Last Letter of Sergeant Takuzō Kasahara to His Parents
On July 19, 1945, Sergeant Takuzō Kasahara took off from Karenkō Airfield in
Taiwan as a member of the 204th Hikō Sentai (Flying Regiment) and died in a
special (suicide) attack west of Naha, Okinawa, at the age of 26. He piloted an
Army Hayabusa Type 1 Fighter (Allied code name of Oscar). After his death in a
special attack, he received a promotion to Second Lieutenant. He was from Nagano
Prefecture and was a non-commissioned officer who entered the Army in 1939.
He wrote the following final letter to his parents:
Dear Father and Mother,
Now I am delighted above all else to bear the great responsibility of
protecting Japan with a single "human bullet" attack as a Special Attack
As a soldier I am extremely happy to realize this long-cherished desire.
I am waiting anxiously for the day of sortie.
When I think of your efforts in my upbringing for the past twenty plus
years, there is nothing but great appreciation.
Please forgive me for going before you without showing any filial piety.
Now it is time simply to die for the country on behalf of the Emperor.
I pray all the best for each of you for many years to come.
June 20, 1945
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter and biographical information on this page come from Chiran Tokkō
Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 151, 183) and Osuo (2005, 214).
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.
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (rikugun hen)
(Record of special attack corps (Army)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.