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Last Writings of Corporal Toyoji Hashimasa

On June 3, 1945, Corporal Toyoji Hashimasa took off from Chiran Air Base and died in a special (suicide) attack west of Okinawa at the age of 20. He was a member of the 214th Shinbu Special Attack Squadron and piloted an Army Type 97 Fighter (Allied nickname of Nate). After his death in a special attack, he received a promotion to Second Lieutenant. He was from Ishikawa Prefecture and was a member of the 14th Class of the Niigata Pilot Training School.

He left the following final writing:

Fervently for the Emperor, fervently for the country, I will search for and sink an enemy ship and fight fiercely to drive away the long-standing enemy at the place of the furious decisive battle at Okinawa where the crisis of this divine country is continuing to a point never greater in its beautiful history in the world.

One plane! And one plane! They give a lift to the people's spirits with both shining wings on each one. Like cheers from one hundred million [1], the engines thunderously roar and kick up dust that rises up from the ground that we will not set foot on again.

One plane! And one plane! As a humble shield for the Emperor, this is the long-awaited moment to fall as a flower. Feeling these deep emotions with wings of young determination, I wait to go directly to the southern skies yet to dawn carrying a bomb for a hissatsu (certain-death) attack at the place of the decisive battle. Fervently I go, I go!

He also wrote several last letters to family members with some poems in tanka form (31-syllable poem with a syllable pattern of 5-7-5-7-7):

As man with life as flower in beautiful full bloom
In prime of spring will fall and lose dear life

Searching seas for enemy ship
To smash as I fall as mountain cherry blossom

Wrapped in thousand-stitch belt from hometown young girls
Will fall in skies in prime of spring

Dear Yasuko Ippongi,

I believe that behind the scenes there will be new power in your hands.

Please show filial piety to Mother.


Tonight seeing friends for last time
They smile with Yamato [2] spirit

Dear Older Brother and Older Sister Chabatake,

Tomorrow morning at last I will make a sortie.

Older Brother, as a younger brother I was changeable like the autumn skies, and you gave me today's honor. If I had not had one year of character building, I would not be who I am today.

As my sortie draws near tomorrow, please take care of aging Father and Mother who I am very anxious about.


Dear Uncle and Sumiko,

With my life that has a limit, I am hoping to be able to carry out this deed that is most meaningful.

With Older Brother Namio waiting for me in the other world, I go there shortly before you and will be waiting for you.

Since there are some preparations for us to welcome you there, please now live for a long while. We two will go welcome you at that time.

Sumiko, even though I do not say anything, I think that you understand. I pray that you strive hard.


Dear Uncle and Aunt Michiura,

As this is my farewell to this world, your photo will be my good-luck charm. The grand Special Attack Corps will make taiatari (body-crashing) attacks together with you.

I will make a crash dive with photos kept hidden close to my heart of Uncle and Aunt, Older Brother Eiichi, and Father and Mother.

When I go together with photos of my respected friends, what will remain will be my poems.

I pray that you will have a long life of 100 years.


To fall as Emperor's humble shield
My heart happy as always

Dear Aunt,

The time finally has come. Even though you see a peaceful figure in this village at the southern tip of Kyūshū, I deeply feel that we must win.

I asked you for many unreasonable things, and you took good care of me. When Yasuko is asked to be a bride, I thought that the way to show filial piety to you is to say no and reject the offer, but it was a dream. Ha, ha, ha, ha, it is a joke. When Yasuko hears this, she surely will be mad.

I pray for your happiness and health.


Dear Older Brother's Wife,

Tomorrow at last I will make a sortie.

Even though in the days of my youth when you controlled your own child and let me have my own way, I will never forget the love that you showed to me more than to a real younger brother.

Please take care and live happily. When you hear about it from Older Brother, I think that you certainly will be glad at my place of death.

Please take good care of Father and Mother who are aging.


Dear Older Sister Michiura,

Since it has become warmer, I imagine that the time will come soon when you get lightheaded.

Sachi also really has gotten big.

Now there is a little more. Please do your best to not lose to anything.

As I in this world come to end in distant seas
I will protect forever Imperial Reign's prosperity

I am praying for your health.


Dear Older Sister Shima,

I wanted to see you once, but I will fall without being able to accomplish this goal.

You are such a different older sister than I now imagine when compared to when you first had a family in Ōsaka.

Hatsumi, be in high spirits.

I pray that Older Brother also is working more and more in high spirits on important duties.

Prosperity for country of mighty gods
Praying for it, I will fall at end of multi-layered clouds

Writings translated by Bill Gordon
August 2018 and September 2019

The final writings come from Chiran Kōjo Nadeshiko Kai (1996, 117-22). The biographical information on this page comes from Chiran Kōjo Nadeshiko Kai (1996, 116), Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 142, 180) and Osuo (2005, 206).


1. The population of Japan at the time was considered to be 100 million, so this number refers to everyone in Japan.

2. Yamato is a poetic name for Japan.

Sources Cited

Chiran Kōjo Nadeshiko Kai (Chiran Girls High School Nadeshiko Association), ed. 1996. Gunjō: Chiran tokkō kichi yori (Deep blue: From Chiran special attack air base). Originally published in 1979. Kagoshima City: Takishobō.

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.