Chiran no haha: hotaru (Chiran mother: Firefly)
Performed by Fumiko Utagawa
Written and composed by Mitsusaburō Teppō
From Chiran no haha: hotaru; Kaiten no haha: Ningen gyorai (Chiran
mother: Firefly; Kaiten mother: Human torpedo)
Nayutawave Records, 2001, CD
The historical figures of Tome Torihama, Fumihiro Mitsuyama, and Saburō
Miyagawa serve as sources for this enka song that tells the fictional
story of a Korean Special Attack Corps (tokkōtai) pilot who returns in spirit as a firefly. Below is
an English translation of the song, which includes both sung parts (in bold) and
spoken parts (indented with normal font).
At 2:25 p.m. on April 7, 1945, the battleship Yamato
went to a watery grave. Afterward, were there only taiatari
(suicide) attack squadrons?
Colorful flowers, to Chiran's seas 
Making you go, to those skies
Lives never to return, one more
Kanai: "Tome obasan , good morning."
Tome: "Kanai, it's early in the morning."
Kanai: "Obasan, today I am 17 years old. Since I think
of you as my mother, I came to tell you. Thank you for everything you have done
for me up to now."
Tome: "Today you'll go, won't you?"
Kanai: "For me, Fumihiro Kanai, the day has come to make a splendid
crash-dive attack on an enemy ship. At this farewell please
listen to a song from my home. I will sing it."
Arirang Arirang Arariyo Arirang gogaero neomeoganda 
Tome: "Kanai, you were born in Korea."
These young cherry blossoms that go to be scattered
They hurry on their final journey
With their sacrifice, there is peace
Kanai: "I surely will return to see you. To your
I wail out loudly
A firefly out of season
Kept your promise, to my heart
Tome: "Ah, this firefly is Kanai. He returned as he
promised. He returned. Kanai."
I cry loudly, you went to die with a bomb
An untold number of young lives not forgotten
Even now deeply submerged in Chiran's seas
Sacrifices for a peaceful Japan, these souls, these spirits
Rest in peace forever and forever
Kanai: "Omoni." 
Translated by Bill Gordon
The Japanese Army used Chiran in Kagoshima Prefecture as its
major air base for kamikaze attacks during the Battle of Okinawa. Tome Torihama,
who ran Tomiya Restaurant in Chiran, played the role as second mother to many young kamikaze pilots who visited her restaurant.
The pilot Fumihiro Kanai in the song never existed, but he
has some characteristics of two actual kamikaze pilots who made sorties from
Chiran, Second Lieutenant Fumihiro Mitsuyama and Sergeant Saburō Miyagawa. The 2001 film Hotaru (Firefly) with Ken
Takakura and Yūko Tanaka also has a pilot based on the historical figures of
Mitsuyama and Miyagawa. Mitsuyama sang the Korean song Arirang
to Tome on the night before his special attack mission on May 11, 1945. Miyagawa
promised Tome he would return as a firefly after his kamikaze mission on June 6,
1945, and a firefly did appear at 9 p.m. that day at Tomiya Restaurant.
The song refers to Fumihiro Kanai turning 17 years old. Mitsuyama and
Miyagawa were 24 and 20 years old,
respectively, when they made sorties from Chiran. However, Miyagawa did visit Tome on
his 20th birthday, which took place on the day before his kamikaze mission. The
mention of Kanai being 17 years old may refer to Corporal Yukio Araki, who
was the youngest kamikaze pilot to sortie from Chiran at the age of 17 years and
1. Chiran is an inland town about 15 kilometers
north of the East China Sea. The phrase "Chiran's seas" refers to the sea
between the southern tip of Kagoshima Prefecture and Okinawa, where kamikaze
pilots flew during the Battle of Okinawa.
2. The Japanese word obasan
is used as a term of endearment for middle-aged women.
3. The actual Japanese words are the following:
"ariran ariran arariyo ariran koogeru nomokanda." This
English translation uses a more typical romanization of the beginning of this
Korean song. Arirang refers to a mountain pass in Korea, and the last three words
of "Arirang gogaero neomeoganda" can
be translated as "I am crossing over Arirang Pass."
4. Omoni is the Korean word