Speech In Front of Sarashina-Yokota Shrine When Going to the Front

My gratitude is truly impossible to describe for the enthusiastic send off that I received from you early this morning. I am resolved to surely devote my entire strength to my duties to return your kindness.
The present emergency is not like the wars until now that were simply to reprint the world map. A great period of several hundreds of years of the history of humankind is hereby attempting to achieve a huge leap in the outlook of humanity, the outlook of the nation, the outlook of the world, and even in politics, education, economics, art, religion and in everything else.
A new world is striving to be born from the Empire of Japan as its mother°«s body°ń.
To die in battle is, from the original promise of human life, neither something so alarming or sorrowful. To say nothing of the fact that to offer this single life to the Emperor is the long-cherished desire of a son of Japan. In this perpetual chain of life of birth to death and death to birth, for us it is only to live the eternal reason for living and die the indestructible death with meaning°ń.
Today, I receive the Imperial command and I courageously set out to the battlefront. From the start I do not expect to return alive. Nevertheless, whether our deaths were of value or not are the responsibility of you who are left behind. From now a far larger adversity that is really an emergency will surely befall the country and all of you. At that time, no matter how trying things may be, you must never lose heart or lament.
While standing before this shrine, I make this earnest request of you as my speech when going to the front.
In closing, I pray for the health of everyone in our village.
This ends my speech.
May 1, 1939


Shigenobu Mochizuki Mikoto
Captain, Japanese Army
Killed in Action on May 22, 1944, in the Philippines
Born in Shinonoi-machi, Sarashina-gun, Nagano Prefecture
Age: 35

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