I will die in a special attack:
Yokaren writings (1973)
Last Letter of Flight Petty Officer 2nd Class Masamitsu Takahashi
Sometime between 0620 and 0625 on April 16, 1945, Flight Petty Officer 2nd Class Masamitsu Takahashi took
off from Kushira Air Base as radio operator/gunner in a Type 97 Carrier Attack
Bomber (Allied code name of Kate) carrying a 800-kg bomb and died in a special
(suicide) attack west of Okinawa at the age of 20. He was a member of the
Kamikaze Special Attack Corps Kōka Squadron from Hyakurihara
Naval Air Group in Ibaraki Prefecture. He was from Aichi Prefecture and was a
member of the 12th Kō Class of the Navy's Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training
He wrote the following final letter with a death poem in tanka form
(31-syllable poem with lines of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables):
At last the day that had to come has come. Tomorrow at noon I will crash
dive in an attack.
To Grandmother first and everyone, be in high spirits.
My hair grew until now.
Please give my regards to Father.
Shinshū  is indestructible, and heaven and earth are eternal.
In pressing crisis
Before Hachiman Shrine
I make vow
Emperor and country
Kamikaze will protect
Wake Unit Usa Hachiman Goō
 1st to board (It's true)
Letter and poem translated by Bill Gordon
The letter and poem come from Orihara
(1973, 309-10). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from
Orihara (1973, 309) and Osuo (2005, 223).
1. Shinshū refers to Japan and literally means
2. Two Type 97 Carrier Attack Bombers from the 3rd
Hachiman Goō Squadron from Usa Naval Air Group took off from Kushira at the
same time as four Type 97 Carrier Attack Bombers of the Kōka Squadron from
Hyakurihara Naval Air Group (Osuo 2005, 218, 223), so this most likely explains
the reference to "Waki Unit Usa Hachiman Goō."
Orihara, Noboru, comp. 1973. Ware tokkō ni shisu: Yokaren no
ikō (I will die in a special attack: Yokaren (Preparatory Flight
Training Program) writings). Tōkyō: Keizai Ōraisha.
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (kaigun
hen) (Record of special attack corps (Navy)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.