Last Letters of Corporal Yoshikazu Sakakihara to His Parents
On June 7, 1945, Corporal Yoshikazu  Sakakihara
took off from Bansei Air Base as a member of the 63rd Shinbu Special Attack
Squadron and died in a special (suicide) attack west of Okinawa at the age of
20. He piloted an Army Type 99 Assault Plane (Allied nickname of Sonia). After
his death in a special attack, he received a promotion to Second Lieutenant. He
was from Fukushima Prefecture and was a member of the 13th Class of the Sendai
Pilot Training School.
He wrote the following final letter to his parents:
Dear Father and Mother,
Now I will make a sortie. Do not worry about me.
Please give my regards from you Father to my younger brother Hikoji. I
trust that in the future he will become a fine person.
I hope that my younger sisters also can become good persons and good
Please provide guidance to my younger brother and sisters.
Give my regards to Yanai-sensei and the others.
Please enjoy good health for many more years.
June 6, 1945
Below is the actual letter that is translated above:
Yoshikazu Sakakihara's final letter dated June 6, 1945
He also wrote the following letter on the morning of the same day that the
above letter was written:
Dear Father and Mother,
Thank you for your great care of my younger brother and sisters and
everyone. Now I will be leaving. Do not worry. Give my regards to
Grandmother in Motomiya . Give my regards to
Grandmother in Kitamachi  and Uncle Sōichi.
Please pay attention to your health so you can live for many years.
Preferring not to meet face to face, farewell, farewell.
I will sink a ship instantly.
Morning of June 6, 1945
The 63rd Shinbu Special Attack Squadron was formed at Hokota Air Base in
Ibaraki Prefecture on March 23, 1945. Sakakihara wrote the following letter to
his father in May 1945:
In haste I will send money to you.
On May 15, I will move to the airfield at Hōfu in Yamaguchi. Since I have
no need for such things as money as I will die, I will transfer to you my
bank account of about 300 yen.
I thought that I would write a last letter, but since I do not have
anything in particular to write, I decided not to write it. When I feel like
it, I may write it.
I sincerely pray that you will live in good health for many years.
To Father, Mother, and Younger Brother and Sisters, I will go to Okinawa.
May 15, 1945, 8 a.m.
Letters translated by Bill Gordon
The letters and other information on this page come from Naemura
(1993, 175-6) and Osuo (2005, 200).
1. The two kanji characters of his name of 吉一 can
be translated as Yoshikazu, which is most common, or Yoshiichi. It could not be
determined whether Yoshikazu or Yoshiichi is correct.
2. Motomiya is a city in central Fukushima
3. Kitamachi is a district in Fukushima City.
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.