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Last Letter of Flight Petty Officer 1st Class Kōshirō Takasu to His Older Sister

At 1415 on August 9, 1945, Flight Petty Officer 1st Class Kōshirō Takasu took off from Kisarazu Air Base in Chiba Prefecture as pilot of a Ryūsei torpedo dive bomber (Allied code name of Grace) carrying a 800-kg bomb and died in a special (suicide) attack off Kinkasan in Miyagi Prefecture at the age of 23. He was a member of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 7th Mitate [1] Squadron 2nd Ryūsei Unit from the 752nd Naval Air Group. He grew up in Brazil and moved with his family to Aichi Prefecture. He was a member of the 15th Hei Class of the Navy's Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training Program).

He wrote the following final letter:

Dear Older Sister,

I give my sincere greetings to you. In the end there is nothing to say.

Since we returned to Japan from Brazil in South America, the country of everlasting summer, I appreciate from the bottom of my heart your good teaching and guidance for me who did not know anything.

Japanese military life, an unknown life until after I joined the Navy, was my final place of spiritual enlightenment. After joining the Navy, I honed and purified both my body and spirit through training day and night. Now I go to fall for the Emperor and country.

I regret going and falling without having accomplished the things that Mother earnestly told me and requested of me when we returned to Japan.

Finally, I deeply regret troubles that I caused for our aged parents. Now I have a clear feeling. It is the feeling of a clean slate. Close to me I have photos of our parents and relatives. Everyone, take care.

Now I go to make an attack.

Yours sincerely


Letter translated by Bill Gordon
August 2018

The letter comes from Yasukuni Jinja (1997, 17-8). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Osuo (2005, 233) and Yasukuni Jinja (1997, 17).

Note

1. Mitate means shield.

Sources Cited

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

Yasukuni Jinja, ed. 1997. Eirei no koto no ha (3) (Words of the spirits of war heroes, Volume 3. Tōkyō: Yasukuni Jinja Shamusho.