Last Letter of Corporal Kazuki Kamitsu to His Parents
On April 6, 1945, Corporal Kazuki Kamitsu
took off from Miyakonojō West Airfield and died in a special (suicide) attack
west of Okinawa at the age of 20. He was a member of the 1st Special Shinbu Squadron. 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 Kagoshima
Prefecture and was a member of the 13th Class of the Army Youth Pilots (Rikugun Shōhi)
He wrote the following final letter to his parents. The beginning of the
letter has a death poem in tanka form (31-syllable poem with a syllable
pattern of 5-7-5-7-7).
Long live His Majesty the Emperor
Young cherry blossom willing to do for Him
When its life has worth in dying
My heart's desire from my youth now will be fulfilled. I will go smiling
to the southern skies. Always, always with might.
Asae, Kazue, Mijoko , Mariko, Sadaomi,
Mitsuo, and Kyōko, my brothers and sisters, do not resent me for going and
dying without doing anything as an older brother. Please live your life
joyfully. Please show devotion to Father and Mother also for my part. I feel
calm and will go to die as a shield for the Emperor.
I pray for your health. Grandmother, please take care of yourself.
22 years of age 
Letter and poem translated by Bill Gordon
The letter and poem come from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 101). The biographical information
in the first paragraph comes from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō
Kai (2005, 101, 213) and Osuo (2005, 207).
1. The kanji characters in the name Mijoko have other readings that may be the correct name of Kamitsu's sister.
2. The traditional Japanese method of counting
age, as in much of East Asia, regards a child as age one at birth and adds an
additional year on each New Year's day thereafter. This most likely explains why
the letter indicates his age as 22 whereas the background information in Chiran
Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 101) indicates his age as 20.
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.