Yudonosan Kaiten Patriotism Monument
Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture
Yudonosan, or Mount Yudono, is one of the Three Mountains of Dewa (today's
Yamagata Prefecture). Yudonosan symbolizes rebirth and has one of the holiest
shrines in Japan.
In 1997, a monument to remember the Kaiten Special Attack Corps members who
died in battle along with the spirits of other war dead from the Pacific War was
erected to the right of the large torii gate that leads to Yudonosan Jinja
(Shrine). The monument has the image of a kaiten human torpedo pilot who is
holding an anchor. A memorial service is held there annually on July 20.
The back side of the monument provides information regarding its erection:
The Greater East Asia War was an extraordinarily great war in history
with the concerted efforts of the country and its people. In the latter part
of the war many youths, beginning with students, volunteered and
participated in the war. The war moved to the land, sea, and sky everywhere
in Asia. Among the youths, there were those who died voluntarily as members
of the Special Attack Corps as they desired security for the country and
Those brave heroes became the foundation that supports peace like an
"anchor" keeping a ship safe.
In 1979, we erected a monument at the summit of Mount Gassan  in the
presence of the deity Tsukuyomi (moon god in Shinto mythology) to honor the
courageous heroes together with the many spirits of the war dead. Each year
at noon on August 15, we hold a ceremony there for the repose of their
souls. Already more than fifty years after the war's end, among the Japanese
people who are accustomed to peace, both the horrors of war and the ardent
wishes of the many spirits of the war dead have been forgotten, and morals
have gone out of fashion, so it is troubling for tomorrow's Japan. Also,
everywhere in the world conflicts have not stopped, and the path to
worldwide peace still seems a long way off.
We ask that the spirits of the war dead, said to number 3.1 million, be
purified and reborn with the sacred hot springs water of Yudonosan and that
they work to guide us towards peace. With the desire for eternal world
peace, we erect this "Ikari (Anchor) Jizo Statue" and place here, as
representative of the war dead, a copy of Sono wakaki inochi oshimazu (Those
youths who did not care about losing their lives) , a collection of last
writings of the Kamishio  Special Attack Corps, and coral from the Ulithi
Islands and sacred stones from Okinawa where fierce battles were fought.
Erected on October 10, 1997
Patriotism Monument: Ikari (Anchor) Jizo Statue Erection Committee Members
Original Design: Shunji Takahashi, Former Navy Hiko Yokaren (Flight Training
Construction: Ishi no Kobayashi Corporation
Close-up of kaiten pilot holding an anchor
1. Mount Gassan, like Mount Yudono, is one of the Three Mountains of Dewa.
2. This book, published in 1978, was written by Hogara Miyoshi, a newspaper
journalist with Asahi Shimbun who worked for the Navy as a correspondent during
the Pacific War.
3. Kamishio means "divine tide" and refers to the
Navy's Kaiten Special Attack Corps. This term was used after the word
"kamikaze," which means "divine wind," was applied to the Navy's Air Special
Torii gate that leads to Yudonosan Jinja (Shrine)