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Last Diary Entries of Second Lieutenant Katsuhiko Miyao

On May 25, 1945, Second Lieutenant Katsuhiko Miyao 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 24. 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 Captain. He was from Tōkyō Prefecture, graduated from Waseda University in Tōkyō, worked at Takarazuka Theater in Tōkyō after graduation, and was a member of the 7th Class of the Army's Officer Cadet (Kanbu Kōhosei) training program.

He wrote the following final diary entries:

On a certain day the squadron commander held classes in the afternoon. Following are squadron poems composed some days ago.


Look at eternal 3,000 years
Empire with high reputation in world
Now fate of 100 million
Doing best in heart and soul in decisive battle
Responsible for honorable mission
Now 58th Shinbu Squadron spreads its wings


Friends who flew high
In southern skies, also northern
Brave spirits who already have fallen
Remembering burning fervor
Tradition of shields of sakimori [1] soldiers
Committed 58th Shinbu Squadron


Fresh greenery springs up in Kantō
Today again high in blue skies
Flying high for certain-death, sure-kill attacks
To hearts of enemy, Mount Tsukuba [2]
Elite pilots together in special attacks
58th Shinbu Squadron for eternal cause


Target, enemy aircraft carrier fleet
Tails of our Hayate fighters
Skulls drawn on them reflect spirit
Twelve planes bravely make taiatari (body-crashing) attacks
Essex carriers vanquished to watery grave
Ah, we the 58th Shinbu Squadron

58th Shinbu Squadron's Hayate Fighters lined up at Shimodate
Airfield (Ibaraki Prefecture) before flying to Hōfu Airfield (Yamaguchi
Prefecture). Each fighter's tail has the skull and crossbones symbol.

May 12 - I came last night, and there was heavy rain. Therefore, there was leave today, and about half of the men went out to stay off base. After homes have been evacuated already, there are places where we can go. In the afternoon I went with the squadron commander and others to a movie theater. It was an Umon detective story titled Maboroshi no kage (Phantom shadow) with Kanjūrō [3] set in the Hamamatsu Period. I had no interest in it.

May 21 - The weather persisted without improvement. Low atmospheric pressure covers the Chūgoku and Kyūshū Regions. Toward the Inland Sea there is rain with clouds at about 400 meters. Even though a little improvement was forecasted for the afternoon, a drizzle persisted. It continued until evening in Suzuka. The mountain valleys have appeared. Tomorrow we should be able to depart. We already have passed three nights since we arrived at Kita Ise [4] on the 18th.

May 22 - Even though departure was scheduled for the afternoon and we were able to make preparations, when actual conditions were determined from the weather map, there still would be flight difficulties. Although we warmed up the engines, in the end the departure was postponed. It would be tremendous if we somehow could be blessed with good weather. I would know if it were simple navigation. While I see before me the important duty of accomplishing my mission, I can pursue as the squadron's mainstay. Even though impatience is not allowed, I must control myself to relax.

May 23 - Last night I went out to Tsu City, and this morning I returned to base. The weather has been improving for some time. The departure was decided. I departed Kita Ise at 1015 with First Lieutenant Kitagawa and Second Lieutenant Takada. We went toward Hōfu. We flew perfectly above the clouds to Ōsaka. Air currents between Iwakuni and Tokuyama were extremely bad. As soon as we arrived in the afternoon, we heard an order to transfer immediately to Miyakonojō. I arranged my private items. I made preparations to send these to Shinshū. With today's entry today I am ending this and sending it home.

Miyao also wrote the following:

The attack is close at hand. Now is only an instant sinking.

I am only living for an eternal cause.

I will die believing in the Empire's prosperity.

I pray for good health for Father and Mother.

Diary entries translated by Bill Gordon
June 2020

The diary entries come from Terai (1977, 87-9). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 173), Osuo (2005, 199), and Terai (1977, 87).


1. A sakimori was a soldier in Japan during the 7th to 9th century who protected the western frontier of Japan. Poems written by sakimori are included in the Manyōshū, the oldest surviving anthology of Japanese poetry compiled in the last half of the 8th century.

2. Mount Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture is one of the most famous mountains in Japan. The 58th Shinbu Squadron trained at Shimodate Airfield in Ibaraki Prefecture.

3. Kanjūrō Arashi was a film actor who played a detective named Umon in a series of historical drama films.

4. Kita Ise was an Army airfield in Mie Prefecture.

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.

Terai, Shun'ichi, ed. 1977. Kōkū Kichi Miyakonojō Hayate Tokkō Shinbutai (Miyakonojō Air Base Hayate Special Attack Shinbu Unit). Tōkyō: Genshobō.