Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Yasuyo Yamazaki assumed command of the Japanese garrison at Attu during the winter of 1942-1943, tasked with reinforcing the defenses of the island. Knowing he was facing a difficult battle against Allied troops seeking to reclaim the island, he braced his forces for defense and wrote his last letter to his wife. Historian Sander Kingsepp generously translated this letter for us:
Farewell message to Shigeko:
You will probably learn that my bones have come to rest far away, in a barren battlefield in the midst of the Northern Seas. I will try to stop the onslaught of the British and American forces. If I fail, my spirit will come to eternal rest in the Buddhist paradise.
As this could be my last message to you, I would like to add a few personal thoughts. We have been married for more than thirty years and I would like to thank you for all the good time we could spend together. You have been an excellent wife to me and a gentle mother to our children. I will always think back of that time with much pleasure.
Take care of your health, so that you could spend your old days safely. Also, please look after our children and all the relatives as well.
Special thanks once again to Sander Kingsepp for his help with the translation. He also noted that the name Shigeko could also be translated as Hideko or Eiko.
Yamazaki's troops, as he had suspected, was overwhelmed by the invaders. When all was nearly lost he ordered a final suicide attack by all remaining troops and officers. He then committed ritual suicide on 29 May 1943.
Visitor Submitted Comments
All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.
» Aleutian Islands Campaign
Advertise on ww2db.com
- » 729 biographies
- » 304 events
- » 27116 timeline entries
- » 668 ships
- » 301 aircraft models
- » 163 vehicle models
- » 254 weapon models
- » 65 historical documents
- » 285 book reviews
- » 209 maps
- » 16244 photos, 1473 in color
Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943