in front of museum
Yokaren refers to the Japanese Naval Preparatory Flight Training Program started in 1930. About 80 percent of
Yokaren graduates died in battle during World II ,
graduates participated in kamikaze operations near the end of the war.
Kiichi Kawano, who
entered the Yokaren in 1942 and become a Kamikaze Special Attack Corps member near the
end of the war, established the Yokaren
Museum in Oita City in 1988. Kawano's son Kōji, who lives in the Tokyo area, created a
museum web site
in 1996 with history and details of the Yokaren. The web site was redesigned in
2006, and some new information has been added.
This web site not only features the museum's exhibits but also includes
additional information about the Yokaren, wartime experiences, and kamikaze
operations. The site has photos of museum
exhibits, several last letters of kamikaze pilots, and comments from museum
All information on the site is in Japanese. One web site section has several essays on wartime experiences written by men trained in the Yokaren.
These essays come from a book published by Kiichi Kawano with the title of Yokaren no gunzō: Moto shōnen
kōkūhei no kiroku (Yokaren group: Record of former Navy youth pilots)
(1995). Visitors to the web site can post messages or send an e-mail with a question if an answer has not already been posted on the page for
Frequently Asked Questions, many of which deal with topics related to the
The yard outside the museum has a
monument dedicated to men of the
Yokaren. The web site's top page contains a small image of this same monument.
This focused web site effectively complements the exhibits at the Yokaren
Museum in Oita City by including not only an introduction to the museum's holdings but also
much related material.
1. From inscription on Yokaren Monument in Ami
Town, Ibaraki Prefecture.
Oita-ken Yūhikai, ed. 1995. Yokaren no gunzō: Moto shōnen
kōkūhei no kiroku (Yokaren group: Record of former Navy youth pilots).
Oita City: Kiichi Kawano.