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Nine War Gods Monument
Ikata Town, Ehime Prefecture

The pilots for the five two-man midget submarines used in the attack on Pearl Harbor trained at a secret naval submarine base at Mitsukue Bay, which had similar geographical characteristics as Pearl Harbor.

In August 1966, Seto Town (part of Ikata Town since 2005) erected a monument next to Mitsukue Bay in Suga Park to remember the nine young men who lost their lives in the midget submarine attack at Pearl Harbor. The tenth crewman, Kazuo Sakamaki, was captured as the first Japanese prisoner of war when his submarine ran aground. The front of the monument has the following inscription, "Greater East Asia War Nine War Gods Monument." The back of the monument has the names of the nine men and the following inscription:

Ah, the nine war gods, who loyally and bravely died for their country as a foundation for peace, attacked Pearl Harbor before dawn on December 8, 1941 [1], as the vanguard of the Greater East Asia War. As characteristic of the first suicide squadron, they achieved brilliant military results. Also, our air force took a thunderous first step. With the heroic joint action by sea and air, it became an unparalleled major battle at the beginning of the war. The nine war gods calmly shared the fate of their boats and bravely went to die in the depths of the harbor. Mitsukue Bay, as Japan's Pearl Harbor of the time, became a special submarine training base for many brave men who resigned themselves of one mind and one flesh to their fates of certain death. It was a secluded area with no admittance in which they cried out with a loud voice to the sea gods. When the exploits and names of the nine war gods were announced, their bold and glorious final time in silence was admired, and the people of Mitsukue were moved to tears. The nine war gods and the brave young men who died in Madagascar, Sydney, and other places who were young cherry blossoms had many personal stories and heroic tales in connection with Mitsukue that flowered all at once. Mitsukue Bay, saddened more by the military literature than the songs about the young men, has now changed its view from a Pearl Harbor of war to a Pearl Harbor of peace. Japan and America are now connected with pearls, and there is a beautiful peace between them with the number of tourists gradually increasing. The nine war gods became victims of war and now have become a cornerstone of peace. As a peaceful country for the people under a constitution of peace with renunciation of war, we are vigorously making progress. Ah, the sweet fragrance of those heroes who protected our country. Volunteers in Seto Town collected donations from many people to erect a monument in this place connected to the war gods' history and to honor their distinguished service. May the spirits of the nine war gods rest in peace forever.

A metal plaque in front of the monument shows photos of the nine men and has the following explanation:

This monument was erected in order to remember the nine war gods who died on December 8, 1941, as the vanguard for the Greater East Asia War in a suicide squadron that attacked Hawaii's Pearl Harbor.

The war gods, before going to battle, stayed in this area in order to receive top-secret training, since Mitsukue Bay was selected as having characteristics similar to Pearl Harbor. They also developed close relations with the people of the same area. Even now the townspeople have personal stories and heroic tales about them.

The nine posts in back of this explanatory plaque represent the number of spirits of the war gods.

A Gekkō night fighter propeller, found at the bottom of Mitsukue Bay in 1988, is displayed to the right of the Nine War Gods Monument.

Iwamiya Ryokan, an inn located a couple of blocks from Mitsukue Bay, used to have men from the submarine base stay and eat there. The inn now has a display case in the entrance area with photos, copies of letters, newspaper articles, books, and other historical material related to the nine men who died as part of the midget submarine attack on Pearl Harbor. Individual photos of the nine men are shown near the ceiling above the display case.


Nine War Gods display case
at Iwamiya Ryokan near Mitsukue Bay

Note

1. This date is based on Japanese time, since the date based on the time in Hawaii was December 7, 1941.