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Nango Human Torpedo Kaiten Training Site Monument
Nichinan City, Miyazaki Prefecture

The 33rd Totsugeki Unit, made up of the 3rd, 5th, 9th, and 10th Kaiten Squadrons, deployed 26 kaiten human torpedoes to the east coast of Miyazaki Prefecture starting in the spring of 1945. In preparation for the possible Allied invasion of the Japanese mainland, the Navy gave priority to establishment of land bases (with kaiten human torpedoes and shinyo explosive motorboats) that faced the Bungo Straits on the coasts of Miyazaki and Kochi Prefectures.

The headquarters for the 33rd Totsugeki Unit and the base for the 3rd Kaiten Squadron with nine kaiten human torpedoes were located in Aburatsu, which is now part of Nichinan City. The 5th Kaiten Squadron, which trained at Otsushima Kaiten Base in Yamaguchi Prefecture, had seven kaiten at its base in Nango Town, also now a part of Nichinan City. The commander of the 5th Kaiten Squadron was Hiroyuki Nagami, a reserve officer who had attended the Navy's Torpedo School. The six squadron members were in the 13th Ko Class of the Yokaren (Naval Flight Training Program). Four came from Nara Air Group, and two were from Tsuchiura Air Group.

The 9th Kaiten Squadron from Hikari Kaiten Base in Yamaguchi Prefecture had six kaiten human torpedoes at its base in Uchiumi, now in the southern part of Miyazaki City. The 10th Kaiten Squadron with four kaiten was formed at Otsushima Kaiten Base on August 14, 1945, but never reached its destination of Odotsu, now part of Nichinan City, before the end of the war.

A monument to the 33rd Totsugeki Unit was erected in 1968 on the coast of Nango facing the island of Oshima. The monument stands a short distance from the Nango Michi no Eki (Roadside Rest Stop), which provides a magnificent view of the sea and extends into the forested hills with walking trails. The monument base has the following inscription:

This location is the sea where formerly crewmen of the 33rd Totsugeki Unit, concerned about the fate of our country, kept up rigorous training.

As the years have gone by with changing fortunes, we celebrate the magnificent scenery of the Nichinan Kaigan (Coast) Quasi-National Park. In the outline of these islands, we remember the traces of the blood-stained rigorous training of the precious young men who yearned for victory in the Greater East Asia War and who valued eternal peace.

We erect this monument as we cherish the memories of our comrades who died for their country and as we pray for everlasting peace.

The back of the monument gives the erection date as August 15, 1968, by the Kaiyu Association. It also indicates that Yoshimitsu Yano wrote the monument's words.

The men of the 33rd Totsugeki Unit ended the war without any kaiten human torpedo ever making a sortie against enemy ships.

The coast of Miyazaki Prefecture also had several bases for shinyo explosive motorboats to make suicide attacks on enemy ships if they approached the shore. These shinyo bases included ones at Odotsu, Hososhima, and Totoro.


The historical information on this web page about the 33rd Totsugeki Unit is from pages 331-4 of the following book:

Konada, Toshiharu, and Noriaki Kataoka. 2006. Tokkou kaiten sen: Kaiten tokkoutai taichou no kaisou (Special attack kaiten battles: Kaiten special attack corps leader's reminiscences). Tokyo: Kojinsha.


View of island of Oshima from coast next to
Nango Human Torpedo Kaiten Training Site Monument