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Wakare michi (Farewell road)
from Tokkō nin uta (Songs about enduring special attacks)
Lyrics by Kazuo Tomita
Music and arrangements by Minoru Aki
Nihonjin no kokoro o tsutaeru kai (Association to Convey the Japanese Spirit), no date, CD

"Wakare michi" (Farewell Road) is the last song of this CD that has four songs about Japan's Special Attack Force members who carried out suicide attacks in the latter part of World War II. This song reflects a younger sister's loving remembrance of her older brother who died as a kamikaze pilot.

Below is an English translation of "Wakare michi" (Farewell Road).

(Narrator) A brother and a sister were left behind when their father died in an air raid and their mother died of illness. That only older brother, concerned about his younger sister's whereabouts, took off as a kamikaze pilot [1]. This beautiful but sad song by his sister is about their love. (This song makes use of the kamikaze pilot's last letter to his younger sister.)

(last letter of older brother) Dear Shii-chan [2], the time of my departure has come. I at last will make a sortie. When this letter arrives, I will have fallen in the sea off Okinawa.

This road shrouded in drizzle
Sad memory of parting from my older brother
"Farewell Road" comes to mind
Raising his hand in a salute without an umbrella
He smiled, "I am going"
With his eyes glistening
An unforgettable "goodbye"

(last letter of older brother) With the unforeseen deaths of Father and Mother, it has been sad going away and leaving you alone as a child, but please forgive me. As a keepsake from me, here are a post office savings passbook in your name and a seal for withdrawal. Please use them when you enter girls school.

Reddish clouds glowing
In my ear a farewell cry
Heard through a break in the clouds
His final day, "I pray for your happiness"
Characters from his writing brush, blurred with tears
Memories of my kind brother
Wet my cheeks in sorrow

(last letter of older brother) Now the propellers of the special attack planes already are turning on the base's runway. It's time to make a sortie. I'm going now. Don't cry, Shii-chan. Do your best!

Far away a rainbow
Called Bridge of Dreams from long ago
Someday we will cross it together
Thoughts of loneliness of his living alone
Ties me to him forever
Forever and ever and ever
My dear brother's image
My dear brother, now somewhere

Translated by Bill Gordon
June 2009


1. The literal Japanese phrase is "Special Attack Corps member."

2. The suffix -chan in Japanese is used as a term of endearment or familiarity. Shii is a shortened form of a Japanese female name such as Shizuka, Shizuko, or Shizue.