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Attitudes to the war
Admiration for the superior god-like warrior spirit

Oh! We humbly kneel to the true spirit
Return of the four smiling war dead to the Emperor’s land [1]

written by Eiji Yoshikawa [with his portrait]
In Yokoyama at the arrival of the Kamakura Maru

Even in Australia, some people have understood cultural characteristics and the notion of warriorhood. Even the members of other races could not fool themselves when they were faced with true beauty and extreme sacred warriorhood. They could not help admiring the beauty and truth and they had to kneel humbly and admit the true natures.

Rear-Admiral Muirhead-Gould must have felt that way when he ordered that the heroes’ jewel-like remains should be retrieved from the moon-lit sea of Sydney, and had them covered with our national flag, arranged Australian guards of honour for them and conducted a courteous and respectful naval funeral. When he compared the attitude of our four courageous soldiers with that of his own soldiers under him, and of Australian nationals, he must have felt impenetrable worries and doubts about why Australia did not have such soldiers and why Australians do not demonstrate such truthful beauty.

Japanese sacred warriorhood has finally caused “dramatic and obvious” damage to the warships in the midst of their defence. The attack also stabbed their bodies and pierced them through their hearts. Today, our enemy nation, Australia, has returned the caskets of the four hero spirits from far away. This action proves that Australia herself has admitted that Japan has been engaged in sacred war. The warrior spirits of the loyal soldiers moved heaven and earth. Naturally, it has moved the enemy and we are seeing the proof of this fact.

The Kamakura Maru has returned. The Kamakura Maru has returned. Each individual who met the boat at pier 4 in Yokohama felt elation and sorrow on behalf of 100 million people. In the cool morning mist, the crowd, the sea, the flags, the rows of young naval cadets in white uniforms waited in silence in the autumn breeze for the arrival of the approaching ship with the caskets.

The ship with a large white crosses painted on its sides approached the pier to within a few metres. A thick rope was thrown from the bow. The ring on the rope was hooked to a post on the pier as the rope was pulled across the water. The rope connected the ship and land as if two hands were holding each other, and formed a thick, strong line to connect the two while some water drops were produced. The rope looked as if it contained the happiness of the four heroes’ spirits, who wanted to show their pride in triumphant return to their great lord.

The true beliefs and satisfactions. This was the day when those who were born with the ambition to be great warriors realised their most important wishes. In the four small caskets, made of unfinished wood and wrapped in white cloth, how happily they were in their smiles, I wonder. Soon, the caskets got off the ship, decorated with flowers and were carried by their comrades. Then the family members in their mourning dress followed the caskets humbly. The family of Lieutenant Chuman and relatives of Lieutenant Matsuo were there. I could not distinguish whom, but they looked downward and greeted the welcoming crowd, by acknowledging them quietly. I was impressed with their humble and simple manner. They did not take pride nor ask for recognition. They took it for granted that their sons had done what needed to be done. They were mothers of Japan, fathers of Japan and siblings of Japan.

To Rear Admiral Muirhead-Gould, Commander of the Sydney Harbour Defence. and to the peoples of Australia... As one of the Japanese nationals, I would like to express my appreciation for this outcome. The Japanese do not hesitate to express their appreciation in regarding a happy occasion as it actually was.

However, we are expressing this happiness for our enemy, Australia. Or, we would like to celebrate this occasion for all the human beings of the world. It is because these peoples have now realised the purpose of Japan’s sacred war only after their battles against Japan. In addition, they must have realised that the empty propaganda of their allies was merely the spitting and howling of beasts. Godlike warriors will only appear in the camps where a sacred war has been fought. The truly beautiful light can only shine in a just war. It is unfortunate for you, Rear Admiral (Muirhead-)Gould. It is not possible for you to find truly courageous warriors among your military in Australia in the circumstances of the current war.

Furthermore, I would like to tell you about a historic episode in Japan. In the past a rebel lord, Ashikaga Takauji, defeated a loyal warrior, Kusunoki Masashige at Minatogawa, and sent Masashige’s head to his wife and children to weaken their clan loyalty. However, what Masashige’s wife did in return for many years was to continue the sacred battles and to bring up her sons, Masayuki and Masatoki, and sent them off to battle.

Rear Admiral (Muirhead-)Gould, what you did was rather unfortunate for you. If you could have accompanied the four hero spirits and reach Yokohama on the Kamakura Maru, you would have seen what happened at Yokohama Wharf this morning. There, you would have witnessed what kind of land and what kind of parents could bear such heroic warriors like these four.

Japan is not a nation to intern somebody just because you are one of the commanders of Australia.


1. An article from Yomiuri Shinbun 10 October 1942

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