I Believe That Is Destiny

In early August with the boisterous sounds of the cicadas, at the start of August 1944 when my friends and I proceed to the battlefront, I offer this letter to my father and apologize for my undutifulness….
No matter where I go or what may happen, Takuma is certain to never forget that I am your son. From this I believe there will surely appear some sort of direction that I should proceed. I believe that the powerful and courageous strength of my parents, which had pulled Takuma onward until now, will in due course become a great power that pushes me on my own.
I keenly feel that these are discordant times. It is only in the calm of my parents harbor that there is repose for me, and I forget everything and live in peace. I am lonely. This is what I want to say at the moment. I really feel that no matter how old I am, there is nothing better in this world than my parents after all.
The last words of the sick, who die in the battlefield hospitals, are “Mother.” I am filled with a feeling of wanting to be by your side forever and ever.
Nevertheless, because I am a man, let alone the fact that I am my father’s son, the duty of all men of Japan must be accomplished even if it means their deaths. I believe that it is just as Father had told me—since we are sure to die, where and when we die is destiny.
I am fortunate that I have no wife or child. I only pray that you will live a good, long and healthy life.
Takuma proceeds forward while doing his best every day. By no means does Takuma intend to proceed to his death.
However, when the time to die has arrived I will do so courageously. I believe that this is the way to live as a man and also what you would be most happy about.
I hope that Misako and Ayako will carefully follow our parents’ instructions and grow up to become fine women.

Morning of August 4, 1944

Takuma Munemoto Mikoto
Corporal, Japanese Army
Killed in Action on November 11, 1944, in the Camotes Strait, Philippines
Born in Nakadani-mura, Tomata-gun, Okayama Prefecture
Age: 23