"Postwar Japanese No. 1" -The life of Kazuo Sakamaki, a POW of the attack on Pearl Harbor December 8, 20:16

It has been 80 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor.

There was a soldier of the Japanese Navy who sortieed in a small submarine called a "special submarine" and survived to become the "first prisoner of war in the Pacific War".

What does the trajectory of a man who boldly survived the harsh environment and supported Japan's postwar reconstruction after returning to Japan show us now?

(Nagoya Broadcasting Station, Tokushima Broadcasting Station, Network News Department)

Chapter 1 "Reunion" with Comrades for the first time in 80 years

The longest and narrowest peninsula in Japan, the Sadamisaki Peninsula in Ehime Prefecture, which protrudes to the western end of Shikoku with a length of about 50 km.

In the middle is a small bay that opens northward toward the Seto Inland Sea.

It is Sanki Bay.

December 8th, just 80 years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, which was the beginning of the Pacific War.

The unveiling ceremony of a stone monument was held in this calm sea.

The stone monument is written by Kazuo Sakamaki (1918-1999), a former ensign of the Navy, who participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor with a small submarine called a "special submarine."

Here at Mitsukue Bay, the training for midget submarines was held in secret just before the Pacific War.

All nine people who participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor with Sakamaki died in the war and were enshrined and praised as "Kyugunshin" in Japan.

However, Sakamaki, who survived and became a prisoner of war, was erased during the war.

There was a memorial monument to the "Kyugunshin" in Sanki Bay, and photographs of nine people were displayed for a long time, but there was no Sakemaki.

However, the stone monument built this time is decorated with a group photo of all 10 people who sortie in the attack on Pearl Harbor, including Sakamaki.

It's been 80 years since that day.

Sakamaki finally reunited with his comrades in this memorable place.

Kiyoshi, the eldest son of Sakamaki, who attended the unveiling ceremony, said, "80 years after I went to Hawaii, I finally came back to this place and could sleep comfortably with my nine comrades. I was talking with a relieved face.

Chapter 2 "Capture Captive No. 1" Sake Maki Kazuo

Kazuo Sakamaki was born in Tokushima prefecture in 1918.

From an early age, he showed excellent leadership qualities and went on to a naval school through a local junior high school.

After graduating, he was appointed as a second lieutenant and was selected and trained in a midget submarine.

And on December 8, 1945, I participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

It was planned that a total of 10 people, including Sakamaki, would board each of the five midget submarines and dive into the bay of Pearl Harbor to launch a surprise attack on the US military.

However, one of the ships on which Sakamaki was riding strayed because the machine for knowing the direction of the gyro compass was out of order, and after being attacked by the US military, it became uncontrollable and stranded.

Sakamaki, who jumped into the sea to blow up a submersible and escape to protect confidentiality, is launched to the beach while wandering alive and dead.

It was found by American soldiers and was taken prisoner.

It was the moment when I became the "first prisoner of war" in the Pacific War.

It's been four years since then.

Until Japan was finally defeated in the Pacific War, Sakamaki was moved to the mainland United States via Hawaii, moving from four prisoner-of-war camps from the snowy Midwestern Wisconsin to the scorpion-filled southern Texas. ..

In this process, the understanding of American democracy and rationalism will deepen, and Sakamaki will become a leader of the prisoners of war who are being held one after another.

Chapter 3 Expert “God of Salvation for POWs”

Tadamasa Fukiura, 80, who has been studying POWs for many years, points out that the presence of Sakamaki in an American camp was extremely important.

During the Pacific War, Japanese POW camps were everywhere.

Massive riots have occurred in Australia and New Zealand, resulting in many deaths.

However, in the United States, where the largest number of Japanese POWs were housed, such a large-scale riot did not occur.

Mr. Fukiura says that the work of sake rolls was great there.

Mr. Fukiura

"A few months after Sakamaki became a POW, new POWs came steadily, but he thoroughly told those people," Take care of yourself, "and" Let's go home and cooperate with the reconstruction of Japan. I went to the side of persuading them to say, "Let's do it together."

This is really a "god of salvation." Thousands and tens of thousands of Japanese POWs would have died in a riot without Sakamaki. May be "

Mr. Sakamaki who never killed other POWs.

Mr. Fukiura explains that there was a certain belief there.

Mr. Fukiura

"He was trying to raise the POWs into a polite and orderly" gentleman "that the U.S. military was impressed with. . Show me what a respected Japanese is, how good a Japanese



I think the Japanese soldiers who are POWs have a better attitude and demeanor than the American soldiers who supervise them


I think this is his kind of patriotism. "

Chapter 4 "Mental Revolution" Brother

The National Archives of Japan holds an English-translated suicide note of Sakamaki immediately after being taken prisoner.

There is a song of death poem written by Sakamaki.

When cherry blossoms fall,

Let them fall!

Drenched are the its branches and leaves

With the sorrow of today!

(Sakurahana, when it should be scattered, scatter it. Wet the branches and leaves today's sadness)

You can see the feelings of Sakamaki who refused to be a prisoner of war and strongly wanted to die.

In this way, Sakamaki was initially thinking of dying from shame, but while spending time in the camp, he will eventually change his mind that valuing his life and striving for the reconstruction of his country will reward his deceased comrades. ..

In the memorandum published by Sakamaki after returning to Japan, the feelings at the time of receiving the news of the defeat are stated as follows.

"We have to work silently. We have to shake a hoe and hit a hammer to work to rebuild and rebuild our burnt homeland. That is an apology to our deceased comrades." A retrospective of four years ”Showa 22 *)

In January 1946, Sakamaki returned to his parents' home in Tokushima, but when it was reported in newspapers, he was exposed to severe criticism.

Eventually, Toyota Motor Co., Ltd., who joined the company after being introduced, will now support Japan's postwar reconstruction at the forefront.

In addition to his own personality that is strict to himself and kind to others, he has a strong international sense and deep insight cultivated in the life of the camp, and has been a president of Toyota Brazil and a construction company for 40 years. I have completed my life as a member.

Then, in 1999, at the age of 81, he died in a turbulent life.

Nobuo Matsubara (88), a younger brother who is 15 years younger than his siblings, is still alive in Tokushima City as the people who know Sakamaki are aging and entering the devil's register.

In this interview, Mr. Matsubara talked about his brother's memories.

For Mr. Matsubara, his older brother was a proud person wearing a white Navy uniform.

When my brother came back to his hometown, he followed the greetings of the neighborhood.

It is said that there were some locals who longed for Mr. Sakamaki and aimed at the Navy.


















My younger brother, Mr. Matsubara,

"Once I was alive, I was killed in action in the past, and I should devote myself to the reconstruction of Japan after the war. I made such a" spiritual revolution "."

This time, Mr. Matsubara could not attend the unveiling ceremony of his brother's stone monument due to health reasons, but he said, "I am happy to be able to sleep with my friends" about the fact that the stone monument was erected in this way. I am.

Chapter 5 "War" that I didn't talk about silently

Sakamaki did not tell his family or others about the horrific war and his experience of prisoners of war.

This time, my son Kiyoshi (72), who lives in Aichi prefecture, responded to the interview and looked back while looking at his father's relics such as photographs one by one.

"My dad never talked about the time of the war and the prisoners of war, and I had never heard of it with interest. He was shutting out the media after the war.

History must be told accurately. Even more so, he said he didn't have to talk about himself. "

Sakamaki who did not tell his family about his experience of the war.

However, what remains in my son's memory is the figure of his father who fought "another war."

My son Kiyoshi

"My father has experienced two wars, the Pacific War and the business war during the high-growth period.

I was born after the war, and I know my father as an office worker, but anyway, I went to work early in the morning. He was the father who went out and came back late at night. "

In the notebook that Sakamaki used when he was an office worker, the sales of automobiles and the schedule of meetings are written down in small letters.

As the president of Toyota Brazil, Sakamaki was instrumental in expanding the Japanese car market.

Kiyoshi says that the experience of the POW era may have been alive.

His son Kiyoshi said,

"I think the language skills I acquired when I was in the Navy and when I was a POW was a weapon of business. On top of that, in order to get a Japanese car, I said" low attitude but tenacious ". It seems that he was cherishing

Kiyoshi's eyes also showed his father with a different face.

When I leave the business, I like mahjong and golf, and I always have a strong connection with my friends.

All the friends who participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor died in the war, and only one of them survived, and Sakamaki was once erased from history.

That is why, in the business world where he lived after that, he said that he valued the connection with his colleagues above all else.

Chapter 6 “Raising People” Second Half

After the war, Sakamaki, who devoted himself to the business world, aimed to compete with the world in business.

We especially focused on "human resources development."

Sakamaki worked hard to train apprentice engineers "training workers" who had just graduated from junior high school at Toyota Motor Corporation.

Kiyoshi Tsunoda (84), who received direct guidance from Sakamaki, remembers that time well.

"I was an English teacher because I was fluent in languages, but I was more impressed with mental education than English." The buttons on my uniform are off, "or" Tighten your collar. " "

In the background of the strict guidance, it can be seen from the experience of POWs that Sakamaki thought that it was necessary to hurry to develop "human resources who can fight the world" in order for postwar Japan to cross the world.

Sakamaki once talked to the trainer like a habit.

"Even if we do not form a technical tie-up with an overseas automobile manufacturer, we will improve our technological capabilities and become a global automobile manufacturer with purely domestic cars made by ourselves."

After that, Mr. Tsunoda himself received the Medal with Yellow Ribbon for his achievements such as training automobile engineers.

Whenever I gave guidance to engineers, I recalled that the teachings of Sakamaki were the basis.

Mr. Tsunoda

"After all, I value people. And I love the company. I learned from Mr. Sakamaki that I value" bonds "beyond my position. , There was always a word of Mr. Sakamaki invisible to me. "

Chapter 7 That great writer also pays attention

Sakamaki who survived many unimaginable adversities powerfully at the mercy of a strange fate.

There are writers who are strongly interested in that way of life.

Toyoko Yamazaki is a writer who has published numerous social novels such as "The Sun That Never Sets" and "Shiroi Kyoto".

He died in 2013 at the age of 89, but there is the last unfinished work.

It is the "sea of ​​promises".

The story of Sakutaro Hanamaki, a self-defense force member of the main character, reconsidering his life while following in the footsteps of his father, a former soldier.

Sakamaki was the model for the father of this former soldier.

I was able to hear a valuable testimony that Mr. Yamazaki had long wanted to write Sakamaki.

Shinichiro Yashiro, the editor of Shinchosha, who was a member of the "Promised Sea" coverage team.

It is said that the trigger was the process of interviewing "two homeland" depicting Japanese Americans who were at the mercy of the Pacific War.

During the interview, a Nikkei said, "Mr. Sakamaki was brought to the camp and only one person was put in another building. He sang Japanese military songs and popular songs when he passed through the building where he was. "

In "Two Homeland", Mr. Yamazaki made a few appearances of sake rolls, and he has been interested in sake rolls for more than 30 years since then.

As he grew older and became ill and it became difficult to write a feature-length novel, Mr. Yamazaki was passionate about "there are only three people I still want to write."

One of them was Sakamaki.

"At the end, I want to write about the theme of my life, war," so Mr. Yamazaki chose Sakamaki as the total settlement of his life as a writer.

Mr. Yamazaki wrote the meaning of drawing a sake roll as follows.

"He was a prisoner of war while Japan and the United States were at war with weapons, and he was at war with no weapons alone. There is a clue to what separates war and peace in the future. I felt like there was

Chapter 8 "Postwar Japanese No. 1" -What You Learn from That Way of Life





















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Tokushimahosokyoku reporters

Terai Kannori

2017. He joined

Tokushima station starting salary place

in Nara Prefecture native, familiar to ancient tombs and ruins from an early age, majored in Japan ancient history at the university

motto is "I want to go if there is a burial mound"

favorite history The person is "Emperor Tokushima"

My recent boom is mountain climbing

Tokushimahosokyoku reporters

Arimizu Takashi

2017. He joined

starting salary area is responsible for the incident in Sapporo station

was transferred to the then Wakkanai bureau, fishing and carried out interviews on Sakhalin

responsible for the municipal administration and the economy in Tokushima stations from this year November

hobby is running