Arari Never Forget Monument
Nishiizu Town, Shizuoka Prefecture
The Never Forget Monument was erected on May 27, 1975, to the right of the torii
gate at the entrance of Taniya Jinja (Shrine) in Arari, now part of Nishiizu
Town, on the west coast of the Izu Peninsula. The veterans association of the
6th Yokaren (Navy Preparatory Flight Training Program) Class from
Air Base in Aichi Prefecture coordinated erection of this monument.
A plaque on the monument's base gives the following account (translated from
Never Forget Monument
The Yokaren, which displayed invincible air superiority and became the
mainstay of the Navy's air power in the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and
the sea battle off the Malay Coast at the beginning of the Greater East Asia
War, was a shortened name for the Kaigun Hikō Yoka
Renshūsei (Navy Flight Preparatory Trainees), namely the Kaigun Shōnen
Hikōhei (Navy Youth Airmen).
We always have firmly maintained the traditional
Yokaren spirit as we endured rigorous training and participated in decisive
battles as the enemy drew near to the mainland and as special (suicide)
attack squadrons were formed.
If we look back at more than 50 days of training,
we saw here a village with a beautiful Japanese spirit. We transferred to
this place where warm-hearted people lived next to deep green mountains and
a clear sea.
Even though we might have gone up in flames and died
for our country, never forgetting the hometown of our heart, we promised to
return someday after many months and years.
Now we, together with villagers who lived here during
the war, erect the Never Forget Monument and dedicate it to our friends who
became the foundation for our country's defense. We pray that they may rest
in peace in this village forever.
A stone plaque at the bottom of the monument has the following poem in three
Considering the past, for the decisive battle
Much hard fighting together
Happily remembering the town of Arari
We visit here often
Overcoming the harsh postwar period
In the changing world, unchanging
Our firm pledge, Yokaren
Sworn friends, several dozen here
Warm affection in our young days
Of persons living purely next to mountains and sea
Never forgetting, from the bottom of our hearts
We erect here the Never Forget Monument
A second monument, erected in 2002, just behind the Never Forget Monument,
has the following poem:
Battle cry of Yokaren trainees, blood cherry blossoms
Calls the flower petals to the sea off Arari
The information on the two monuments does not make clear exactly what the Yokaren
trainees did at Arari Village. The back of the monument erected in 2002 states
that Yokaren trainees were billeted in the villagers' houses from April 6 to
June 8, 1945, which is slightly inconsistent with the "more than 50 days"
mentioned on the plaque of the Never Forget Monument. A few Japanese sources
mention that tunnels were built at Arari Harbor for shinyo explosive motorboats
or kaiten human torpedoes, but there is no mention that the Navy ever assigned a shinyo or kaiten
squadron to Arari.
Never Forget Monument to right of
torii gate at entrance of Taniya Jinja (Shrine)