Last Letter of Corporal Tsuneaki Fujiyama to His Parents
On May 25, 1945, Corporal Tsuneaki Fujiyama took
off from Miyakonojō East Airfield as a member of the 58th Shinbu Special Attack
Squadron and died in a special (suicide) attack west of Okinawa at the age of
18. He piloted an Army Hayate Type 4 Fighter (Allied code name of Frank). After
his death in a special attack, he received a promotion to Second Lieutenant. He
was from Nagasaki Prefecture and was a member of the 14th Class of the Army Youth
Pilot (Rikugun Shōhi) training program.
He wrote the following final letter:
For the Emperor and the country, I go to fall as a Special Attack Corps
member. From the beginning I have been determined to do this. Not sparing
one's life for the Emperor and the country is the long-cherished desire of a
young Japanese man. I am a person who has great joy in my heart. Even after
I fall I will not forget your great kindness in raising me with love for 18
years. I regret that until now I could not show any filial piety. However,
for the moment there is nothing in my mind other than my assigned mission. I
bravely will sacrifice myself to kill the enemy with my cutting-edge
Even though you hear that I have fallen, please definitely do not mourn.
Please say only that our son fell admirably. Feeling assured when I think
that even after I have fallen there will be young cherry blossoms that will
follow after me, I can go and die. Please bring up my younger brothers 
also for the country. I go while trusting in certain victory for the Emperor
and the country.
Finally, I pray for the health of you and others.
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter comes from Terai (1977, 94). The biographical information in
the first paragraph comes from Chiran Tokkō
Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 218) and Osuo (2005, 199).
1. The letter does not specify the number of
younger brothers. Fujiyama could have had one or more younger brothers.
Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (Chiran Special Attack
Memorial Society), ed. 2005. Konpaku no kiroku: Kyū rikugun tokubetsu
kōgekitai chiran kichi (Record of departed spirits: Former Army Special
Attack Corps Chiran Base). Revised edition, originally published in 2004. Chiran Town, Kagoshima
Prefecture: Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai.
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (rikugun hen)
(Record of special attack corps (Army)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.
Terai, Shun'ichi, ed. 1977. Kōkū Kichi Miyakonojō Hayate
Tokkō Shinbutai (Miyakonojō Air Base Hayate Special Attack Shinbu Unit).