Listen to the voices of the
sea new edition: Writings
of Japanese students who
died in war (1995 edition)
Last Diary Entries of Lieutenant Junior Grade Norimasa Hayashi
At 1415 on August 9, 1945, Lieutenant Junior Grade Norimasa Hayashi took off
from Kisarazu Air Base in Chiba Prefecture as pilot of a Ryūsei torpedo
dive bomber (Allied code name of Grace) carrying an 800-kg bomb and died in a
special (suicide) attack off Kinkasan in Miyagi Prefecture at the age of 25. He
was a member of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 7th Mitate 
Squadron 2nd Ryūsei Unit from the 752nd Naval Air Group. He was from Ehime
Prefecture, attended Keiō Gijuku University in Tōkyō, and was a member of the
13th Class of the Navy's Flight Reserve Students (Hikō Yobi Gakusei).
He wrote the following two last diary entries 
after the formation of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 7th Mitate Squadron on
July 25, 1945 :
Today is the day of the sortie. It is the day of the special attack of
the eight planes of our Ryūsei unit. When I got up this morning, there
was a very thick fog. That fog became drops of water and fell drop by drop
from the leaves and tops of the mountain trees.
When I got to the airfield, the items that needed to be loaded into our
planes had been arranged neatly.
Last night I completely changed what I was wearing. I wrapped around my
waist the senninbari (thousand-stitch belt) that Mother send to me. I
prepared also the new pure-white muffler that my aunt in Yudachi 
gave to me. I put on the best things that I have.
Waiting eagerly for the sortie order, I am writing this alone in an
Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters, and other relatives and friends,
Please get along well.
Soon I will go to Hans Christian Andersen's fairyland, and I will
become a royal prince there. And I will talk to the little birds, flowers,
I hope that the Empire of Japan will prosper forever.
The brilliant summer continues, and I am still living. On that date (July
31), the enemy task force disappeared. Our special attack stand-by was
The day before yesterday Lieutenant Junior Grade Ishino made a test
flight and did not return. What became of him is still not known.
It is supposed that perhaps he disappeared into Tōkyō Bay. There was much
mourning. On that day if the enemy task force had come he together with me
were to make a sortie and instantly sink an American carrier with our lives
burning with young patriotism.
August 9  clear weather
The enemy task force again has approached the mainland.
In an hour and a half I will make a sortie from here as a Special Attack
Corps member. The sky of the first day of autumn is a very deep blue.
Today I will fly a cutting-edge Ryūsei aircraft and will make
a taiatari (body-crashing) attack into an American aircraft carrier.
My parents and everyone, farewell.
All of my comrades, thank you.
Diary entries translated by Bill Gordon
July and August 2019
The diary entries dated July 31 and August 9 come from Nihon Senbotsu Gakusei Kinenkai
(1995, 394-6), and the diary entry dated August 3 comes from Yasukuni Jinja
(2001, 111-2). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from
Nihon Senbotsu Gakusei Kinenkai
(1995, 389-90) and Osuo (2005, 233).
Based on the following two excerpts from Hayashi's diary entry dated April
23, 1945, he as a former university student despised the officers who graduated
from Etajima Naval Academy :
Nighttime flying began. After our flying operation we drank beer at a
welcome party for Kamiōseko. I got a little high; and Second Sub-lieutenant
Kamiōseko and I were enraged with indignation [about the current situation].
It was all about our position as reserve officers in the Imperial Navy. Now
I declare! I will not fight, at least not for the Imperial Navy. I live and
die for my fatherland, and, I would go so far as to say that it is for my
own pride. I have nothing but a strong antipathy for the Imperial
Navy―absolutely no positive feelings at all. From now on I can say in and to
my heart: "I can die for my own pride, but I would not die―absolutely would
not―for the Imperial Navy." How terribly we, the 13th class of pilots to
come out of the "students mobilized for war" program, have been oppressed by
them [the Imperial Navy]! Who exactly is fighting this war now anyway? A
full half of my classmates of the 13th class who were bomber pilots on
carriers, and my friends, are now already dead.
He ends the entry dated April 23 with the following words:
I will live and die for my fatherland, my comrades of the 13th class, all
those senior fighting men who are members of the "students mobilized for
war" program, and, lastly, for my own pride. I shall do so cursing all the
while the Imperial Navy, which to me merely means a certain group of
officers who graduated from Etajima [the Naval Academy].
Hayashi's diary entry dated July 12, 1945, includes the following statement :
But I still manage to keep intact the idealism that I built up during the
springtime of my life. That self-confidence brings me great personal
happiness, and I only wish I could convey it to my older brother, Yukimasa.
I would want to tell him, "Older brother Yukimasa, please believe me when I
tell you that I have lived my whole life through as an idealist, and now
that I have at last been able to keep that promise I made to you then, I am
happy to fall like a cherry blossom petal [i.e., to be killed in action for
1. Mitate means shield.
2. Kike wadatsumi no koe (Listen to the
voices of the sea) (1949, 254-8) also includes diary entries written by Hayashi
on April 13 and 23, June 14 and 30, and July 12 before his assignment to the
Kamikaze Special Attack Corps on July 25, 1945.
3. Osuo 2005, 141.
4. Yudachi is an area in Ainan Town in Ehime
5. The original publication of Kike wadatsumi no koe
(Listen to the voices of the sea) (1949) did not include Hayashi's diary entry
for August 9, 1945, but this was included in the new edition published in 1995.
6. Nihon Senbotsu Gakusei Kinen-Kai 2000, 247-8.
7. Ibid., 249.
Nihon Senbotsu Gakusei Kinenkai (Japan Memorial Society for
the Students Killed in the War), comp. 1995. Shinpan kike wadatsumi no koe: Nihon senbotsu gakusei no shuki (Listen to the voices of the sea new edition:
Writings of Japanese students who died in war). Originally published in 1949. Tōkyō: Iwanami
Nihon Senbotsu Gakusei Kinen-Kai (Japan Memorial Society for the
Students Killed in the War—Wadatsumi Society), comp. 2000. Listen
to the Voices from the Sea: Writings of the Fallen Japanese Students (Kike
Wadatsumi no Koe). Translated by Midori Yamanouchi and Joseph L. Quinn.
Scranton, PA: University of Scranton Press.
Nihon Senbotsu Gakusei Shuki Henshū Iinkai. 1949. Kike wadatsumi no koe: Nihon senbotsu gakusei no shuki
(Listen to the voices of the sea: Writings of Japanese students who died in
war). Tōkyō: Tōdai Kyōdō Kumiai Shuppanbu.
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (kaigun
hen) (Record of special attack corps (Navy)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.
Yasukuni Jinja, ed. 2001. Eirei
no koto no ha (7) (Words of the spirits of war heroes, Volume 7).
Tōkyō: Yasukuni Jinja Shamusho.