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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 Kagoshima Prefecture.

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.

  

Tokko Jinja
(Special Attack Shrine)

  

Entrance to Tokko Jinja