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Kin Shinyo Monument
Kin Town, Okinawa Prefecture

This small monument erected in 1971 honors the 74 men of the 22nd Shinyo Special Attack Squadron who died in battle. It stands in front of the Public Hall in Kin Town a short distance from Kin Bay. Shinyo, which means "ocean shaker," were two-man Navy motorboats with 250-kg explosive charges that were deployed in special attack (suicide) operations.

The front of the monument has five large kanji (Chinese characters) meaning "Kin Monument for Repose of Souls," which can be shortened to "Kin Monument." The characters were written by Sogen Asahina, Chief Priest at Enkakuji Temple in Kamakura at the time of the monument's erection, and his name is shown below the five large kanji. The backside of the monument has the following words engraved, "August 1971, praying for peace, the Kin Association (22nd Shinyo Special Attack Squadron Toyohiro Unit) erects this."

In back of the monument to the right, there is black plaque put up in 2003 with the following inscription:

This monument for repose of souls honors the spirits of the 74 members of the 22nd Shinyo Special Attack Squadron (Toyohiro Unit) stationed at Kin who died in battle.

On January 26, 1945, the main part of this special attack squadron was stationed at Koa Meeting Hall (now Kin Public Hall). Each day intense attack training took place at the beach before the hall (now Blue Beach), which served as a launch base to the front line.

At the end of March 1945, as American ships approached Okinawa, the squadron several times mounted attacks against American ships near Okinawa and caused considerable damage. After the American Army's landing, the squadron switched to land battles and carried out night attacks while entrenched in the mountains of the northern part of the island. However, without weapons to fight, without food, many of our comrades eventually took their own precious lives.

This monument was erected through the efforts of Squadron Commander Toyohiro and other survivors.

July 2003
Kin Town Association for Bereaved Families of War Dead

At the end of October 1944, the 22nd Shinyo Special Attack Squadron was formed at Kawatana Torpedo Boat Training School in Nagasaki Prefecture. On March 14, 1945, a B-24 Liberator heavy bomber made a surprise attack while the squadron was training at Kin Bay. The attack killed 18 men and destroyed 10 shinyo motorboats [1]. After this, the squadron carried out a total of three sorties [2]. Although Tokkotai Senbotsusha (1990, 250-1) lists the names of the 74 members of the 22nd Shinyo Special Attack Squadron who were killed in special (suicide) attacks, the listing does not provide the dates of their deaths. About 30 former squadron members attended the unveiling of the Kin Shinyo Monument [3].

Notes

1. Tokkotai Senbotsusha 1990, 109

2. Tokkotai Senbotsusha 1990, 373

3. Kimata (1998, 271) provides this information regarding the unveiling ceremony, but this source indicates that Kin Shinyo Monument was erected in 1969 rather than 1971, the year shown on the back side of the monument.

Sources Cited

Kimata, Jiro. 1998. Nihon tokkoutei senshi (History of Japan's special attack boats). Tokyo: Kojinsha.

Tokkotai Senbotsusha Irei Heiwa Kinen Kyoukai (Tokkotai Commemoration Peace Memorial Association). 1990. Tokubetsu Kougekitai (Special Attack Corps). Tokyo: Tokkotai Senbotsusha Irei Heiwa Kinen Kyoukai.