Tosashimizu 132nd Shinyo Special Attack Squadron Monument
Tosashimizu City, Kochi Prefecture

The cliffs along the water in Tosashimizu City still have 15 caves dug out of the rocks in 1945 to hide shinyo explosive motorboats. A monument erected in 2005 in front of a couple of these caves gives the history of the 132nd Shinyo Special Attack Squadron stationed at Tosashimizu:

Shinyo Special Attack Squadron Base Site Monument

In June 1945, a special attack squadron was stationed here at Koe Bay in preparation for the landing of American forces on the mainland. It was a shinyo special attack squadron in which crewmen would crash into enemy ships in two-man plywood boats armed with 250 kilograms of explosives in the front part of each boat. Among a total of 171 squadron members, 48 were crewmen, mostly youths of 17 years of age. With tension due to the war situation, orders were issued several times to standby to sortie, but the war ended without having to launch the boats. We narrowly escaped with our young lives.

The caves that exist here were shelters for these shinyo boats. Today at this time 60 years after the end of the war, when the horrors of a war that must not be repeated have faded, we erect here this monument hoping that these shelters may be preserved for a long time so that they may become living teaching material and so the story may be passed down from generation to generation in order to serve as a guidepost for eternal peace.

March 2005
132nd Shinyo Special Attack Squadron Base Site Preservation Association

The back of the monument gives the names of the 132nd Shinyo Special Attack Squadron members.

A sign to the left of the monument, put up one year after the monument by the Tosashimizu City Board of Education, provides additional details on the history of the 132nd Shinyo Special Attack Squadron:

Former Navy Shinyo Special Attack Squadron Base Site

These caves are the remains of shelters for special attack weapon shinyo boats during the Pacific War. The scale of each shelter is roughly 3.5 meters in height and width and 20 to 29 meters in depth. The 15 shelters that were dug held 24 boats.

The two-man Model 5 shinyo boat was made from two sheets of waterproof pressed plywood. The boat had a length of 6.5 meters and a width of 2 meters. It weighed 2.4 metric tons and had a speed of 25 knots (about 45 km/hour). With the front part armed with 250 kilograms of explosives, the boat was a special attack (suicide) weapon designed to crash into an enemy ship.

In the latter part of the Pacific War in April 1945, American forces landed on Okinawa. It became a tragic battle that involved inhabitants all over the island. In this period Japanese forces already had lost nearly all of their warships and aircraft, and it reached the point where there was nothing else to do but to carry out taiatari (body-crashing) attacks by small special attack weapons against the swarming enemy ships.

Imperial Headquarters expected that American forces would land in southern Shikoku to carry out the decisive battle for the Japanese homeland, so Army units were positioned along the coast of Tosa Bay, and Navy special attack squadrons with shinyo and kaiten were positioned in key areas.

Fortunately the war's end came in August. If the war had been prolonged, perhaps this area also would have become a gruesome battlefield.

The shelters that exist here are valuable remains of war history. We desire that they tell the story to future generations as a legacy toward eternal peace.

Date established: October 1, 2006
Tosashimizu City Board of Education

Drawing of Model 5 Shinyo Boat at base of
132nd Shinyo Special Attack Squadron Monument

One 132nd Shinyo Special Attack Squadron member, Seifu Nikaido, wrote a book about his wartime experiences entitled Umi no bohyou: Suijou tokkou "shinyoutei" no kiroku (Grave markers at sea: Record of sea-based special attack shinyo boats).

Koe Bay as seen from in front of
132nd Shinyo Special Attack Squadron Monument