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Matsuru mono ga matsurareru 2: Rikugun tokkōtai 1036 eirei to tomo ni (Those who honor others will be honored 2: With 1,036 spirits of war dead in Army Special Attack Corps)
by Ōtarō Tanigawa with drawings by Masaki Yamato
Furusato Nihon Purojekuto (Homeland Japan Project), 2021, 40 pages

This well-researched manga book depicts the life of Tadamasa Itatsu, who served as first director of the Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots, which opened in 1986. As a member of the Army's 213th Shinbu Special Attack Squadron, he took off from Chiran Air Base toward Okinawa on May 28, 1945, to make a special (suicide) attack on the Allied fleet, but he had to make a forced landing on the island of Tokunoshima when his fighter developed engine problems. He returned to Chiran on June 6 and received orders twice more for special attacks, but they were cancelled due to weather.

The manga story begins with a trip to Chiran Town in Kagoshima Prefecture in September 1987 by Masatoshi Itatsu, Tadamasa Itatsu's son who lives near Nagoya City in Aichi Prefecture. When Masatoshi arrives in Kagoshima, he first visits Mount Kaimon, nicknamed Satsuma Fuji, which was the last place on the Japanese main islands that Special Attack Corps pilots from Chiran Air Base saw as they headed toward Okinawa. The taxi driver, who does not realize Masatoshi's relationship to Tadamasa Itatsu, praises his father's work to open the Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots in 1986, which revitalized the economy of the area with a marked increase in tourists.

Masatoshi's father is quite surprised and happy to see his son arrive at the museum on his unexpected visit, since he had been working away from home as the museum director. His son asks his father, who was 62 years old at the time, to relate his wartime experiences and how he became involved with the museum. Tadamasa Itatsu tells about his experiences as a Special Attack Corps pilot when he was 20 years old. At the war's end before returning home to Nagoya, he goes to the restaurant of Tome Torihama, who became close to many Special Attack Corps pilots who took off from Chiran Air Base since many considered her to be like a mother to them. Itatsu (whose name was Ogura at the time, since he changed it to his wife's family name Itatsu when they married) thanks Tome for everything that she had done for him during his time in Chiran.

In August 1961, Itatsu returns to Chiran for a memorial service, and he meets Tome Torihama. He explains to her that he suffers each day since he did not die with his squadron members at Okinawa and cannot be together with his comrades where they are at now at Yasukuni Shrine. Tome says that he survived in order that the pilots who gave their lives can be remembered if he can gather together their photographs and tell future generations about their honorable deeds.

Spurred on by Tome Torihama's words, Tadamasa Itatsu begins a nationwide search for bereaved family members of Army Air Special Attack Corps members who died in the Battle of Okinawa. He spends most weekends, holidays, and vacation days in visits to these families, and he gathers together many photographs, last writings, and other items. Because so many years have passed since the Pacific War, he has great difficulties in contacting bereaved families with only addresses that he had obtained from a listing prepared by the government agency for demobilization.

In 1975, Chiran Tokkō Ihinkan (Chiran Special Attack Items Museum) opens with more than 1,500 photographs, last writings, and other items from 550 of the 1,036 Army Air Special Attack Corps members who died in the Battle of Okinawa. In 1979, he leaves his job with several years remaining until retirement in order to dedicate himself totally to the task of gathering information and historical artifacts related to the Army Air Special Attack Corps. When the Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots opens in 1986, Itatsu serves as the first museum director. At that time, photographs of 756 pilots had been obtained, In 1988, Itatsu resigns as museum director in order to concentrate on finding photographs of the remaining men. In 1995, he succeeds in getting photographs of all 1,036 Army Air Special Attack Corps members who died in the Battle of Okinawa, and the museum displays about 14,000 photographs, writings, and other artifacts.

The last part of the manga story is the most touching when Tadamasa Itatsu and his wife visit Chiran in December 2014 for the last time before his death in 2015. As his son and daughter were growing up, they sometimes asked why their father was never together with them to do activities and to take photographs since he almost always was traveling alone on free days to visit families of comrades who had died in the war. Itatsu thanks his wife for all of her support during his life as he had spent so much time away and had used much of the family savings and his retirement money for his many trips to visit bereaved family members. His wife says his dedicated effort for his dead war comrades had been a source of strength for her.

Takamasa Itatsu tells Tome Torihama that he
did not have the courage to commit suicide
at war's end. Even now (1961) he always is
overcome with thoughts that "it would have been
good if I had died then" and "I want to go
where my war comrades went when they died."

The publisher, Furusato Nihon Purojekuto (Homeland Japan Project), is an organization formed in 2002 to introduce Japan's heroes through manga. Both paper and electronic manga stories have been published, including the following two about Special Attack Corps members: Shinjuwan kyū gunshin irei hiwa (Secret stories of memorial to nine war gods of Pearl Harbor) and Ten megurishi ya: Oshige-san to kaiten tokubetsu kōgekitaiin (Turn heaven: Oshige and kaiten special attack corps members). Other manga books published by Furusato Nihon Purojekuto (Homeland Japan Project) include ones about Japanese marathon runner Shizō Kanakuri (1891-1983), Saigō Takamori (1828-1877) who led the Satsuma Rebellion against the Meiji government, and Kodama Gentarō (1852-1906) who was instrumental in establishing a modern Imperial Japanese military.