Last Message

The Greater East Asia War is now at its height. As a soldier of the Imperial Army I embark on my ambitious course.
From the start I do not expect to return alive. I therefore write my last message that I respectfully leave for the Minami family.
It has been 23 years since I received life in this world. During that time I received the greatest affection from Grandfather, Grandmother, Father and Mother as the oldest son of the Minami family. I lived a most happy life and I truly knew none of the hardships of the world.
This is particularly due first to the benevolence of my ancestors, and Grandfather, Grandmother, Father and Mother, which is higher than the mountains and deeper than the seas, and I am deeply grateful.
Nevertheless, it is my deepest regret that by dying at this time that eternal benevolence be requited with my untimely death.
Yet, I now die for the Empire as His Majesty the Emperor”Ēs shield. Moreover, if loyalty to the sovereign and filial devotion are one is the paradigm of the morality of our country, to die for the Empire is to be filial to one”Ēs parents. I devote all the strength of my mind and body and calmly die in the name of everlasting loyalty to the nation.
I pray that you will believe that I have done the greatest filial duty to my parents.
When you hear of my passing I ask that you praise me as a grandson, and son for having done my bestӀ.
Long live the Great Japanese Empire! Long live the Minami Family!

Farewell Poem
To bloom as a blossom and to scatter. I have waited so long for this day. Yours very respectfully,

January 7, 1942
All Members of the Minami Family

Masao Minami Mikoto
Second Lieutenant, Japanese Army
Killed in Action on March 3, 1943 at Sea About 45 Miles Northeast of Lae, New Guinea
Born in Hoshita-mura, Kitakawachi-gun, Osaka-prefecture
Age: 24