Admiral Onishi Takijiro (1891-1945)
Takijiro, an Admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II, is known as the father of the kamikaze, a practice of making airplanes become human missiles. Born in 1891, Takijiro was involved with naval aviation for a number of years before becoming the head of the Naval Aviation Development Division. Takijiro was convinced that the only way that the Japanese could succeed in the Pacific War was to make a huge sacrifice. In a moving speech to his men he asked: “there is only one way of assuring that our meager strength will be effective to a maximum degree. That is to organize suicide attack units composed of Zero fighters armed with 250-kilogram bombs, with each plane to crash-dive into an enemy carrier...” The poem in this section, composed in traditional Japanese style, was written to his men. He was killed in 1945.
“written for his kamikaze pilots”
In blossom today, then scattered;
Life is so like a delicate flower.
How can one expect the fragrance to last forever?