Last Writing of Ensign Kōjirō Mizoguchi
On June 22, 1945, Ensign Kōjirō Mizoguchi took off from Kanoya Air Base and
died in a special (suicide) attack near Okinawa at the age of 22. He was a
member of the 1st Jinrai Bomber-Fighter Squadron. He flew a Zero fighter
carrying a bomb. He grew up in Shizuoka Prefecture and was a student at Chūō
University in Tōkyō Prefecture. He was a member of the 14th Class of the Navy's
Flight Reserve Students (Hikō Yobi Gakusei), and after training he became a
member of the 306th Fighter Squadron (Hikōtai).
He left the following undated writing:
Wealthy Masurao was born in our beautiful homeland. Wealthy Masurao left
a noble spirit for our country and flew away to a new world.
The sayings that I like are "Make the best of the current one" and "My
like exists only now."
From birth until death we are creating our life's engraving, fashioned
each second and each moment with experiences of sorrow, joy, and good. For
me each moment was dreadful. One second was a burden. There were also times
when I felt that I might collapse with fear to go forward with my life even
one step more. However, my life of 23 years has been etched moment by moment
whether good or bad and whether sorrow or joy. I must strive putting all my
spirit into the final effort.
I want to die quietly without anyone knowing. How many several tens of
thousands of brave warriors have gone and fallen to the ground or to the
ocean? I value the death of an individual soldier more than anything.
The background information from Kanoya Kōkū Kichi (2003, 67) specifies that
Kōjirō Mizoguchi was born in 1923 and died at the age of 22 years old, but the
above writing indicates that he had already lived 23 years. Possibly Mizoguchi
calculated his age from the time of conception as was done traditionally in
Japan, or he rounded up to 23 years in the above writing.
Although the above writing by Kōjirō Mizoguchi is undated, it most likely was
written near the time of his death based on the age given in the writing and
based on the contents of the third and fourth paragraphs.
Writing by Kōjirō Mizoguchi translated by Bill Gordon
The pilot's writing and biographical information on this page come from Kanoya Kōkū Kichi Shiryōkan Renraku Kyōgikai
Kanoya Kōkū Kichi Shiryōkan Renraku Kyōgikai (Kanoya Naval
Air Base Museum Coordinating Committee). 2003. Kokoro no sakebi (Cries
of the heart). Kanoya, Kagoshima Prefecture: Kanoya Kōkū Kichi Shiryōkan