Last Letter of Flight Warrant Officer Hisaoki Yoshizawa to His Parents
At 1500 on April 7, 1945, Flight Warrant Officer Hisaoki Yoshizawa took off
from Miyazaki Air Base as pilot in a Ginga bomber (Allied code
name of Frances) loaded with an 800-kg bomb. He was a member of
the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 3rd Mitate Squadron from the 706th Naval Air
Group. He died in
a special (suicide) attack off Okinawa. He was from Tōkyō
Prefecture and was a member of the 1st Toku Otsu Class of the Navy's Yokaren
(Preparatory Flight Training Program).
He wrote the following short final letter to his parents with a death poem in
tanka form (31-syllable poem with lines of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables) at the
Mountain cherry blossom
At time to go to fall
If it does not fall
The time to go to fall
Already goes away
Dear Father and Mother,
As usual I am full of energy and working hard at military tasks.
I will go in high spirits and die for the Empire. There is nothing more
I pray for your health.
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter comes from Kitagawa
(1970, 117-8). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from
(1970, 117) and Osuo (2005, 228).
Kitagawa, Mamoru, ed. 1970. Ā kamikaze tokkōtai: Kaerazaru seishun no isho
shū (Ah, Kamikaze Special Attack Corps:
Collected last letters of youth that would not return). Tōkyō: Nihon Bungeisha.
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (kaigun
hen) (Record of special attack corps (Navy)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.