Last Writing of Corporal Isamu Hashinokuchi
On May 27, 1945, Corporal Isamu Hashinokuchi 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 431st Shinbu Special Attack Squadron. He piloted an
Army Type 97 Fighter (Allied code name of Nate). After his death in a special
attack, he received a four-rank promotion to Second Lieutenant. He was from Kagoshima Prefecture and was a member of the 14th Class of the Army Youth Pilot
(Rikugun Shōhi) training program.
He wrote the following before his death. His letter mentions Satsuma, which was a
province in Japan during the Edo Period in the western half of Kagoshima
Prefecture. His hometown of Kawanabe Town was located in the old Satsuma
Province and on Satsuma Peninsula.
I give my young life to the skies.
Young eagles that come together quickly flap their wings and go toward
enemy aircraft carriers.
We will make taiatari (body-crashing) attacks on enemy ships.
Ah, loyal young men of Satsuma. Ah, glorious Special Attack Corps.
Resolutely I will go.
Now look at the brave spirits of the stalwart youths of Satsuma.
14th Class of Youth Pilots
Kagoshima Prefecture, Kawanabe-gun, Kawanabe Town, Kiyomizu Tashiro
Written by Isamu Hashinokuchi
Writing translated by Bill Gordon
The writing comes from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 138). The biographical information
in the first paragraph comes from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō
Kai (2005, 138, 218) and Osuo (2005, 206).
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.