Kamikaze Pilot Statue (Izumi Tokko Jinja)
Izumi City, Kagoshima Prefecture
A bronze statue of a kamikaze pilot stands on a 15-foot concrete arch with a
plaque that says "Distant South." The statue is located at the Tokko
Jinja (Special Attack Shrine) at the former Izumi Naval Air Base in
A plaque next to the statue give the history of the shrine:
This jinja (Shinto shrine) was built for the protecting gods of the Izumi
Naval Air Group established on April 1943. When this same Air Group later
became the Izumi Base Special Attack Corps, kamikaze pilots making a sortie
would pray for success of the mission at this shrine. At the end of World War
II, the Air Group dissolved. The shrine was neglected, and cedars were planted
on the ruins of the site. In 1990, the jinja's foundation was uncovered during
housing construction. The founding worshippers bought the lot and built the
Tokko Jinja (Special Attack Shrine) in order to worship the spirits of
those who fell in battle as members of the Special Attack Corps.
The Tokko Jinja is on a small lot in a residential area. During a visit on
July 7, 2005, the shrine showed need of upkeep with brush scattered around, tall
weeds growing on the paths, and some areas in disrepair.
The back part of the shrine area has a shelter with some
displays of general reference information about the Special Attack Corps. However,
no details are provided on what role Izumi Air Base played in kamikaze attacks.
A stone monument next to the shrine entrance has the following inscription:
During World War II in order to protect our country Japan, over 100 brave
young men who were training as part of the Izumi Second Naval Air Group met
heroic deaths at Izumi Naval Air Base on April 17 and 18, 1945.
Praying that they will rest in eternal peace, we build this monument and
inscribe here the names of the known war dead.
The bottom section of this stone monument has only 44 engraved names. These
men died when the base was bombed on April 17 and 18, 1945.
Memorial services are held each year at Tokko Jinja in the spring on March 18
and in the fall on November 5.
Izumi Special Attack Monument Park is
located a short distance down the street from the Tokko Jinja.
(Special Attack Shrine)
Entrance to Tokko Jinja