Only search Kamikaze Images

2nd Lt. Hiroshi Kohno

With His Shakuhachi

The following story is on display at Hotaru Museum in Chiran Town, Kagoshima Prefecture. Tome in the story refers to Tome Torihama, who operated Tomiya Restaurant in Chiran during WWII. Reiko is her daughter.

Second Lieutenant Hiroshi Kohno always sat against Tomiya Restaurant's second-floor window and played the shakuhachi, a five-hole bamboo flute. Before his sortie, Tome asked, "What are you going to do with that shakuhachi when you sortie?" He replied, "Tomorrow I'll sortie taking only this with me."

After the end of the war, Tome and Reiko went to visit Kohno's grave in Kumamoto Prefecture. They noticed that the shakuhachi from those days was displayed in the tokonoma (alcove) at his family's home. "He couldn't take it," said Tome and Reiko. They cried as they remembered the tone of his shakuhachi from that time.

Sortie Date: May 4, 1945
78th Shinbu Squadron
24 years old

Translated by Bill Gordon