Miyagi Special Attack Corps Monument
Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture
Miyagi Gokoku Jinja is a Shintō shrine that honors persons from Miyagi
Prefecture who died in wars to protect the country of Japan. The Special Attack
Corps Monument, located in front of Miyagi Gokoku Jinja's museum to honor spirits
of the war dead, commemorates men from Miyagi
Prefecture who died during World War II in special (suicide) attacks. The erection of the Special Attack Corps Monument in October 2007 was coordinated by the Tokkōtai Commemoration Peace
Memorial Association and the Association to Pass On the Japanese Spirit
(Nihonjin no kokoro o tsutaeru kai).
The monument has a bronze figure of the front half of a kamikaze pilot
standing on a stone pedestal. There is a plaque in front with the
Air Special Attack Corps
The Air Special Attack Corps was a unit that was formed to reverse the
country's adverse war situation. Men in the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy,
at a time of critical emergency in the latter period of the Greater East
Asia War, without regard for their lives carried bombs on planes, made
taiatari (body-crashing) attacks against enemy ships, and inflicted
Special attacks were first carried out as an organized battle tactic by
the Navy in October 1944 in the Philippines as part of the Battle of Leyte
Gulf. Great battle results were achieved by the Kamikaze Special Attack
Corps during sorties on October 25.
Navy Ensign Kiyohisa Nakase, leader of the 1st Kamikaze (Shinpū) Special
Attack Corps Wakazakura Squadron, died nobly on that date. He is honored
here at this shrine.
Also, on April 3, 1945, Navy Lieutenant Tatsumi Kawai (son of Shigeki
Kawai, former Chief Priest at Shihahiko Shrine and Shiogama Shrine), member
of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 3rd Ginga Unit, took off from Miyazaki
Base toward Okinawa in the south and died honorably in battle. In the
Kamikaze Corps, this became a classic example of a special attack.
The Army's Special Attack Corps started in November 1944 in the
Philippines with the Fugaku Squadron and others, and they achieved
significant success in battle. Like the Navy, they made attacks on ships,
and they had responsibility for defense of the homeland.
On May 11, 1945, Army Captain  Haruo Araki
(from Miyagi Prefecture), 51st Shinbu Squadron Leader, made a sortie from
Chiran Base toward Okinawa and died nobly in battle.
In the Battle of Okinawa, many youths died nobly in battle in the skies
after they took off from special attack bases such as Kanoya, Kushira, and
Kokubu for the Navy and Chiran, Bansei, and Miyakonojō for the Army.
The period of special attacks lasted about ten months. In total there
were 4,379 men who died in battle as part of special attacks. Among these
there were 2,535 men from the Navy and 1,844 men from the Army.
This figure is the same one offered to 52 gokoku jinja all
over the country. It was made by the Tokkotai Commemoration Peace Memorial
Association in order to honor the spirits of all the brave men who died in
battle in order to defend their much-loved homeland, hometowns, and
October 23, 2007
Miyagi Prefecture Gokoku Jinja
The plaque on front of the pedestal of the Special Attack Corps Monument
reads "Ā tokkō" (Ah, Special Attacks) and
"we certainly will never forget you."
Miyagi Gokoku Jinja's museum to honor spirits of the war dead, which charges
300 yen for admission, has a large room with many articles on display
such as photographs, letters, models, and information placards related to
Japan's wars with most connected to World War II. The exhibits on tokkōtai
(Special Attack Corps) include the
letter of Nobuo Aihana to his father and stepmother, a large photograph of
Haruo Araki talking to two
other squadron commanders before his sortie from Chiran Army Air Base in a
special attack on April 1945, and models or photographs of a Zero fighter,
Navy shinyō and Army maru-re motorboats, kaiten human torpedo, and ohka glider
Miyagi Gokoku Jinja Museum's
exhibits on tokkō (special attacks)
The museum also includes a room with a display of Japanese warship models, including
battleship Yamato and light cruiser Yahagi, which sank as part of
special attack on the way to Okinawa on April 7, 1945.
Model of battleship Yamato (front) and light cruiser Yahagi (rear)
at Miyagi Gokoku Jinja Museum
The following last letters were written by Special Attack Corps members from
Miyagi Prefecture who died in special attacks:
1. This was the rank when he received a promotion
of two ranks after his death by special attack. He was a Second Lieutenant prior
to his death.