Shōdoshima Special Submarine Monument
Shōdoshima Town, Kagawa Prefecture
Shōdoshima, an island one hour by ferry from Takamatsu City in Kagawa
Prefecture, had a midget submarine base in Uchinomi Town, which
merged with another town to become Shōdoshima Town in March 2006. The Japanese Navy used the
general term tokushu senkōtei (special submarines) for midget submarines,
Uchinomi Bay on Shōdoshima was the site of a Navy base for five-man Kōryū
The Special Submarine Monument (see right) stands near the top of Miyayama, a hill overlooking Uchinomi Bay. The front of the monument has inscribed the names of
the 17 men from the base who died during WWII. The monument's backside gives the
During the height of the Greater East Asia War on May 2, 1945, the Navy
established a special submarine base here at Uchinomi Bay. This unit's
headquarters was put in Shōdoshima Junior High School. The men trained day and night to prepare for the impending final battle to defend
On July 22 of the same year, nine men under Lieutenant Commander Ikuma
died in battle when hit by shells in an air attack on the surface of the sea
near Sakate Bay. On August 2, squadron leader Lieutenant Junior Grade
Horikawa and five other men died when they struck a mine in Harimanada Bay.
On August 8, Lieutenant Junior Grade Yamanaka and another man died when hit
by machine-gun fire while off Megamimaruya Island. However, the men at the
base with spirits full of vigor somehow bore up well, and they waited until
the time when they would rouse themselves to action.
Suddenly the decree to end of the war was received, but somehow it seemed
impossible to do this. Commander Ōtani gave comforting words to his
chagrined officers and men who fought back tears. He dismissed the men at
the base so that they would do their best to build a peaceful country as
incomparable countrymen who now had ended their wartime duties.
We erect this monument here with the desire to pass down forever to
posterity the sweet fragrance of these war dead heroes.
In 1971, a plaque (see photo at bottom of page) was erected close to the Special Submarine Monument. On top of the plaque is a stone model of a Kōryū
special submarine. The plaque gives the following history:
View from hill where Shōdoshima Special Submarine
Monument is located
This monument honors Shōdoshima Special Attack Base war dead who gave
their lives in 1945 during the late stages of the Pacific War. The monument
was built in Furue, a place connected to the base. In the
early spring of 1962, it was moved to the present location on Miyayama with
the warm cooperation of Uchinomi Town authorities and the Uchinomi Hachiman
Shrine chief priest.
Memorial services for the war dead continued to be held by bereaved
family members and persons related to the former base unit with the late
Toramitsu Yoshioka playing a leading role. Recently these war dead have had
the blessing of being remembered together with the spirits of the Uchinomi
Shōkonsha (Shrine) at the regular ceremonies held there.
At this place we bereaved family members and persons related to the
former base unit express together our profound gratitude for the kindness of
various individuals. We place here a carved model of a special submarine in
which the war dead gave their lives so that it may tell future generations
of their brave spirits. We pray that they may rest in peace forever.
August 15, 1971
Erected by persons associated with special submarines
Miyayama has several other monuments near to the Special Submarine Monument
including a large one to remember the young men from Shōdoshima who died in
Burma during WWII
Plaque about Special Submarine Monument
with Kōryū midget submarine model on top