“Be an unbeatable person and avenge my death.”

I write a daily blog to my daughter entitled GreetingsLittleOne.com. I’ve written every day since we learned that my wife was pregnant and have not missed a day.

Sometimes the post is merely a collection of photographs and videos from the day. Other times it’s an account of the day’s proceedings. Occasionally I dispense fatherly advice or share stories about our family or our childhoods.

Coming from a family with less than two dozen photographs from my childhood and nary an account of my childhood days save my sister’s remarkable memory, I hope that this blog means something to my daughter someday.

For me, it’s meant a marking of the days and a purposeful recognition of each of Clara’s milestones. When asked by people if I think that time is flying by and Clara is growing up too quickly, I always say no. I think that the need to sit down each day and write something to her has helped me soak in every moment.

But nothing that I have written to Clara thus far holds a candle to the farewell letter written by Masanobu Kuno, a Japanese bomber pilot, to his 5-year-old son, Masanori, and 2-year-old daughter, Kiyoko, on the eve of his kamikaze attack against Allied vessels.

Translation:

Dear Masanori and Kiyoko,
Even though you can’t see me, I’ll always be watching you. When you grow up, follow the path you like and become a fine Japanese man and woman. Do not envy the fathers of others. Your father will become a god and watch you two closely. Both of you, study hard and help out your mother with work. I can’t be your horse to ride, but you two be good friends. I am a cheerful person who flew a large bomber and finished off all the enemy. Please be an unbeatable person like your father and avenge my death.
From Father

“…be an unbeatable person and avenge my death.”

Awesome.

Nothing I have told my daughter so far comes even close to being this good.

And yes, I know he was a kamikaze pilot who flew a suicide mission into an American ship, killing American servicemen, but please remember that Kuno believed that his nation was under attack, his Emperor was a God, and that his mission was just. Japanese high command can be blamed for Japanese aggression and war crimes during World War II, but soldiers like Kuno were merely following the orders of their superiors who received instructions from God.

On a side note, I’ve recently launched a new blog with my sister (107FederalStreet.blogspot.com) in which I will attempt to mine her extraordinary memory in an attempt to resurrect my own childhood memories. Kelli is an excellent writer, so with some prompting from me, I’m hoping that we can begin a back-and-forth exchange that will provide me with a new and better picture of my time growing up. Probably not of interest to any of my readers, except for the stalkers.

And when it comes time to write my memoir, I’ll just do a lot of cut-and-pasting.

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