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Tome Torihama Monument
erected in 2007

Tome Torihama Monument
Minamikyushu City, Kagoshima Prefecture

Tome Torihama, who operated Tomiya Restaurant in the small town of Chiran during WWII, often chatted with pilots who visited her restaurant from nearby Chiran Army Air Base. She watched sadly from March to June 1945 as many young men she knew personally took off from Chiran toward Okinawa on suicide missions.

Chiran has two monuments to remember Tome Torihama, one erected in 2007 and the other in 1981.

On October 3, 2007, a monument dedicated to Tome Torihama was unveiled in a ceremony attended by Shintaro Ishihara, the nationalist Tokyo Governor who produced and wrote the screenplay for the 2007 film entitled Ore wa kimi no tame ni koso shini ni iku (I go to die for you) about Torihama and kamikaze pilots from Chiran. The film is also known by its English title For Those We Love. Taku Shinjo, the film's director, and Akihisa Torihama, grandson of Tome Torihama and Director of the Hotaru Museum in Chiran, also attended the unveiling ceremony. 

The Tome Torihama Monument stands in front of the Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots. The monument's top black section has the shape of an aircraft tail.

The plaque on the bottom front of the monument has the following inscription:

Young men of the Special Attack Corps, who lived to the fullest through their short youth and gave their lives, called Tome Torihama "mother" and loved her dearly. She as owner of Tomiya Restaurant was a Bodhisattva, who appears in this world from time to time to give relief to others.

Shintaro Ishihara

A Bodhisattva is a Buddhist term for someone who is motivated by pure kindness and love and who compassionately refrains from nirvana in order to serve others.

The top front of the monument shows a photo of Tome Torihama standing with six kamikaze pilots.


Tome Torihama with kamikaze pilots

The back side of the Tome Torihama Monument has the following inscription:

Production Committee of film Ore wa kimi no tame ni koso shini ni iku (I go to die for you)
Erected on September 10, 2007

The photo below shows the tall monument erected in 1981 to honor Tome Torihama. This monument also stands near the Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots and to the right of the sidewalk that leads to the Chiran Special Attack Peace Kannon Temple.


Tome Torihama Monument
erected in 1981

The plaque near the bottom of the monument erected in 1981 has the following inscription:

Accolade

Tokko (Special Attack) Mother
Tome Torihama

Cherry blossoms who bloomed for us
So they could give their lives
Despite their deaths
They turned out to be admirable

Erected April 1981
Hayami Nuruki, Chiran Town Mayor

Donated by
Sangikyo Corporation
Sanwa Engineering Company, Ltd.