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Last Letter of Sergeant Osamu Imanishi to His Father

On March 27, 1945, Sergeant Osamu Imanishi took off from Okinawa Naka Airfield (currently known as Kadena Air Base) and died in a special (suicide) attack northeast of Kerama Rettō at the age of 18. He was a member of the Makoto 32nd Hikōtai (Flying Unit). He piloted a Type 99 Assault Plane (Allied code name of Sonia). After his death in a special attack, he received a promotion to Second Lieutenant. He was from Kyōto Prefecture and was a member of the 12th Class of the Miyakonojō Pilot Training School.

He wrote the following final letter with a death poem at the end:

Dear Father,

The war situation truly has become critical.

Today I received an order, and soon I will make a sortie. I am looking forward to accomplish the mission.

I warmly thank you for raising me for a long time.

Now I have no complaint.

It has been arranged to send my personal effects to Kyōto.

Take good care of yourself.

I believe that the Empire will certainly win and that the Imperial Way is everlasting.

In Kyūshū, the cherry trees bloomed early, and I heard even the voices of nightingales.

Saying to offer service to the Emperor
Bringing about my birth
My father, you are honored

2350 on March 25


Letter translated by Bill Gordon
April 2018

The letter on this page comes from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 94). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 94, 190) and Osuo (2005, 210).

Sources Cited

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.