Seventy years after the USS Missouri came under attack from a Japanese kamikaze pilot, a special exhibit never before shown outside Japan will be unveiled revealing another perspective of how humanity triumphs over warfare.
On April 11, the new exhibit will be displayed aboard the retired USS Missouri – site of Japan’s formal surrender to the Allied Forces on Sept. 2, 1945 to end World War II – and feature a rare collection of artifacts, images and archival materials gathered about kamikaze pilots, including final good-bye letters. The collection is being provided courtesy of the city of Minamikyushu, Kagoshima, Japan, home to the Chiran Peace Museum, where the kamikaze artifacts are stored.
“The scar from the kamikaze attack is still visible on the side of the USS Missouri, but it now serves as a reminder to our guests that in the midst of war between enemies, a meaningful act of humanity emerged that continues to inspire today,” said Michael Carr, president and CEO of the Battleship Missouri Memorial. “We are also honored to present in this exhibit historical artifacts from the Chiran Peace Museum and show today’s generations another side to the people engaged in war and how the world has changed since then.”
The April 11 unveiling and the USS Missouri – now known as the Battleship Missouri Memorial and berthed in Pearl Harbor – as the host site for the exhibit is especially appropriate considering the history and humanity of 70 years ago that connects Japan’s kamikaze with America’s last battleship.
This will be the first-ever showing of these artifacts outside of Japan. They provide a rare glimpse into the lives and final days of these young kamikaze pilots. Included within the collection are farewell letters and poems (translated in English) written by the pilots to family members and loved ones, personal photographs and information, historical images, and uniform items. The artifacts will be on display through Nov. 11.