My younger brother Shin'ichi was a pitcher for the Nagoya professional
baseball team. He won 20 games in 1943 and was selected to the All-Star Game. On December 1, 1943, he joined the Sasebo Naval Corps. He
became an Ensign in 1944. Later he was assigned to the Kamikaze Special Attack
Corps Jinrai Unit in Kanoya.
Shin'ichi received an order to make a sortie at noon on May 11, 1945, and he
pitched a white ball into the glove worn by a war comrade.
Yes, ten strikes.
Then he boarded his plane after giving to his comrade the ball, glove, and a
headband with the word "courage" written on it. His plane flew away
toward the south in search of enemy ships.
Playing baseball was my happiness.
A life filled with devotion and filial piety.
I have nothing to regret even though I die at 22.
His final letter with the above words and his baseball were delivered
together to his bereaved family. When he played catch with a pure white ball, there was
neither life nor death in Shin'ichi's heart.
Tōkichi Ishimaru, Representative of Bereaved Families