Site of Special Attack
121st Shinyo Squadron
Hososhima Shinyo Monument
Hyuga City, Miyazaki Prefecture
The wooden post (see left side of photo) and explanatory signs were set up in 1993
to remember the 121st Shinyo Squadron stationed near the entrance of Hososhima
Harbor. They are built on the side of a hill at the former site of a tunnel used to
store shinyo explosive motorboats.
The right sign has a drawing of a shinyo motorboat with an enemy warship, the
boat's intended target, in the background. The sign to the left of the drawing gives the
following history of the 121st Shinyo Squadron:
Here in this area of Hososhima and Mihokogaura is the site where 188 members
of the 121st Shinyo Squadron under the command of Lieutenant Junior Grade Kota
Fujioka constructed a base and dug tunnels for 25 shinyo boats that were Navy
tokko (special attack) weapons. They did this in May 1945 when the Pacific War
situation became grave in order to save the country in its time of crisis
through their deaths. They devoted themselves to training day and night and
waited for their time to sortie.
The Model 5 shinyo boat was a motorboat made of plywood with a length of 6.5
meters. It carried 250 kg of explosives in the bow in order to carry out a
body-crashing attack by itself at high speed into an enemy warship. The 54
crewmen who were stationed here included the squadron commander, boat leader,
and young men from only 15 to 18 years old who had trained at the Mie Naval Air
Group Otsu Hiko Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training Program). In addition, base
workers, maintenance workers, and other squadron members who worked at
headquarters provided valuable support to the crewmen.
Later the squadron moved to Kajiki Base (Kagoshima Prefecture). Not having
the opportunity of time, the squadron ended the war with its ardent desire to no
avail. Since then nearly a half century of time has passed. Now having the
earnest support of local residents, we erect a post here at Hiratokobana to commemorate
from the heart this war site on top of one of the boat tunnels. This monument
conveys our sincere desire for eternal peace.
Volunteers from former squadron members
The Hososhima Shinyo Monument is located on the slope behind the restrooms at
the end of the parking lot for Kuroda no Kashin, a small island in Hososhima Bay
that can be reached by a narrow land bridge during low tide.
Shinyo tokko (special attack) sortie
The sign near the ground to the left of the sign with the primary historical
information gives the words of the Shinyo Corps Song composed by Hajime Onda at
Kawatana Training Base on February 23, 1945, and the words of the 35th Arashi
Butai (Unit) Song composed by Jiro Nomura.
Entrance to Hososhima Harbor as
viewed from near the former motorboat tunnels
of the 121st Shinyo Special Attack Squadron
The monument site has not been well maintained. For example,
there is a tattered Japanese flag on a pole behind the information signs. The
wooden post that says "Site of Special Attack 121st Shinyo Squadron Hososhima
Base" is leaning. There is no path to the monument, so someone wanting to
read the information signs needs to climb up the slope to get there.