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Arari Never Forget Monument
Nishiizu Town, Shizuoka Prefecture

The Never Forget Monument was erected on May 27, 1975, to the right of the torii gate at the entrance of Taniya Jinja (Shrine) in Arari, now part of Nishiizu Town, on the west coast of the Izu Peninsula. The veterans association of the 6th Yokaren (Navy Preparatory Flight Training Program) Class from Okazaki Naval Air Base in Aichi Prefecture coordinated erection of this monument.

A plaque on the monument's base gives the following account (translated from Japanese):

Never Forget Monument

The Yokaren, which displayed invincible air superiority and became the mainstay of the Navy's air power in the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and the sea battle off the Malay Coast at the beginning of the Greater East Asia War, was a shortened name for the Kaigun Hikō Yoka Renshūsei (Navy Flight Preparatory Trainees), namely the Kaigun Shōnen Hikōhei (Navy Youth Airmen).

We always have firmly maintained the traditional Yokaren spirit as we endured rigorous training and participated in decisive battles as the enemy drew near to the mainland and as special (suicide) attack squadrons were formed.

If we look back at more than 50 days of training, we saw here a village with a beautiful Japanese spirit. We transferred to this place where warm-hearted people lived next to deep green mountains and a clear sea.

Even though we might have gone up in flames and died for our country, never forgetting the hometown of our heart, we promised to return someday after many months and years.

Now we, together with villagers who lived here during the war, erect the Never Forget Monument and dedicate it to our friends who became the foundation for our country's defense. We pray that they may rest in peace in this village forever.

A stone plaque at the bottom of the monument has the following poem in three stanzas:

Considering the past, for the decisive battle
Much hard fighting together
Happily remembering the town of Arari
We visit here often

Overcoming the harsh postwar period
In the changing world, unchanging
Our firm pledge, Yokaren
Sworn friends, several dozen here

Warm affection in our young days
Of persons living purely next to mountains and sea
Never forgetting, from the bottom of our hearts
We erect here the Never Forget Monument

A second monument, erected in 2002, just behind the Never Forget Monument, has the following poem:

Battle cry of Yokaren trainees, blood cherry blossoms
Calls the flower petals to the sea off Arari

The information on the two monuments does not make clear exactly what the Yokaren trainees did at Arari Village. The back of the monument erected in 2002 states that Yokaren trainees were billeted in the villagers' houses from April 6 to June 8, 1945, which is slightly inconsistent with the "more than 50 days" mentioned on the plaque of the Never Forget Monument. A few Japanese sources mention that tunnels were built at Arari Harbor for shinyō explosive motorboats or kaiten human torpedoes, but there is no mention that the Navy ever assigned a shinyō or kaiten squadron to Arari.

Never Forget Monument to right of
torii gate at entrance of Taniya Jinja (Shrine)