Last Letter of Lieutenant Junior Grade Fumitada Okiyama to His Father
At 1620 on May 15, 1945, Lieutenant Junior Grade Fumitada Okiyama took off from
Shinchiku Airfield in Taiwan as radio operator/gunner in a Type 97 Carrier
Attack Bomber (Allied code name of Kate) carrying an 800-kg bomb and died in a
special (suicide) attack off Okinawa at the age of 25. He was a member of the
Kamikaze Special Attack Corps Shinten Squadron. After his death in a special
attack, he received a two-rank promotion to Lieutenant Commander. He was from
Tōkyō Prefecture's Hachijōjima (an island about 300 kilometers south of Tōkyō)
attended Waseda University in Tōkyō, and was a member of the 13th Class of the Navy's Flight Reserve Students (Hikō
He wrote the following final letter to his father Tokusaburō:
Now I am on stand-by at a base near the battle area where the
enemy American and British fleet is in its death throes, and I am waiting to carry
out a hisshi hitchū (certain-death, sure-hit) attack today or
Now I have no regrets. During the 20-some-odd years since I was born in
unshakable Shinshū  with its 3,000-year
history, I received infinitely great kindness as I was raised with love
higher than the mountains and deeper than the seas by my Father and Mother
and with guidance from teachers. I have reached today without serious
mistakes as a citizen of the Empire that is the leader of Greater East Asia.
Now also as a subject of the Emperor and as a member of the Kamikaze Special
Attack Corps, believing in the indestructibility of Shinshū, I will live for
an eternal cause. Even though this body dies in the Pacific Ocean with an
American ship, being born a Japanese man, nothing else surpasses this as my
In this major time of transition when the Empire's destiny is at stake, I
truly am happy to go and fall as a shield for the Emperor. As I face the
end, what I would like to say is that I am praying to God for security of
the Imperial Family and for healthy development of Greater East Asia.
Please forgive me that I did not do anything other than cause anxieties to,
Mother who has passed away, you, and all of the relatives and that
I will leave and go without doing anything like acts of filial piety.
Everyone, have lasting happiness.
May 6, 1945
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter comes from Yasukuni Jinja (2019,
57-8). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Yasukuni
Jinja (2019, 57) and Osuo (2005, 176).
1. Shinshū refers to Japan and literally means
2. Although Yasukuni Jinja (2019, 57) indicates
that Okiyama was from Hachijōjima in Tōkyō Prefecture, Osuo
(2005, 176) states the he was from Hiroshima Prefecture. It is not certain why
there is a discrepancy and which one is correct.
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (kaigun
hen) (Record of special attack corps (Navy)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.
Yasukuni Jinja, ed. 2019. Eirei no koto no ha (11)
(Words of the spirits of war heroes, Volume 11). Tōkyō: Yasukuni Jinja