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Last Letters of Navy
Special Attack Corps
(1971)

 
Last Statement of Flight Petty Officer 2nd Class Tsutomu Fujimura

At 1245 on April 6, 1945, Flight Petty Officer 2nd Class Tsutomu Fujimura took off from Kushira Air Base as radio operator/gunner in a Type 97 Carrier Attack Bomber (Allied code name of Kate) carrying an 800-kg bomb. He was a member of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 1st Gokō Shirasagi [1] Squadron from Himeji Naval Air Group. He died in a special (suicide) attack off Okinawa at the age of 19. He was from Hiroshima Prefecture and was a member of the 18th Otsu Class of the Navy's Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training Program).

He wrote the following statement and death poem in tanka form (31-syllable poem with lines of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables) before his sortie from Kushira Air Base:

I do not have a last letter. I do not have a will.
I believe in the permanence of Shinshū [2].
I will push forward as my duty.
I live for an eternal cause.

Blossoms on cherry tree
Left to wind
Will fall
My way
Not looking back


Last statement and poem translated by Bill Gordon
April 2018

The last statement and poem come from Matsugi (1971, 128-9). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Matsugi (1971, 128) and Osuo (2005, 220).

Notes

1. The word Gokō means "protecting the Emperor." Shirasagi means white egret. Himeji Castle, which dates back to the 14th century, has the name of Shirasagi Castle.

2. Shinshū refers to Japan and literally means "divine land."

Sources Cited

Matsugi, Fujio, ed. 1971. Kaigun tokubetsu kōgekitai no isho (Last letters of Navy Special Attack Corps). Tōkyō: KK Bestsellers.

Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (kaigun hen) (Record of special attack corps (Navy)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.