Missouri Memorial Showcases Kamikaze Artifacts From Japan
Battleship Missouri Memorial unveiled its newest exhibit March 11 in honor of the 70th anniversary of the USS Missouri kamikaze attack. Event-day guest speaker Minamikyushu mayor Kampei Shimoide retold details of the attack and read a farewell letter written by a kamikaze pilot.
The Japanese kamikaze artifacts display features rare collections never before shown outside of Japan, which include farewell letters and poems (translated into English) from pilots to family members and loved ones, personal photographs and information, historical images and uniform items.
These kamikaze (also known as tokko tai or special attack forces) artifacts came from Minamikyushu, Kagoshima, Japan, from which many pilots departed on their final mission. The area also is home to Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots, where the artifacts are housed.
“What emerged from that attack 70 years ago was a sincere gesture of humanity by the Missouri’s captain and crew, whose spirit continues to resonate today,” stated Battleship Missouri Memorial CEO Michael Carr. “The Battleship Missouri Memorial is honored to offer for the first time ever in the United States a rare collection of artifacts gathered from some of the kamikaze pilots of World War II.”
Visitors can view the exhibit until Nov. 11. General admission is $25 for adults and $13 for children 4-12. Kama‘aina and military discounts are available. For more information and reservations, visit USSMissouri.org or call 1-877-644-4896.