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Death Poem by Flight Leading Seaman Hajime Nagamine

Hajime Nagamine, pilot in the 1st Kamikaze Special Attack Unit Shikishima Squadron, wrote the following farewell poem before he departed from Mabalacat Airfield in the Philippines and died in a special (suicide) attack on October 25, 1944:

Like the southern sea
Though this body comes to an end
If I imagine spring
Several years later

This poem is a tanka, a Japanese poem with 31 total syllables arranged with five lines of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables.

The above poem is inscribed on a monument in an area behind the Miyazaki Special Attack Base Monument. The monument has a plaque on its base with the following explanation:

The Shikishima Squadron, at the forefront of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps, became the world's first official human bombs. On October 25, 1944, he died for an eternal cause and became a cornerstone of world peace.

Flight Leading Seaman Hajime Nagamine in the 4th plane of the Shikishima Squadron was born on April 1, 1925, in Sumiyoshi Village (now part of Miyazaki City) as the eldest son of Mansaku and Sute Nagamine. He died in a special attack at the age of 19. He received a special promotion to Navy Flight Warrant Officer and was conferred the designation as a great war hero who received the Order of the Golden Kite 5th Class and the Order of the Rising Sun 7th Class Green Paulownia Medal.

April 1996
Nagamine War Hero Support Association

The area around the Miyazaki Special Attack Base Monument also has a plaque with the names of 42 men in the Navy and 22 men in the Army from Miyazaki Prefecture who died in special attacks. The name of Hajime Nagamine is the first one listed in the Navy's section on the plaque.

Hajime Nagamine entered the Navy in 1942 at the age of 17. His history in the Navy is summarized below [1]:

May 1942 - Joined Sasebo 2nd Kaiheidan (Sailor Corps)

August 1942 - Served aboard destroyer Hatsuharu

December 1942 - Joined Mie Naval Air Group as Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training Program) trainee

March 1943 - Joined Yatabe Naval Air Group as flight trainee

September 1943 - Joined Tokushima Air Group for fighter training

January 1944 - Graduated and became Flight Superior Seaman, transferred to Tsuiki Naval Air Group

February 1944 - Deployed south (of Japan)

May 1944 - Promoted to Flight Leading Seaman

October 25, 1944 - Died when made sortie as member of Kamikaze Special Attack Corps

Nagamine Farewell Poem Monument
in same area as Miyazaki Special Attack Base Monument

The Miyazaki Prefecture Gokoku Jinja in Miyazaki City also has a Nagamine Farewell Poem Monument. The poem and the information plaque are located one above the other in the same way as the monument near the Miyazaki Special Attack Base Monument. The information plaque on the Miyazaki Prefecture Gokoku Jinja monument's base has a few more words near the end. It states that a certificate and short sword were received (by his family). The Nagamine Farewell Poem Monument at Miyazaki Prefecture Gokoku Jinja was erected on October 21, 1996.

Nagamine Farewell Poem Monument
at Miyazaki Prefecture Gokoku Jinja

Poem translated by Bill Gordon
July 2017

Source of Photo at Top of Page

The photo at the top of the page was taken at the Kamikaze Special Attack Museum at Naramoto Jinja in Saijō City, Ehime Prefecture.


1. Kamikaze Tokkō Shikishima-tai 1975, 37.

Source Cited

Kamikaze Tokkō Shikishima-tai Go Gunshin Hōsankai (Kamikaze Special Attack Shikishima Squadron Five War Heroes Support Association). 1975. Shikishima-tai go gunshin no shirube (Guide to Shikishima Squadron five war heroes). Privately published by Naramoto Jinja.

Portrait of Hajime Nagamine by Daniel Dizon
(at Dizon Kamikaze Museum
at Angeles City, Philippines)