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Ah, Cherry Blossoms
of Same Class
(1966)

 
Final Diary Entries of Ensign Tetsushirō Morioka

At 1419 on April 29, 1945, Ensign Tetsushirō Morioka took off from Kanoya Air Base as pilot in a Zero fighter carrying a 250-kg bomb and died in a special (suicide) attack off Okinawa at the age of 23. He was a member of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 5th Shichishō Squadron from Genzan Naval Air Group in Korea. He was from Toyama Prefecture, attended Tōkyō University of Agriculture, and was a member of the 14th Class of the Navy's Flight Reserve Students (Hikō Yobi Gakusei).

Morioka wrote the following diary entries for April 1 and 2, 1945:

April 1

It was the sortie day. The Naval Ensign was raised. The trainees graduated from their program. A commemorative photograph was taken.

At 9:00 we were to advance. Although it was clear, yellow sand was extremely thick, and visibility was 500 meters. At 10:00, the advance of the flying unit was delayed. By then the trainees Itō, Takemura, and Munekage had loaded things that I needed into my plane. All of the dolls were loaded in front of my seat. Getting touching assistance from many comrades, even though preparations were completed, the yellow sand was still thick, and at 12:00 the advance of the flying unit was canceled.

I get to spend one more day of my life in Genzan. With my current mental state, I feel that I want to depart quickly from everyone. There is neither joy nor sadness, and there is not even thinking. It is only nothingness. Nothingness.

Even though I composed this note as an expression of my beautiful spirit, in the evening of April 1 all was lost. That is, sake. Sake, sake, sake [1].

April 2

To Parents,

I pray to be able to carry out an honorable death (literally "jewel shattering" or gyokusai in Japanese). Until this time of death, I was a person who lacked filial piety. It is regrettable. However, when I sink instantly an enemy ship, I request you to forgive this person who lacked filial piety.

When reflecting on the past, I several times was afflicted with great illness in my youth and three times was near death, and I am here today through your deep love. During my time at junior high school and the University of Agriculture, I did not give you a day of peace. It was because I was not diligent in what I should have done for my studies and human self-discipline.

I received an order for a sortie, and I feel desolate about being disappointing. After all, I understood for the first time that self-discipline is needed always to get everything that one is able to do. Since I always had been taught this by you, ah, it is regrettable.

However, in my life in the Navy, I absolutely believe that I will be able to fall joyfully. In my life in the Navy, I always abided by Father's teachings. Also, I believe that I exercised self-discipline as well as anyone. During my year and a half in the Navy, I believe that I made great progress when compared to my entire life before that.

At 8:50, I will go to the command post for a line-up. Perhaps there will be an order to advance.

I pray for your health.

Praying for the family's prosperity, I go believing in the country's glory.


Diary entries translated by Bill Gordon
January 2019

The diary entries come from Kaigun Hikō Yobi Gakusei Dai 14 Ki Kai (1966, 181-3). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Kaigun Hikō Yobi Gakusei Dai 14 Ki Kai (1966, 60) and Osuo (2005, 201).

Note

1. Morioka's diary entry on March 2 describes in detail how much he enjoys drinking sake (Kaigun Hikō Yobi Gakusei Dai 14 Ki Kai 1966, 181).

Sources Cited

Kaigun Hikō Yobi Gakusei Dai 14 Ki Kai (Navy Flight Reserve Students 14th Class Association), ed. 1966. Ā dōki no sakura: Kaerazaru seishun no shuki (Ah, cherry blossoms of same class: Writings of youth that would not return). Tōkyō: Mainichi Shinbunsha.

Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (kaigun hen) (Record of special attack corps (Navy)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.