Akita Special Attack Corps Monument
Akita City, Akita Prefecture
Takeo Masutani, President of Tsubasa Kōgyō Corporation, erected this monument
in 1992. Masutani entered the Japanese Navy as a volunteer in May 1944. He was assigned
to the Kawatana Totsugeki Squadron of the 3rd Special Attack Unit that was formed
at Ōmura Bay in Nagasaki Prefecture in May 1945. He gave sendoffs for special
(suicide) attack sorties that happened what seemed like almost every day. With his own sortie finally
close at hand, the war ended.
After Masutani returned to his hometown of Akita City at the end of the war, he let bereaved
families know the news about his many friends who died in battle. He respected
the great achievements of those who had died in battle during special attacks.
Through his own efforts in order to honor those who died in special attacks, he published with his
own funds a listing of those who died in battle and distributed this to bereaved
families. Also, he worked to publicize their deeds by collecting numerous
wartime photos and personal stories and putting them into a book.
The front of the main monument has the following inscription:
Special Attack Corps Monument
Ah, let their unswerving loyalty shine to all ages
and let the significance of the Greater East Asia War live again forever
The back of the monument lists the 56 men from Akita Prefecture who died in
special attacks with each one's name, rank, age at death, and hometown engraved
in the stone.
On the left side of the walkway approaching the monument, there are two
display boards with photos and other information about the Pacific War, special
attacks in general, and the 56 Special Attack Corps members from Akita
Prefecture who died in battle. See bottom of this page for the photo of Ensign
Makoto Horie, an ōka (rocket-powered glider bomb) pilot from Akita City.
On the right side of the walkway approaching the main monument, there is a
smaller monument with the following inscription:
Significance of Greater East Asia War
As was made known in the Imperial edict of declaration of war, the
Greater East Asia War was a great war to defend our country and to open up
Asia. The fighting with Europe and the United States, who had threatened our
country from the Edo Period, began with the battle in Hawaii on December 8,
1941. With expansion of battle lines throughout the Pacific Ocean, South
Seas, Indian Ocean, and Solomon Islands, the attrition of weapons and troops
was severe. As odds were against us in the war situation, Japan faced a
life-and-death crisis. Young men who burned with patriotic zeal now turned
themselves into bombs knowing that there was no other way to save the
country other than to attack and sink one ship with one plane. Their
bomb-carrying planes dove into enemy ships one after another, and they gave
their lives as cherry blossoms on many branches. The following shows the
affiliations of the 4,037 great loyal men:
Navy Kamikaze Special Attack Corps - 2,525 men
Special Submarines - 28 men
Underwater Torpedo Kaiten Special Attack Corps - 80 men
Army Flight Special Attack Corps - 1,404 men
Among all the young men of 22 or 23 years of age, there were quite a few
teenage youths. These heroes, brimming with youthful ardor, bravely faced
death. They shouted out "banzai" to the Emperor and "banzai" to the Empire
of Japan. They were shattered as jewels praying for the safety of their
parents and fellow countrymen of their birthplace. Not sparing their lives
for a worthy cause, the sure-death sure-kill body-crashing attacks dealt
severe blows to the enemy and astonished the world. However, the United States committed the most atrocious acts in history
when atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At the same time,
the Soviet Union, who conspired against us, broke the Japanese-Soviet
Neutrality Pact and invaded Manchuria, South Karafuto, and Kurile Islands.
When there were almost 100 million persons for special attacks if the
decisive battle for the homeland came to pass, the Showa Emperor rendered a
decision to end the war. On August 15, 1945, in tears they finally brought
to a close their bonds together in the anticipated battle of special
attacks. Japan had lost. However, that war's objective was accomplished. That is to
say, white domination of Asia, Africa, and Oceania completely collapsed due
to the Greater East Asia War, and more than 100 independent nations were
born. The faithful Special Attack Corps members who died in battle displayed
the true meaning of the Japanese spirit by performing acts of benevolence at
the sacrifice of themselves. Their complete patriotic devotion shines for
all ages in human history and ended forever in the defense of their
homeland. Ah, we remember their spirits and erect this monument on the Shōwa
Emperor's Birthday to honor them forever.
Tsubasa Kōgyō Corporation
President Takeo Masutani
Erected on April 29, 1992
10th Ko Class of Navy's Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training Program)
Naval Ensign Makoto Horie (20 years of age)
Died in battle on June 22, 1945 (from Akita City)
He was one of four members of the 10th Kamikaze Ōka
Corps Jinrai Butai Ōka Squadron.
He piloted an ohka rocket-powered bomb
toward an enemy ship
near Okinawa and carried out a body-crashing attack.
The Akita Special Attack Corps Monument stands on the grounds of
Sōsha Shrine in Akita City.