Nagano Gokoku Jinja is a Shintō shrine that honors persons from Nagano
Prefecture who died in wars to protect the country of Japan. The Special Attack
Corps Monument, located on the grounds of Nagano Gokoku Jinja, commemorates men
from Nagano Prefecture who died during World War II in special (suicide) attacks. The erection of the Special Attack Corps
Monument in October 2015 was coordinated by the Tokkōtai Commemoration Peace
Memorial Association and the Association to Pass On the Japanese Spirit
(Nihonjin no kokoro o tsutaeru kai). Similar monuments have been erected at
other shrines throughout Japan such as Ehime Gokoku
Jinja, Fukuoka Gokoku Jinja,
Saitama Gokoku Jinja, and
Tochigi Gokoku Jinja.
The monument has a bronze figure of the front half of a kamikaze pilot
standing on a stone pedestal. There is a plaque to the left of the statue with
the following inscription:
In the final part of the Greater East Asia War, the Special Attack Corps
was formed. Praying for peace and prosperity for the country, they parted
from their parents, wives, children, and families when they carried out
taiatari (body-crashing) attacks against enemy ships with one plane or one
boat. They died in battle as they fought bravely.
There are a total of 160 young men from Nagano Prefecture in both the
Army and Navy who died in battle as Special Attack Corps members.
In the city of Matsumoto, there were many Special Attack Corps members
who stayed as they waited to make a sortie. They took off from Matsumoto
Army Airfield to the front line. Also, they had warm relations with
schoolchildren who had evacuated from Setagaya in Tōkyō to Asama Onsen.
These many spirits of the war dead were able to stand up and face
courageously the fateful crisis for the country and became a cornerstone for
today's peaceful Japan. Here we erect this monument to inscribe forever
their noble spirits on the hearts of prefecture residents and to pass on
their story to future generations on the 70th anniversary of the war's end.
October 10, 2015
Nagano Prefecture Committee for Erection of Statue of Special Attack Corps
On path of sincerity
Yamato  spirit
Poem written by Hakugen Akiyama
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."
The bronze plaque behind the monument has inscribed a long list of donors for
the statue to be erected.
The following last letters were written by Special Attack Corps members from
Nagano Prefecture who died in special attacks: