At 1455 on April 6, 1945, Ensign Isamu Saitō 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 25. He was a member of the Kamikaze Special
Attack Corps 1st Tsukuba Squadron. After his death in a special attack, he
received a promotion to Lieutenant. He was from Hokkaidō Prefecture, graduated
from Waseda University, and was a member of the 13th Class of the Navy's Flight
Reserve Students (Hikō Yobi Gakusei).
Dear Father, Mother, and everyone else,
Preliminaries omitted. I have not written for a while. I trust that
everyone is getting along fine without changes. I as usual am serving in
I have been waiting anxiously since about two months ago when I was named
as section leader of a special attack squadron. Now I am doing rigorous
training. Actually, although there were three times that volunteers were
requested, I always wrote "eagerly desire."
Finally in a few days I will depart and advance from here at Tsukuba to
the south. When I think, I very deeply thank Father, Mother, Older Brother,
Older Brother's wife, and Older Sisters  who have cared for me in many ways
and who I have caused worries for during the 25 years since I was born. I
very deeply believe that now I can repay this kindness along with being
Now just before the sortie, there is no thinking calmly. The only thing
in my mind is how to be able to crash into the enemy.
Finally, after I die please give my regards to Suzuki, who has shown care
beyond even a parent from my university days until now. I ponder frequently
that there was such a kind person in Tōkyō where there are sharp practices.
(portion omitted) Also, after the war's end, please call Suzuki and listen
to his stories.
When you read this, I earlier will have crashed splendidly into an enemy
ship. No matter how much I write, there is no end, so here I will stop my
final, final writing.
To Father and Mother first and to everyone, in addition to your health
and taking good care of yourselves, please press on for the country to
and increase production to support the war.
P.S. My dear Masako, Kazunari, Hiroshi, Reiko, Yōko, and Kiyoka, please
make your bodies strong, listen well to what Father and Mother say, study
hard, and become fine Japanese persons. Farewell.
The letter comes from Yasukuni Jinja (2001, 19-20). The biographical information on this page comes from
Osuo (2005, 197) and Yasukuni Jinja