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Shiro Oka

 
Aa tokkou wakazakura (Ah, young special attack cherry blossom)
Performed by Shiro Oka
Written by Yoshimori Uchi
Composed by Hironobu Dohi
Music arranged by Yasukatsu Ikeda
From Tokkou no haha: Heiwa e no inori (Tokko mother: prayer for peace)
King Record Co., 1987, Audiocassette

Below is an English translation of a Japanese enka song by a fictional kamikaze (special attack [1]) pilot before his final mission.

Asleep against your tender breast
A lullaby faintly heard
Since the day I was born into this world
Until today, thank you very much
Mother, thanks for your kindness

My dear younger brothers I wanted to see
In the future do your best
In all ways for our parents
I ask that in my place
You become fine, fine men

(spoken) Tomorrow at last I will dive on an enemy ship. Even though the bomb explosion from my fated special attack plane will be thunderous, I go to die with a peaceful heart severing all attachments. Father, Mother, and Younger Brothers and Sisters, I am going now.

Even though I am shattered and vanish
In skies of a strange land
My immortal spirit
Will always be by you Father and Mother
Watching over you in happiness

Note

1. The Japanese word meaning "special attack" is tokkou (or often shown as tokko), which a Japanese euphemism for "suicide attack." Kamikaze pilots were part of Japan's tokkotai (Special Attack Corps).

Translated by Bill Gordon
December 2007