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Last Letter of Corporal Bunroku Fujita to His Mother

On May 25, 1945, Corporal Bunroku Fujita took off from Chiran Air Base and died in a special (suicide) attack west of Okinawa at the age of 18. He was a member of the 70th Shinbu Squadron. He piloted an Army Hayabusa Type 1 Fighter (Allied code name of Oscar). After his death in a special attack, he received a promotion to Second Lieutenant. He grew up in Mie Prefecture and was a member of the 14th Class of the Army Youth Pilot (Rikugun Shōhi) training program.

He wrote the following final letter to his mother. At the end there is a haiku (poem with a 5-7-5 syllable pattern).

Dear Mother,

May 25, 1945

I will make a sortie full of vigor in order to instantly sink for certain an aircraft carrier of the hated Americans and British.

My heart is honest, pure, and cheerful.

Mother, please forgive me for not showing filial piety to you up to now.

I pray that you have health and happiness until far in the future. Thank you for the care shown to me for a long time.

In southern seas
Seeking enemy ship
Diving straight in

From Bunroku on night before sortie


Letter translated by Bill Gordon
January 2018

The letter and biographical information on this page come from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 136, 189) and Osuo (2005, 201).

Sources Cited

Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (Chiran Special Attack Memorial Society), ed. 2005. Konpaku no kiroku: Kyū rikugun tokubetsu kōgekitai chiran kichi (Record of departed spirits: Former Army Special Attack Corps Chiran Base). Revised edition, originally published in 2004. Chiran Town, Kagoshima Prefecture: Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai.

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