Ushijima file photo [2426]

Mitsuru Ushijima

Given NameMitsuru
Born31 Jul 1887
Died22 Jun 1945


ww2dbaseLieutenant General Mitsuru Ushijima was the Japanese Army commander in southern Okinawa during the American invasion. He had two divisions and two mixed brigades of the 32nd Army under his command. After losing ground to the advancing American forces, he refused to surrender. On 16 Jun 1945, he sent out this written message:

ww2dbase"With a burning desire to destroy the arrogant enemy, the men in my command have fought the invaders for almost three months. We have failed to crush the enemy, despite our death-defying resistance, and now we are doomed."

ww2dbase"Since taking over this island our forces have, with the devoted support of the local population, exerted every effort to build up defenses. Since the enemy landing, our air and land forces, working in concert, have done everything possible to defend the island."

ww2dbase"To my great regret we are no longer able to continue the fight. For this failure I tender deepest apologies to the Emperor and the people of the homeland. We will make one final charge to kill as many of the enemy as possible. I pray for the souls of men killed in battle and for the prosperity of the Imperial Family."

ww2dbase"Death will not quell the desire of my spirit to defend the homeland."

ww2dbase"With deepest appreciation of the kindness and co-operation of my superiors and my colleagues in arms, I bid farewell to all of you forever."

ww2dbaseEnding the final letter was a poem written by Ushijima.

ww2dbase"Green grass dies in the islands without waiting for fall,
But it will be reborn verdant in the springtime of the homeland.
Weapons exhausted, our blood will bathe the earth, but the spirit will survive;
Our spirits will return to protect the motherland."

ww2dbaseOn 22 Jun, after the final offensive failed, Ushijima committed ritual suicide to prevent capture.

ww2dbaseSource: the Divine Wind.

Last Major Revision: Nov 2006

Mitsuru Ushijima Timeline

31 Jul 1887 Mitsuru Ushijima was born.
1 Dec 1939 Lieutenant General Mitsuru Ushijima was named the commanding officer of the Taiwan Army.
22 Jun 1945 Mitsuru Ushijima committed ritual suicide at Okinawa, Japan.


Japanese officers Rear Adm. Minoru Ota, Lt. Gen. Mitsuru Ushijima, Lt. Gen. Isamu Cho, Col. Hitoshi Kanayama, Col. Kiuji Hongo, and Col. Hiromichi Yahara, in numbered order, Okinawa, early Feb 1945Remains of General Mitsuru Ushijima and Lieutenant General Isamu Cho, Okinawa, Japan, 5 Jul 1945

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More on Mitsuru Ushijima
Event(s) Participated:
» Okinawa Campaign

Mitsuru Ushijima Photo Gallery
Japanese officers Rear Adm. Minoru Ota, Lt. Gen. Mitsuru Ushijima, Lt. Gen. Isamu Cho, Col. Hitoshi Kanayama, Col. Kiuji Hongo, and Col. Hiromichi Yahara, in numbered order, Okinawa, early Feb 1945
See all 2 photographs of Mitsuru Ushijima

Famous WW2 Quote
"Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue."

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, 16 Mar 1945

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