of Same Class (1966)
Final Diary Entries of Ensign Tetsushirō Morioka
At 1419 on April 29, 1945, Ensign Tetsushirō Morioka took off from Kanoya Air
Base as pilot in a Zero fighter 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 5th Shichishō Squadron from Genzan Naval Air Group in
Korea. He was from Toyama Prefecture, attended Tōkyō University of Agriculture, and was a member of the 14th Class of the Navy's Flight Reserve
Students (Hikō Yobi Gakusei).
Morioka wrote the following final diary entries:
Haruko is a Genzan Girls High School 2nd-year student who was my tea
friend, the person who laughed a lot when she saw my tea-ceremony etiquette,
and the person who gave to me a cute doll.
I think that she is the woman with an appearance that I love most. Since my
time at the University of Agriculture there have been women who I came in
contact with infrequently, and at Genzan I discovered someone for the first
time. That is my heart where I constructed my utopia.
It was when I lost my self-confidence in piloting. When eating a snack at
Shinyoshi Restaurant, various women appeared. Feeling that everything was a
dead end and with a headache and anguish, I participated in a tea ceremony.
At that ceremony there were two girl students. One of those was she. On that
occasion I said to the teacher, "I was saved." I had lost interest in
living, and now at this tea ceremony I said that I was rescued. I did the
tea ceremony and returned. I parted without saying anything to the girl
student and returned to base.
I will never forget Haruko's face on that day in the first third of
January. There are such beautiful people on the home front who are working
hard. My flight on Monday went perfectly. I was happy that I had obtained
completely my self-confidence. From afar I gave a salute, and I told Noda
On the next day also, thinking of that, I did the landing up to standard.
I was able to land excellently. Through her I overcame a crewman's anguish.
The words that I spoke with her were few. Nevertheless, I love her. Does
she know or not? She is a person who also plays the koto stringed
instrument. I think that this girl student represents my ideal for marriage.
Letter and doll from Older Sister Chizuko Den
For the first time in a while I received a letter from Toyama. With a
feeling of drastic joy, I noticed that I was moved to tears. There is no
greater joy than a letter from my hometown. Although it is pleasant even
with only a single postcard, when a letter comes I dance for joy, show it to
my comrades, and read it. At induction training, I shed true tears when a
letter from my parents was received. In the days at Tsuchiura and Izumi, I
did not care about letters that much, but at Genzan Air Base I truly
appreciated deeply the teachings from Father and Mother. They were as
nourishment for the cultivation of my character. Since when I recently
became a Special Attack Corps member, I have come to really hope that a
letter comes from my hometown. It is pathetic that I, who declared "I am
going" on the occasion of leaving my hometown, now shed tears of
overwhelming joy at a letter from Older Sister.
Why is it so that I do not think of my hometown? My wish is that everyone
without hesitation please send letters of comfort to my two older brothers.
Today is the birthday of Father and Mother.
Naturally their happiness in old age should have been in the hands of us
three sons, but in these times the Greater East Asia War took place.
Therefore, my parents and all elderly persons in the country are performing
a greater service. Today is their birthday. As I earnestly pray that my
parents have happiness with long lives, I can die like I will do in order
that they may live quietly in a peaceful Japan. Fighting for my father to
live happily and my mother to live pleasantly is namely loyalty to my
country and the Emperor. I as one of Father's three children and as a Navy
Ensign will die splendidly for the country. Therefore, I hope that my
parents will pray for my attack's success.
There is a report that the enemy has landed on the Ryūkyū Islands.
We had to finish preparations completely to be able to take off
immediately whenever there is an order to depart. In training we serviced
the equipment and made sure that there were no omissions in our spirits and
I have obtained confidence in landing. Sure enough, the time of departure
The maintenance of my plane, No. 431, has been completed. Our bodies and
minds, which have little time left, are engaged in training until the end. I
have mastered also the recent training. Everyone departed for training with
comfortable smiles. The unit members who listened to admonitions showed
eagerness in their eyes and faces.
I must repay my life that I received from the gods of a thousand
generations to the Emperor who brought about the gods of a thousand
I will die
With no regrets
It was the sortie day. The Naval Ensign was raised. The trainees
graduated from their program. A commemorative photograph was taken.
At 9:00 we were to advance. Although it was clear, yellow sand was
extremely thick, and visibility was 500 meters. At 10:00, the advance of the
flying unit was delayed. By then the trainees Itō, Takemura, and
Munekage had loaded
things that I needed into my plane. All of the dolls were loaded in front of
my seat. Getting touching assistance from many comrades, even though
preparations were completed, the yellow sand was still thick, and at 12:00
the advance of the flying unit was canceled.
I get to spend one more day of my life in Genzan. With my current mental
state, I feel that I want to depart quickly from everyone. There is neither
joy nor sadness, and there is not even thinking. It is only nothingness.
Even though I composed this note as an expression of my beautiful spirit,
in the evening of April 1 all was lost. That is, sake. Sake,
sake, sake .
I pray to be able to carry out an honorable death (literally "jewel
shattering" or gyokusai in Japanese). Until this time of death, I was
a person who lacked filial piety. It is regrettable. However, when I sink
instantly an enemy ship, I request you to forgive this person who lacked
When reflecting on the past, I several times was afflicted with great
illness in my youth and three times was near death, and I am here today
through your deep love. During my time at junior high school and
the University of Agriculture, I did not give you a day of peace. It was because I
was not diligent in what I should have done for my studies and human
I received an order for a sortie, and I feel desolate about being
disappointing. After all, I understood for the first time that
self-discipline is needed always to get everything that one is able to do.
Since I always had been taught this by you, ah, it is regrettable.
However, in my life in the Navy, I absolutely believe that I will be able
to fall joyfully. In my life in the Navy, I always abided by Father's
teachings. Also, I believe that I exercised self-discipline as well as
anyone. During my year and a half in the Navy, I believe that I made great
progress when compared to my entire life before that.
At 8:50, I will go to the command post for a line-up. Perhaps there will
be an order to advance.
I pray for your health.
Praying for the family's prosperity, I go believing in the country's
Diary entries translated by Bill Gordon
March 22, 23, and 25 - October 2019; April 1 and 2 -
The diary entries dated March 22, 23, and 25 come from Kaigun Hikō Yobi
Gakusei Dai 14 Ki Kai (1995, 111-4), and the diary entries dated April 1 and 2 come from Kaigun Hikō Yobi Gakusei Dai 14 Ki Kai
(1966, 181-3). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from
Kaigun Hikō Yobi Gakusei Dai 14 Ki Kai
(1966, 60) and Osuo (2005, 201).
1. Morioka's diary entry on March 2 describes in
detail how much he enjoys drinking sake (Kaigun Hikō Yobi Gakusei Dai 14 Ki Kai
Kaigun Hikō Yobi Gakusei Dai 14 Ki Kai (Navy Flight
Reserve Students 14th Class Association), ed. 1966. Ā dōki no sakura:
Kaerazaru seishun no shuki (Ah, cherry blossoms of same class: Writings
of youth that would not return). Tōkyō: Mainichi Shinbunsha.
________. 1995. Zoku
• Ā dōki no sakura: Wakaki
senbotsu gakusei no shuki (Continuation
• Ah, cherry blossoms of same class:
Writings of young students who died in war). Tōkyō:
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (kaigun
hen) (Record of special attack corps (Navy)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.