamura Family Inn in
Jikemachi, Kakogawa City, had this monument built in front of
the inn to remember the special attack corps members, but it had to be moved to
another location due to certain circumstances. At this time former pilots and
other interested persons from around the country provided donations. When
seeking an appropriate spot for the monument, through the benevolence of
Kakurinji Temple, built by Prince Shotoku and containing many national
treasures and important cultural assets, a place was obtained where their
spirits can live in peace and where the monument and the pilot's last items
will be protected forever along with the national treasures.
We sincerely pray for the repose of the spirits of those men
who died in the Philippines and Okinawa and for those Special Attack Corps
members who sacrificed their lives in the seas of Okinawa and Kerama Retto
where enemy ships were gathered together. We recognize our duty as survivors to
act faithfully on behalf of the spirits of these men who died. We write this
monument inscription praying that their spirits may rest in peace.
Special Attack Corps Monument Erection Committee
Hyōgo Prefecture Army Youth Pilots Association
With support from Tokkotai Commemoration Peace Memorial Association
The pilots' last items, located in a building next to the
monument, normally are not on public display but can be viewed if special
arrangements are made.
The Kakogawa Airfield Site Monument,
erected in 2015, also is located in Kakogawa City.