Last Letter of Corporal Matsuo Masubuchi to His Parents
On May 25, 1945, Corporal Matsuo Masubuchi took off from Bansei Air
Base as a member of the 432nd Shinbu Special Attack Squadron and died in a
special (suicide) attack west of Okinawa at the age of 21. He piloted a Type 2
Advanced Trainer. After his death in a special attack, he received a four-rank promotion to
Second Lieutenant. He was from Tochigi Prefecture and was a member of the 14th Class
of the Koga Pilot Training School in Ibaraki Prefecture.
He wrote the following final letter to his parents:
I think that this letter will be the last. There is nothing to write. Be
in good health.
Army Corporal Matsuo Masubuchi
He also wrote the following death poems in tanka form (31-syllable
poem with a syllable pattern of 5-7-5-7-7). Based on the poems' contents, the
first two may have been written prior to his assignment to the Special Attack Corps.
For the Emperor I value my life
Happy to live for a great cause
Not having regrets in this world
I under the sun a fifth son
Takashi, I definitely rely on you!
With sincerity at drinking party with young ladies
I will retaliate and instantly sink a ship
Blizzard of flowers that fall bravely for Emperor
Fragrantly blooming when shatter in strike
The following was a final note written to fellow 432nd Shinbu Squadron member
Corporal Hisanari Matsumoto, who died in a special attack on May 28, 1945, three
days after Masubuchi's death:
Meet and part, part and meet
Together in Divine Eagles Special Attack Corps
When I think back about you, at Koga we improved our skills together in
the same glider unit, and at Sendai in the same section we shared together
joys and sorrows. At Ping'an (in Manchuria) we parted. As inseparably bound
comrades, we were selected together for the Special Attack Corps, and we
will be together even when we fall. Together let's do our best.
Letters and poems translated by Bill Gordon
The letters and poems come from Naemura (1993, 158). The biographical information
in the first paragraph
comes from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 164), Naemura (1993, 158), and
Osuo (2005, 207).
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.
Naemura, Hichirō. 1993. Rikugun saigo no tokkō kichi: Bansei tokkōtaiin no isho to isatsu (Army's last special attack base: Last
letters and photographs of Bansei special attack corps members). Ōsaka: Tōhō
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (rikugun hen)
(Record of special attack corps (Army)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.