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Nagano Special Attack Corps Monument
Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture

Nagano Gokoku Jinja is a Shintō shrine that honors persons from Nagano Prefecture who died in wars to protect the country of Japan. The Special Attack Corps Monument, located on the grounds of Nagano Gokoku Jinja, commemorates men from Nagano Prefecture who died during World War II in special (suicide) attacks carried out in aircraft and boats. The erection of the Special Attack Corps Monument in October 2015 was coordinated by the Tokkōtai Commemoration Peace Memorial Association and the Association to Pass On the Japanese Spirit (Nihonjin no kokoro o tsutaeru kai). Similar monuments have been erected at other shrines throughout Japan such as Ehime Gokoku Jinja, Fukuoka Gokoku Jinja, Saitama Gokoku Jinja, and Tochigi Gokoku Jinja.

The monument has a bronze figure of the front half of a kamikaze pilot standing on a stone pedestal. There is a plaque to the left of the statue with the following inscription:

In the final part of the Greater East Asia War, the Special Attack Corps was formed. Praying for peace and prosperity for the country, they parted from their parents, wives, children, and families when they carried out taiatari (body-crashing) attacks against enemy ships with one plane or one boat. They died in battle as they fought bravely.

There are a total of 160 young men from Nagano Prefecture in both the Army and Navy who died in battle as Special Attack Corps members.

In the city of Matsumoto, there were many Special Attack Corps members who stayed as they waited to make a sortie. They took off from Matsumoto Army Airfield to the front line. Also, they had warm relations with schoolchildren who had evacuated from Setagaya in Tōkyō to Asama Onsen.

These many spirits of the war dead were able to stand up and face courageously the fateful crisis for the country and became a cornerstone for today's peaceful Japan. Here we erect this monument to inscribe forever their noble spirits on the hearts of prefecture residents and to pass on their story to future generations on the 70th anniversary of the war's end.

October 10, 2015
Nagano Prefecture Committee for Erection of Statue of Special Attack Corps Hero

For country
On path of sincerity
Earnestly
Going forward
Yamato [1] spirit

Poem written by Hakugen Akiyama

The plaque on front of the pedestal of the Special Attack Corps Monument reads "Ā tokkō" (Ah, Special Attacks) and "we certainly will never forget you."

The bronze plaque behind the monument has inscribed a long list of donors for the statue to be erected.

Note

1. Yamato is an ancient name for Japan.


Close-up of kamikaze pilot on
Nagano Special Attack Corps Monument