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Seseraginoyu Ōka Monument
Ichikawa Town, Hyōgo Prefecture

Kasagata Onsen (Hot Springs) Seseraginoyu is a resort where visitors can enjoy nature. Seseroginoyu means murmuring water. Resort visitors can enjoy nature, a hot spring bath, a restaurant, and walking trails. The main building at the entrance has a Memories Museum with huge collections of a variety of items such as cameras, butterflies, and antique cars.

A Pacific War monument stands at the end of the front parking lot by the entrance to Kasagata Onsen Seseraginoyu. The resort owner had an older brother who never returned home from the war, and his family never got back any remains. The monument includes a 13-tiered tower in the center, a Monument to Soldiers Who Did Not Return on the left, and a Special Attack Ōka Unit Monument on the right.

The front of the ōka monument has engraved the following words:

Called Human Bombs

Special Attack Ōka Unit Monument

Ah, let the spirits of those brave young warriors rest in peace forever.

The right side of the ōka monument has the following words:

In the latter part of the Pacific War, the Japanese Navy formed an aerial tokkō (special attack) unit called the Jinrai Butai (Thunder Gods Corps) in order to reverse the war situation. The human bomb named the ōka (cherry blossom) was an explosives-laden aircraft hung underneath an attack bomber and was released high in the skies above enemy ships in order to sink one. This monument has been erected to comfort the spirits of over 800 men who died in ōka attacks through the war's end.

The number of over 800 men includes not only ōka pilots and crewmen of the Betty bombers that carried the ōka weapon but also Jinrai Butai pilots of bomb-laden Zero fighters. Kato (2009, 474) gives 715 as the total number of Jinrai Butai members who died in battle, which includes 55 ōka pilots and 365 Betty bomber crewmen.

The top of the left side of the ōka monument has the following inscription:

For those who survived the war's end, this monument shows our respect to the brave young men who gave their lives for our country, appreciation for today's peace and the years after the war, and eternal remembrance of their spirits.

Kamikaze Special Attack Jinrai Butai (Thunders Gods Corps) Ōka Unit
Remembering their attacks made 63 years before

Erected on March 21, 2008

The first ōka squadron took off from Kanoya Air Base on March 21, 1945, but all of the 15 Betty bombers carrying ōka weapons were shot down by American fighter planes.

The bottom of the left side of the ōka monument has a list of ten men in the former Japanese Navy, including a petty officer in the Shiga Naval Air Group Ōka Unit and a petty officer in the Kanoya Naval Air Group, who made contributions for its erection.

The back of the ōka monument has the following poem:

Concerned for their country
Young cherry blossoms went with high heart
Spirits who died in battle
Never to be forgotten

Seseraginoyu Ōka Monument

The Monument to Soldiers Who Did Not Return, which has an Army helmet on top, has the following inscription on its front:

Young Heroes Who Sleep at Pacific War Battle Sites

Monument to Soldiers Who Did Not Return

Rest in Peace in the Land of Your Hometown

The inscription on the right side of the monument states that during the Pacific War there were over one million Japanese soldiers who died and were never accounted for with remains not returned to families.

Source Cited

Katō, Hiroshi. 2009. Jinrai butai shimatsu ki: Ningen bakudan "ōka" tokkō zen kiroku (Thunder gods unit record of events: Complete history of "ōka" human bomb special attacks). Tōkyō: Gakken Publishing.