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Last Letter from Flight Petty Officer 2nd Class Seiichi Kosaku to His Parents

Flight Petty Officer 2nd Class Seiichi Kosaku from Toyama Prefecture died at the age of 19 in a special (suicide) attack near Okinawa. On April 16, 1945, he took off from Kokubu No. 2 Air Base piloting a Type 99 Carrier Dive Bomber (Allied code name of Val) as a member of the Navy's Kamikaze Special Attack Corps. He graduated in the 18th Class of the Otsu Flight Training Program, and he was a member of the 3rd  Hachiman Goko [1] Squadron from Usa Air Group.

He wrote the following last letter to his parents on the eve before his final mission:

Father and Mother,

Have you been doing well recently? I am very well.

At last in this critical autumn season when it is time to strike, I also will go to die in battle like a cherry blossom as a member of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps. Please smile without crying.

We launched attacks on the 6th and 12th [2]. During the attack on the 12th, I lost my Navy friend Kurata (shown in enclosed photo of us two), who I liked best of all the two billion people in the world. Flight Petty Officer 1st Class Kurata was Hisahiro Kurata, the only son in his family from Kawara-machi, Muroto Town, Aki-gun in Kochi Prefecture. He was my Navy friend among friends who slept alongside me each night for three years. Please make contact with his hometown.

For me now it is the night before my sortie. This is it since there is no time.

I hope that you will live in good health, while I go ahead to the eternal road.

The remarks that I made to Japan's one hundred million people on the eve before the attack on the 12th will be broadcast between the 20th and 25th, so please listen.

Goodbye.

The Toyama Gokoku Jinja (Shrine) in Toyama City has an exhibit that includes a photo and writings of Seiichi Kosaku.


Letter translated by Bill Gordon
April 2009

Source of Letter and Photo

The letter and photo are from Iwamoto and Tsutomu (1992, 118-9). Kiyoshi Iwamoto kindly granted permission for their use.

Notes

1. Hachiman is the Japanese god of military power. Usa City in Oita Prefecture has the first Hachiman Shrine, which was established in the early 8th century. Goko (or Gokou) means "protecting the Emperor" in Japanese.

2. The first of the Kikusui (Floating Chrysanthemum) mass kamikaze attacks during the Battle of Okinawa took place on April 6, 1945. The second Kikusui mass attack was carried out on April 12, 1945.

Source Cited

Iwamoto, Kiyoshi, and Tsutomu Mukaida, eds. 1992. Chinkon -- shirakumo ni norete kimi kaerimase: Tokkou kichi daini kokubu no ki (Repose of souls -- riders of the white clouds, come back to us: Record of Special Attack Corps Kokubu No. 2 Air Base). Mizobe Town, Kagoshima Prefecture: Jusanzukabaru tokkouhi hozon iinkai (Committee to Preserve the Jusanzukabaru Special Attack Corps Monument).