Last Letters from Corporal Morio Kishida to His Parents and Former Teacher
On June 11, 1945, Army Corporal Morio Kishida took off from Bansei Air Base
as a member of the 64th Shinbu Special Attack Squadron (also known as Kokka
Squadron) and died in battle west of Okinawa at the
age of 20. He piloted a Type 99 Assault Plane (Allied code name of Sonia). After his death in a special (suicide) attack, he received a
four-rank promotion to Second Lieutenant. He was from Kyōto Prefecture and was
in the 13th Class of the Army Youth Pilot (Rikugun Shōhi) Program.
Kishida wrote the following last letter to his parents with a death poem in
tanka form (31-syllable poem with a syllable pattern of 5-7-5-7-7) at the
end. There are two other poems after that.
Now for the Emperor I head towards an attack searching for an enemy
convoy. I cannot help but appreciate your care for a long period. Father,
Mother, during the decisive battle please all the more take care of
yourselves and work hard to increase production.
Older Sister, it was a short time for you to be an older sister, but
thank you for what you did. Give my regards to Uncle in Mineyama .
I hope that Older Sister Harue and Masayo-chan 
in Hisatsugi  are looked after. Even though I
die, they will live in the midst of the country's prosperity. Please work
hard to increase production.
Suzu-chan, Mutsu-chan, Wa-chan, Nori-chan, and Older Brother, now I
depart to attack for His Majesty the Emperor. Please take care and study hard.
Even though you do not send a letter to me, I vow to protect you.
You should not be sad as I will live forever in the country's prosperity.
Joyfully and bravely, I depart in high spirits. Farewell.
Though young cherry blossom comes to end in faraway skies
Will not stop
protecting country of Yamato 
Things I remember from very young age
My mother's back, light blue stars
Fireflies fly and fly near paths on ridges between rice fields
taiko drums of faraway festival
Kishida wrote in blood the following tanka poem for his former teacher
Ume Izaki. The poem and a final letter (translated below after poem) were
addressed to him at Mineyama Girls High School in Kyōto.
I will go as a shield for the Emperor
A young cherry blossom that will go to the skies and fall
The letter sent by Kishida to his former teacher Ume Izaki is translated
Thank you for the many ways that you cared for me during the several
years that have passed.
Now I have received a command to be a Special Attack Corps member, which
is the honor of a man's life. Now I will make a sortie. I feel full of joy
and appreciation. More than anything else, being born as a man in this world
makes me overflow with joy.
The second and third grades that I spent at the elementary school come
around vividly before my eyes.
In second grade I hated it when I was told to do a play. There are many
various memories together with you such as times I practiced snow skiing,
days I ran around the playground full of energy, outing days, and occasions
when we did mountain climbing. Here is the figure of a young Yamato man
who will go to fall bravely as a cherry blossom that has bloomed splendidly.
I will carry out a splendid taiatari (body-crashing) attack on an enemy
ship. I will go and take together with me to the other world the ship's
fiendish men. My greatest enjoyment above all else was when I returned home
on April 16 as a final farewell. I was thinking that I should visit to see
and thank you. However, while keeping a visit in mind for later, due to my
being away from home, the time came to an end with my obligations. I wanted
to see you once before I died so that you could see my figure that has grown and
so you could be assured. Tomio Tanaka was the only person among my classmates who
Even though now our bodies will be destroyed, our lives will live on
eternally. I will go living together with OO 
who protected the Empire. I will go defending the ever-glorious Empire.
Please take good care of your health and concentrate on teaching.
Night before sortie, Shinbu Squadron
Army Special Attack Corps Shibuya  Squadron
Army Corporal Morio Kishida
The following comment written by Morio Kishida refers to his younger brother
who was in the Navy Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training Program) and died in
battle in the Pacific in December 1944:
My younger brother will be waiting for me at Yasukuni Shrine . I will ask him
to guide me on the paths. Perhaps I will feel envious.
Letters and poems translated by Bill Gordon
The letters, poems, and other information on this page come from Naemura
(1993, 190-1, 474).
1. Mineyama is a former town in the northern
part of Kyōto Prefecture that was merged with several other towns in 2004 to
form Kyōtango City.
2. The suffix -chan is often added to children's
names when calling them by their given names.
3. Hisatsugi is a neighborhood in former Mineyama
4. Yamato is an ancient name for Japan.
5. The source of this letter indicates that this
part is unknown.
6. Captain Kenichi Shibuya was the 64th Shinbu
Special Attack Squadron Commander.
7. Yasukuni Jinja (Shrine) in Tōkyō is the place
of enshrinement for spirits of Japan's war dead.
Naemura, Hichirō. 1993. Rikugun saigo no tokkō kichi: Bansei tokkōtaiin no isho to isatsu (Army's last special attack base: Last
letters and photographs of Bansei special attack corps members). Ōsaka: Tōhō