Last Diary Entry of Ensign Toyooki Seki
On August 4, 1945, Ensign Toyooki Seki died in a
special (suicide) attack at the age of 22 when submarine I-53 launched his
kaiten manned torpedo after enemy contact off Okinawa. On July 14, 1945, submarine I-53 made a sortie from
Ōtsushima Kaiten Base in Yamaguchi
Prefecture with six kaiten pilots who were members of the Kaiten Special Attack
Corps Tamon Unit. Seki was from Akita Prefecture, attended Meiji University in
Tōkyō, and was a member of the 1st Class of the Navy's Flight Reserve Students
(Hikō Yobi Seito).
The following is the final part of Seki's diary:
In the end I cannot be spared from death. Therefore, I will pursue life
Even though possibly my corpse may be filled by earth with a handful of
ashes or my body may be at the bottom of the sea, I will be an intangible
spirit that will be glorious for eternity. If there can be protection for
the next generation, I believe correctly that I will maintain forever my
indestructible, unending, and determined life.
The matter of death is an easy matter. However, the psychological process
of a human who decides to die and undertakes that is by no means either a
simple issue or an easy matter. While one is tormented by that, one reaches
a conclusion. That is one thing that is called human.
The spirit of we military men is inspired most without regrets when we
can get involved in an arena of actual fighting with smoke of guns and rain
of shells. Furthermore, not necessarily saying actual fighting, it is not
different at all when one has conviction to serve with death even in normal
training. Without choosing the place, one reaches the greatest ferocity.
I now will obtain honor with my sortie, and truly this is an honor for a
young man. I promise to sink instantly the enemy.
Diary entry translated by Bill Gordon
The diary entry comes from Matsugi (1971, 84). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from
Konada and Kataoka (2006, 289-91, 300-2, 374), Matsugi (1971, 84), and Mediasion (2006,
Konada, Toshiharu, and Noriaki Kataoka. 2006. Tokkō
kaiten sen: Kaiten tokkōtai taichō no kaisō (Special attack kaiten
battles: Kaiten special attack corps leader's reminiscences). Tōkyō:
Matsugi, Fujio, ed. 1971. Kaigun tokubetsu kōgekitai no isho (Last letters of Navy Special Attack Corps).
Tōkyō: KK Bestsellers.
The Mediasion Co. 2006. Ningen gyorai kaiten (Kaiten
human torpedo). Hiroshima: The Mediasion Co.