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Last Letters of Ensign Cadet Sakae Miyauchi to His Parents and Younger Sisters

At 1525 on April 28, 1945, Ensign Cadet Sakae Miyauchi took off from Kokubu No. 2 Air Base as pilot in a Type 99 Carrier Dive Bomber (Allied code name of Val) carrying a 250-kg bomb and died in a special (suicide) attack off Okinawa at the age of 23. He was a member of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 3rd Kusanagi Squadron from Nagoya Naval Air Group. He was from Ibaraki Prefecture, attended Chūō University in Tōkyō, and was a member of the 1st Class of the Navy's Flight Reserve Students (Hikō Yobi Seito).

He wrote the following final letter:

Dear Father and Mother,

Now I will make a sortie.

You excellently raised unruly me. Moreover, thanks to both of you, I became a member of the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Corps, and now it has come about that I will be able to make a sortie as a member of the honored Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 2nd Kusanagi Squadron. Tears of thankfulness are streaming. I will not fail to meet your expectations, and I will destroy the enemy and protect the country of Japan.

The cherry blossoms blooming on nearby mountains will be my appearance when I have a splendid rebirth. At the time that I left my hometown when I was young, the teaching received from Mother was to carry out superbly my tasks. About alcohol and women, up to now I drank a little alcohol, and I did not know a woman at all. Now I have no regrets. It is only certain victory for Japan.

I was cared for in many ways by Minowa, Kubo, and also several relatives. I give them my warm thanks.

When you get the opportunity, since I will be waiting for you at Yasukuni Shrine [1], please come to see me. There will be no need for presents.

Okinawa will be my final place. Last night I dreamed a final dream at Kiraku Inn in Koromo Town [2]. Naturally it was a dream of Father and Mother.

I am writing about trivial things, and it seems totally unmasculine. Please forgive me. I will make a sortie while praying for the health of everyone.

April 13, 1945

From Sakae

He also wrote the following final letter to his two younger sisters:

To Mitsuko and Toshiko,

I trust that you are in high spirits. I also am in very high spirits, and recently it has come about that I will go with the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 2nd Kusanagi Squadron. There is nothing that surpasses this as the long-cherished desire of a young man. You also devote yourselves with energy for the country. At Yasukuni Shrine, I always will be watching your strenuous efforts. I wish that I could show to you my gallant figure as I make a sortie and go wearing a hachimaki (headband) with a red circle on front. I certainly will crash dive into an enemy aircraft carrier. Look forward to it. I have nothing more to say. Just in high spirits do your best for the country will all of your might. The goal is that you must go forward with sincerity.

April 13, 1945

Letters translated by Bill Gordon
July 2018

The letters comes from Yasukuni Jinja (1996, 105-6; 2001, 45-6). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Osuo (2005, 226) and Yasukuni Jinja (1996, 105).


1. Yasukuni Shrine in Tōkyō is Japan's national shrine to honor spirits of soldiers killed in battle.

2. Koromo was the name of Toyota City in Aichi Prefecture until January 1959 when it was renamed for Toyota Motor Corporation. Koromo was the location of Nagoya Naval Air Group.

Sources Cited

Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (kaigun hen) (Record of special attack corps (Navy)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.

Yasukuni Jinja, ed. 1996. Eirei no koto no ha (2) (Words of the spirits of war heroes, Volume 2). Tōkyō: Yasukuni Jinja Shamusho.

________. 2001. Eirei no koto no ha (7) (Words of the spirits of war heroes, Volume 7). Tōkyō: Yasukuni Jinja Shamusho.