Last Letter of Ensign Setsurō Asou to His Mother
At 1413 on April 29, 1945, Ensign Setsurō Asou took off
from Kanoya Air Base and died in a special (suicide) east of the northern end of
Okinawa at the age of 24. He was a member of the 4th Tsukuba Special Attack
Squadron. He flew a Zero fighter carrying a 250-kg bomb. He grew up in Fukuoka
Prefecture and was a student at Waseda University . He was a member of the 14th
Class of the Navy's Flight Reserve Students.
He wrote the following final letter:
The season of spring green has arrived. I trust that you are doing well.
I was relieved after deciding about Takako. There was a letter of consent
from my older brother Koga. In the quick reply, I wrote that I think that it
is best to do as soon as possible.
The fighting has become more and more intense, and astounding deeds
surely have arrived. I am living only for an eternal cause.
There is no way
to apologize repeatedly to you for my lack of filial piety.
Please open the sealed letter that I left at the household shrine on the
occasion when I entered the Navy the year before last. Together with it,
there is a diary that I wrote in those days.
I am praying that you take good care of yourself and that you have good
health for many years in the future.
Finally, I want to tell you that there is nothing related to money loans
Please tell Shiroto and Matsu also that I am praying that they will enjoy
happiness for many more years.
Please tell everyone in the neighborhood association that I request them
to please accept my apologies.
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter and biographical information on this page come from Kanoya Kōkū
Kichi Shiryōkan Renraku Kyōgikai (2003, 59).
1. Osuo 2005, 198.
Kanoya Kōkū Kichi Shiryōkan Renraku Kyōgikai (Kanoya Naval
Air Base Museum Coordinating Committee). 2003. Kokoro no sakebi (Cries
of the heart). Kanoya, Kagoshima Prefecture: Kanoya Kōkū Kichi Shiryōkan
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (kaigun
hen) (Record of special attack corps (Navy)). Tokyo: Kōjinsha.