Last Letter of Sergeant Major Ichidō Hara to His Mother
On May 3, 1945, Sergeant Major Ichidō  Hara took off from Karenkō Airfield in
Taiwan and died in a special (suicide) attack off Kadena on the west coast
of Okinawa at the age of 26. He was a member of the 17th Hikō Sentai (Flying
Regiment) and piloted an Army Hien Type 3 Fighter (Allied code name of Tony). After his death in a
special attack, he received a promotion to Second Lieutenant. He was from Nagano
Prefecture and was in the 91st Class of Non-Commissioned Officer Cadets for
He wrote the following final letter:
Finally I will fall as a member of the honored Special Attack Corps of
the skies. Please forgive me for my lack of filial piety during my life. I gladly do it as I live for an eternal cause.
I think that seeking honor and giving one's life are a soldier's
accomplishments. I will die honorably in battle as a man and as a soldier.
Please admire this.
I have enclosed also some small things. I already requested that my
personal effects and other items all be arranged and sent to you. After my death, all of the money and other things will be sent to you.
Please give them to Older Brother Takeo, my other brothers and sisters, and
Older Sister Isoe according to need.
After you who are young die, please have Older Brother Takeo take responsibility
Mother, please be well and give my regards to everyone. Mother, banzai.
April 24, 1945
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter and biographical information on this page come from Chiran Tokkō
Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 122, 181) and Osuo (2005, 213).
1. The given name of 一道 can be pronounced as
either Ichidō or Kazumichi. It could not be determined what is the correct
pronunciation of his name, so the more common one of Ichidō was selected for
Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (Chiran Special Attack
Memorial Society), ed. 2005. Konpaku no kiroku: Kyū rikugun tokubetsu
kōgekitai chiran kichi (Record of departed spirits: Former Army Special
Attack Corps Chiran Base). Revised edition, originally published in 2004. Chiran Town, Kagoshima
Prefecture: Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai.
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (rikugun hen)
(Record of special attack corps (Army)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.