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Hachijōjima Shin'yō Monument
Hachijō Town, Tōkyō Prefecture

Hachijōjima is a small island almost 300 km south of Tōkyō with a population of less than 10,000 people. It is one of the Izu Islands, which are administered by Tōkyō Prefecture. In 1945 during WWII, a shin'yō explosive motorboat squadron was sent to Hachijōjima to a base with tunnels dug into cliffs by the shore to hide the boats on the southern side of the island. However, the squadron ended the war without having to make a sortie and crash into Allied warships.

The tablet of the monument erected in 1986 to the shin'yō boat squadron at Hachijōjima has engraved the following words:

Remembering the Pacific Ocean's Kuroshio Current
16th Shin'yō Special Attack Squadron was here

The monument base has an engraved metal plaque with the following history:

In March 1945 when the Pacific War situation became critical, here directly below this observation point in the area of Sueyoshi Borazawa and Ishizumi, preparations were made for the defense of Hachijōjima with the construction of a Navy base for the 16th Shin'yō Special Attack Squadron. This included 50 shin'yō boats that were special attack weapons and 189 squadron members under the command of Lieutenant Yoshihiko Yoshida who individually volunteered and pledged that they would be the foundation for the country. They lodged in different civilian homes. Sueyoshi area residents and base workers provided them with fervent support. They were resolved to carry out taiatari (body-crashing) nikudan (human bullet) attacks of one boat into one warship.

The 16th Shin'yō Special Attack Squadron was formed in September 1944 at the Yokosuka Naval Torpedo School. The 53 crewmen were elite members from the Naval Academy, Navy Reserve Students (Yobi Gakusei), Special Attack Warrant Officers, and Hikō Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training Program) graduates at young ages of 17 and 18 years old. There also were provided 136 maintenance unit members and base unit members who were war veterans.

The shin'yō boat was a 5-meter long motorboat in which 250 kg of explosives were loaded in the bow. It was a special attack weapon that crashed at high speed into an enemy warship causing the death of the pilot in the explosion. The Navy at that time placed unlimited hopes in the Shin'yō Special Attack Corps.

In November 1944, the order was given to the 16th Shin'yō Special Attack Squadron to sortie to Hahajima Island in the Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands. The base preparation unit members made sorties immediately, but their transport ship, Jusan Maru, was sunk when hit in a torpedo attack from an enemy submarine off the coast of Chichijima Island. Tragically, 57 members of the advance party died in battle.

After the squadron was reorganized, this time orders were received to sortie to Iwo Jima. However, this was abandoned when soon it became the scene of a very fierce battle during enemy landing operations. So in March 1945, the squadron was deployed to Hachijōjima as the first foundation in the final battle for the mainland.

However, the announcement from the Emperor of the war's end came on August 15, 1945. Here the hot, long Pacific War came to an end. Since that time, 41 years have passed. Japan now is prospering as a democratic country that has achieved amazing economic growth and is filled with freedom and peace.

The Kuroshio Current flows as a river in the sea that runs from the Equator along the Pacific coasts of the Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan. It flows by below this observation point to America. When our thoughts turn to that Kuroshio Current, we clearly remember the many military men who gave their lives for their country and the other casualties of the war.

We engrave on this monument the war history of those days and remember the spirits of our friends who died in battle. This monument serves to express our sincere wish for eternal peace.

October 1986
Erected by Shin'yō Hachijō Association

The monument is located at Nako Observation Point, a 5-minute walk from Mikonoo bus stop.

View of island coastline on rainy day from
Nako Observation Point next to
 Hachijōjima Shin'yō Monument