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