Kawatana Special Attack War Monument
Kawatana Town, Nagasaki Prefecture
Ōmura Bay in Kawatana Town was the site of a Japanese Navy torpedo
boat training school established in 1944. The school also trained many men
who served in the special attack corps that carried out suicide attacks near the
end of World War II. These included squadrons for shin'yō (explosive motorboats),
kaiten (manned torpedoes), fukuryū (frogmen), and kōryū (midget submarines).
The inscription at the top of the monument means "Special Attack
Monument to Those Who Died for Our Country," or "Special Attack War
Monument" for short. The black stone plaque with gold engraved characters
at the bottom front of the monument has the following inscription:
In 1944, the Japanese Navy moved the special
torpedo boat training school from Yokosuka to the Ogushigo area of Kawatana
Town in Nagasaki Prefecture and carried out training of torpedo boat squadrons
in order to reverse the Pacific War situation that was worsening day by day.
The torpedo boats were high-speed boats that mainly made torpedo attacks and
were active in the Pacific and Indian Oceans such as during the attacks of
Peleliu Island and the last withdrawal operations at Iwo Jima. In addition, in
order to deal with the pressing war situation, this training school trained
several tens of thousands of young men who personally volunteered from all over
the country and gathered here. Shin'yō special attack squadrons and fukuryū
special attack squadrons were formed, and training was conducted for kaiten and
kōryū midget submarine special attack squadron members. The shin'yō special
attack corps was deployed throughout the western Pacific Ocean with seven
thousand small wooden speedboats that had explosives installed to make taiatari
(body-crashing) attacks on enemy ships. Besides destroying four American
warships off Corregidor Island in the Philippines, even at Okinawa they broke
through tight enemy security in the most difficult situations and pressed ahead
with special attacks. The fukuryū special attack squadron members, who dived
alone and made attacks from underneath the water, worked hard at training in
Today at a time when we observe peace and the restoration of Japan
with the recovery from its devastation, we earnestly acclaim those things that
came about through the aid of the war dead who gave their lives for our
country. Here we erect this special attack war monument to those connected with
this place by mixing in stones from the battle sites at Corregidor and Okinawa.
We want to forever recognize you for your noble work left unfinished since you
willingly gave your young lives at the ends of the faraway South Seas.
Each side of the monument has numerous engraved names of men from the Kawatana torpedo
boat training school who died during the war. The entrance to the lot with the
monument has a map of the school as it existed in 1945.