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Shirō Oka

Ā tokkō wakazakura (Ah, young special attack cherry blossom)
Performed by Shirō Oka
Written by Yoshimori Uchi
Composed by Hironobu Dohi
Music arranged by Yasukatsu Ikeda
From Tokkō no haha: Heiwa e no inori (Tokkō mother: prayer for peace)
King Record Co., 1987, Audiocassette

Below is an English translation of a Japanese enka song by a fictional kamikaze (special attack [1]) pilot before his final mission.

Asleep against your tender breast
A lullaby faintly heard
Since the day I was born into this world
Until today, thank you very much
Mother, thanks for your kindness

My dear younger brothers I wanted to see
In the future do your best
In all ways for our parents
I ask that in my place
You become fine, fine men

(spoken) Tomorrow at last I will dive on an enemy ship. Even though the bomb explosion from my fated special attack plane will be thunderous, I go to die with a peaceful heart severing all attachments. Father, Mother, and Younger Brothers and Sisters, I am going now.

Even though I am shattered and vanish
In skies of a strange land
My immortal spirit
Will always be by you Father and Mother
Watching over you in happiness


1. The Japanese word meaning "special attack" is tokkō, which a Japanese euphemism for "suicide attack." Kamikaze pilots were part of Japan's tokkōtai (Special Attack Corps).

Translated by Bill Gordon
December 2007