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Last Letter from Flight Petty Officer 2nd Class Seisaku Murata to His Parents

At 0515 on May 11, 1945, Flight Petty Officer 2nd Class Seisaku Murata took off from Kushira Air Base as a member of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 3rd Seiki Squadron and died in battle off Okinawa at the age of 23.

Murata was from Kōchi Prefecture and was a member of the 1st Toku Otsu Class of the Navy's Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training Program) [1]. After completion of training, he was assigned to the Hyakurihara Naval Air Group. He was the radio operator [2] in a Type 97 Carrier Attack Bomber (Allied code name of Kate) with a crew of three.

Murata wrote the following last letter to his parents. The end of the letter has a poem.

Dear Parents,

I hope that you are doing well. Now I have received the Imperial command to attack. I will go in high spirits.

Now the cherry blossoms also are in full bloom. When these cherry blossoms fall, I also will be making a taiatari (body-crashing) attack for the Emperor to the center of the Americans and British. Thank you for the education that you provided to me up to now. I surely will attack and die honorably.

Please give my regards to Aunt and Uncle Nishi and to everyone in our hometown. Please also send my regards to Inui-sensei, who showed me kindness during my school days, and to the people at the town hall. I was a fortunate person.

Please be well, and I will pray for your health.

When I go to the skies with a large bird's wings for a long distance
I will fall in flames as my duty to the Emperor
I will attack the center of the Americans and British

Seisaku Murata


Letter and poem translated by Bill Gordon
January 2018

The letter and biographical information on this page come from Kanoya Kōkū Kichi Shiryōkan Renraku Kyōgikai (2003, 85).

Note

1. Although Kanoya Kōkū Kichi Shiryōkan Renraku Kyōgikai (2003, 85) states that Murata was in the 13th Class of the Navy's Flight Reserve Students (Hikō Yobi Gakusei), both Osuo (2005, 224) and Tokkōtai Senbotsusha (1990, 201) indicate he was in 1st Toku Otsu Class of the Navy's Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training Program).

2. From web page "Tokkōtai no yūshi" (Special Attack Corps brave warriors) <http://www.warbirds.jp/senri/05hiyakuri/tokko.html> (January 12, 2018).

Source Cited

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 Renraku Kyōgikai.

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

Tokkōtai Senbotsusha Irei Heiwa Kinen Kyōkai (Tokkōtai Commemoration Peace Memorial Association). 1990. Tokubetsu Kōgekitai (Special Attack Corps). Tōkyō: Tokkōtai Senbotsusha Irei Heiwa Kinen Kyōkai.