Yasu Shin'yō Monument
Kōnan City, Kōchi Prefecture
The Japanese Navy used shin'yō explosive motorboats to attack American ships
in the Philippines and Okinawa. In preparation for the American invasion of the
Japanese mainland, shin'yō squadrons were deployed along the coast. The
monument in the former town of Yasu, part of Kōnan City since 2006, honors the
111 men of the 128th Shin'yō Squadron at Tei Base who died in an
accident one day after the war's end.
A sign at the monument site gives the history of the accident and the origin
of the monument:
This shin'yō squadron, the Kure Naval Base 23rd Totsugeki Unit Tei
Detachment, had its headquarters at Susaki. The 160 squadron members  led by
Navy Lieutenant Seisaku Takenaka  awaited the decisive battle for the
mainland. They were stationed in Sumiyoshi and responsible for defense of
At about 6 p.m. on August 16, 1945, the day after the end of the war,
orders to sortie came from headquarters. While all squadron members went to
their posts and prepared to launch their motorboats, 111 brave men under
Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade Aono  met their death instantly when explosives
on the special attack boats were accidentally set off. In order to always
remember their spirits, volunteers of Yasu Town formed a remembrance
association and erected this monument on August 16, 1956, through donations
from various sources.
After this, volunteers from the remembrance association and the 13th Kō
Class Kōchi Prefecture Chapter maintained the monument and surrounding area.
In 1976, as a project of the Kōchi Prefecture Marine Association, this sign
about the monument's origin, the outer fence, the flag pole, and the sign at
the entrance were put up, and the surroundings were arranged as now exist.
August 16, 1976
Kōchi Prefecture Marine Association
The sign also lists the names and ranks of the 111 men who died.
A separate smaller stone monument at the site has the following poem:
This ground, this shore, ah, 128th Shin'yō Squadron
Rumbling of the sea at Cape Tei, cries of our comrades from that time?
Pounding of the waves at Tosa Sumiyoshi, whispers of spirits who gave their
Ah, this ground, this shore, covered with blood of young men
Eidai Hayashi's investigates in detail the accident that killed 111 men of
the 128th Shin'yō Squadron in his 2009 book
Kuroshio no natsu:
Saigo no shin'yō tokkou (Kuroshio summer: Last shin'yō special attack).
He explains that the faded inscription on the monument erected in 1956 (see tall
monument to right shin'yō pilot statue in photograph at top of page) contains
several mistakes. For example, the monument states that 111 men of the 9th
Shin'yō Squadron lost their lives on August 16, 1945, but actually the squadron
is the 128th Shin'yō Squadron. Apparently the person who wrote the history for
the monument inscription mistakenly picked up "9th" from the 9th group of
squadrons formed at Kawatana Torpedo Boat Training School in Nagasaki Prefecture .
Shin'yō pilot statue erected in 1976
1. Hayashi (2009, 70) and Shin'yō Association
(1990, 196) state that the 128th Shin'yō Squadron had 171 total members.
2. Seisaku Takenaka actually had the rank of
Lieutenant Junior Grade, not Lieutenant (Hayashi 2009, 264).
3. Lieutenant Junior Grade Hisataka Aono, who was
one of the boat group leaders, died in the explosion and was promoted from
Ensign after his death (Hayashi 2009, 70, 124).
4. Hayashi 2009, 263-5.
Hayashi, Eidai. 2009. Kuroshio no natsu:
Saigo no shin'yō tokkō (Kuroshio summer: Last shin'yō special attack).
Shin'yō Association (Shin'yōkai), ed. 1990. Ningen heiki:
Shin'yō tokubetsu kōgekitai (Human weapon: Shin'yō Special Attack
Corps). Shirō Arai, general editor. Volume 2. Tōkyō: Kokushokankōkai.