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Ehime Special Attack Corps Monument
Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture

The erection in 2008 of the Special Attack Corps Monument at Ehime Prefecture Gokoku Jinja was coordinated by the Tokkōtai Commemoration Peace Memorial Association and the Association to Pass On the Japanese Spirit (Nihonjin no kokoro o tsutaeru kai) and was supported by six organizations located in Ehime Prefecture. The monument has a bronze figure of the front half of a kamikaze pilot standing on a stone pedestal, and it honors 74 young men from Ehime Prefecture who lost their lives in special (suicide) attacks during WWII. Similar monuments have been erected at other shrines throughout Japan such as Fukui Gokoku Jinja, Kagoshima Gokoku Jinja, and Setagaya Kannon Temple in Tokyo.

Prefectures in Japan generally have a gokoku jinja, which is a Shintō shrine dedicated to persons from that prefecture who died to protect the country. Each gokoku jinja has various monuments to remember those who died in wars. Ehime Prefecture Gokoku Jinja also has the Navy Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training Program) Monument to remember men from the Yokaren who died in battle, many of them in suicide attacks as part of the Special Attack Corps.

The plaque on front of the pedestal of the Special Attack Corps Monument reads "Ā tokkō" (Ah, Special Attacks) and "we certainly will never forget you." The following history is engraved on the right side of the monument base, and the same words are also displayed on a sign behind the monument:

Special Attack Corps Monument

Near the end of 1944 as the situation of the Greater East Asia War continued to grow worse, over six thousand brave men lost their lives in battle in the southern ocean as Air Special Attack Corps members. We will never forget that the peace and prosperity in Japan today are built on their pure patriotism and love of family. Here we erect a monument for the 74 men from Ehime Prefecture who died. We want to pay tribute to their accomplishments and to pass down their spirit to future generations

April 2008

It is not certain what is the monument's source of the number of "over six thousand" who lost their lives as Air Special Attack Corps members. The Tokkotai Commemoration Peace Memorial Association has a plaque next to the kamikaze pilot statue at Yasukuni Jinja Yūshūkan in Tōkyō that displays numbers that are inconsistent with this total on the Ehime Special Attack Corps Monument. That plaque, put up in 2005, states that 5,843 total men died in special attacks, and only 3,946 men were Air Special Attack Corps members who died in special attacks if the Naval Air Corps, Army Air Corps, and Giretsu Airborne Unit are included. The other men who died used something other than aircraft, such as shin'yō explosive motorboats, midget submarines, and kaiten manned torpedoes.

The following last letters were written by Special Attack Corps members from Ehime Prefecture who died in special attacks:

A Zero fighter propeller is on display next to the Special Attack Corps Monument with the following information sign behind it:

Japanese Navy Zero Fighter Propeller

This propeller is a variable-pitch type (constant speed propeller) that was used for the Japanese Navy's Zero fighter, which played an active role as most cutting-edge fighter of its time during the Pacific War.

A constant speed propeller had a mechanism that would quickly adjust the propeller pitch automatically based on changes in speed in order to maintain the engine's nominal rotation speed. This propeller was at the highest level in those days.

In October 1968, Tsutomu Katō of Jindengawara in Uwajima City recovered the propeller in a fishing net in the western Uwa Sea, and he donated it then to the Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) Matsuyama Base.

(moved to Ehime Prefecture Gokoku Jinja in September 2001)

Zero Fighter Constant Speed Propeller
on display at Ehime Prefecture Gokoku Jinja