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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:

March 22

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 and Yamafuji.

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.

March 23

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.

March 25

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 things.

I have obtained confidence in landing. Sure enough, the time of departure is coming.

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 generations.

For Emperor
I will die
With no regrets

April 1

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. 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 [1].

April 2

To Parents,

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 filial piety.

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 self-discipline.

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 glory.

Diary entries translated by Bill Gordon
March 22, 23, and 25 - October 2019; April 1 and 2 - January 2019

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 1966, 181).

Sources Cited

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: Kōjinsha.

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