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What better way to start the sushigirl years of my translation career than with a gritty war record?

As promised, at long last, a translation that I've been procrastinating on since around December last year. It details the desperate struggles of the imperial japanese forces in the Philippines, from the perspective of a soldier with the type 4 HoRo self-propelled artillery squad. Or regiment.

Some information, such as ranks and the correct pronunciation of names mentioned may be incorrect. I spent some time trying to find information on names, but definitely couldn't be bothered to look for information on ranks. The closest thing to this I translated is Akitsu Maru Kazwistika so give me a break… I transcribed all the text in these images and took note of terms/ranks/names/locations and what names I used for them. I will share that, along with the full transcription.

For now, though, I'll focus on posting the translation. But before that, a little context.

The battle of the philippine sea happened around June 1944. The result was an irrecoverable crippling of the imperial japanese army. Anyone even remotely familiar with kancolle will recognize a ton of names of imperial japanese navy ships lost in this battle, considered the biggest naval battle in history.

The outcome of the battle of the philippine sea meant loss of naval power projection of the imperial japanese forces, with air operations greatly limited to the range of japanese-controlled airfields. What's written in these pages concerns the defence of one such airfield.

So if you're wondering things like "how come they didn't get any more reinforcements?" then now you know.

That's as much as I bothered to web search. On with the translation.


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Self-propelled artillery, Sumi company, war memories - Provisinal edition

- December 8th Showa year 19 (1944), to August 26th Showa year 20 (1945) -

Self-propelled artillery, Sumi company, war memories compilation (departure from Moji harbor, same year December 21st); battle report on disembarkment in Lingayen; Luzon island; Clarkfield airfield; Mt. Pinatubo (Shinanoyama in Japanesse) - Eguchi detachment headquarters, south-east; I will try to connect all I know up until its demise.

- Text -

Field artillery school cadets; Army tank academy; Reorganization of eastern units 72 and 73 into eastern unit 72, Showa 19 December 8th, 9th, 10th (personnel in annexed table)

We put a type 38, 15 centimeter howitzer barrel on the chassis of a Chiha tank. Three of these were loaded in Shinagawa station around 7p.m. on the 11th. At that time, it was the height of the air raids on Kyoto. We left Shinagawa station on the same day at 10p.m.. It would take around one hour to reach Nagoya station and about two hours to reach Kyoto's so I took a break. I recall meeting with the company commander at Kyoto station. We stopped a couple of times due to air raids. Looking at Seto inland sea was forbidden because it harbored military secrets. I think we arrived at Moji on the 13th. We awaited the arrival of the caravan with the self-propelled artillery, foodstuffs and other necessities but there was a considerable delay because of an earthquake in Enshuu, so it only arrived on the 19th. On the 20th, the Korean Tiger division and the Manchurian division paratroopers disembarked on transport ships and we left Moji harbor on the 22nd. We were attacked by air raids, submarines and torpedoes for 10 days until we got to Lingayen in Luzon island. Sailing along Korea, east China sea, Hong Kong and Taiwan's Kaohsiung, we reached Lingayen on Luzon island on the night of December 31st. Around midnight, a number of signalling flares were fired from the mountain top. On January 1st, at dawn, we began our disembarkment.

FIG. 1 - Mutinlupa japanese graveyard (taken November, Showa 54 [1979], mourning visit)

The original transcript uses some older writing conventions for location names. Figuring out they passed by Taiwan was a pain.

Yes, I used google maps. Yes, I used paint.


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Around 8am, enemy gurmann and lockheed fighter planes mounted a fierce attack, firing on our ships with machine guns and torpedos, so we couldn't properly get to shore.

Two of the self-propelled artillery guns made it ashore but the final one didn't on account of Aobayama (12 thousand tons) sinking due to a torpedo strike. I quickly made my way to the nearest field, took an eggplant and had it for breakfast with miso soup. The joy I felt having gotten to shore after ten days at sea is something I haven't forgotten even though 15 years have passed. As I had been seasick for ten whole days, I decided to hide the self-propelled artillery in the woods and take a long break. However, the air raids were so intense I couldn't rest properly. Officer Nakamura, sargeant Terada and three soldiers went to meet with his excellency general Yamashita in Manila.

Around that time, there was a rumour circulating about the enemy going to land on Lingayen, so our company headed towards Manila on January 2nd. However, afternoon air raids were too intense and we couldn't march at will, so we decided to march at night. Warrant officer Nagashima, sargeant Yosoi, sargeant Natori and around 20 soldiers were in charge of the supply caravan. They arranged ammunition and foodstuffs and we continued our march for another day. After 3 days, we were contacted from Tarlac by first lieutenant Nakamura, stating that his excellency general Yamashita was no longer in Manila as he had suddenly relocated to Baguio. Our company was at a loss: we were considering moving back to Baguio, but there was the rumour the enemy had disembarked at Lingayen. When we were in the mainland, we were told to follow general Yamashita's orders. As we were in the Eguchi detachment's area of operation, we contacted them and they along with the [Ya]Nagimoto Battallion told us that the Washimi company along with the Iwashita armored company were mounting a desperate defence of the Clarkmarcott airfield. We were ordered to assist them, so we prepared our vehicles and made our way there. We made it as far as Bamban, but the Bamban river bridge was blasted down so we couldn't proceed. The town of Bamban was strangely quiet and there were no locals anywhere. As we had been marching at night, the men were greatly exhausted, both physically and mentally, so we took a long break. The company commander and the divisional officer went out scouting for the best location to cross the river.
On the way back from scouting, around 11am, I heard the roaring of B29 coming from the east. When I looked in that direction, I saw two formations of 3 planes each flying towards me. When I looked closely at them, I saw something like thin rods falling.

Yes, I used paint again. I'm not posting the hinomaru because I'm already assigning honorifics such as "excellency" to someone like Yamashita. I don't want korean intelligence agency bots thinking I'm some kind of japanese imperialist.


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Someone shouted "it's a bomb!" and, a moment afterwards, we heard the thunderous roar of explosions coming from the camp site. We hurried to check the damage and, while the self-propelled artillery was working fine, it took a direct hit. There were five dead and around ten wounded. A fire broke out, so we moved to another area and helped the wounded. We waited until sunset, then we crossed the Bamban river and headed towards the Clarkmarcott airfield. It may have taken around two days to go from Malabacat to Dao by car at night. Just being able to see warrant officer Nagasaki, sargeant Yosoi and the rest of the soldiers of the convoy was enough to make me happy.
I heard the american forces disembarked on Lingayen on the 6th and 7th of January and charged towards Manilla. The american air raids were increasing in intensity with each passing day and I couldn't see our air force matching theirs. Air superiority was now clearly on the american side. I think we finally made it to the Marcott air field on January 20th. I could see many of our army's Hinomaru among the wreckage of airplanes spread across the field. There was one road coming from the airport heading northwest. The japanese army strategic map divided the area by valleys: valley 1, valley 2, and so on. mt. Pinatubo on valley 6 had many steep cliffs. Our allied forces and local japanese men and women of all ages evacuated deep into mt. Pinatubo's caves by the thousands, using the road and crossing the log bridge. The convoy laid out in valley 2's encampment. The woods were a good place for it. We'd move out from valley 2 to the front line in Clarkfield every single day. As the americans had air superiority, american observation aircraft were relentlessly on the look-out for us. We couldn't move at all. As soon as they spotted us, we'd be showered in concentrated fire. The circumstances were such that one shot in their direction was met with hundreds of shots in response. This continued for 4 or 5 days. At Clarkfield, tank shelling attacks were increasing every day. On the twenty-sixth of January, at dusk, M4 tanks appeared on the airfield. It was the first time I saw an M4 tank. On January 27th, starting with me, everyone in my squad was excited, in great part because we saw the M4 tanks the day before.
Hostilities continued for 4 days. The other companies had many dead and wounded but the self-propelled artillery company met January 27th without a single casualty. As usual, all members gathered at 8 o'clock and had a briefing with the company commander, got up to speed with the battle situation and were given our orders.

Spent an afternoon trying to find information on the exact location of these valleys both on western and japanese sites and got diddly-squat (but I'm pr-e-tt-y sure one of you is gonna write "philippines valley" on google and get detailed results because google hates me.

Yes, I used google maps. And paint.

Second image is just showing that I got the course on the previous post correct. Found it while searching for the valleys.


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Commanding teams:
Company commanders: second lieutenant Koube; sargeant Terada; three soldiers
Second division: second lieutenant Ohata; master sargeant Anzou; six soldiers
Third division: first lieutenant Nakamura; master sargeant Saito; six soldiers
Convoy: warrant officer Nagashima; sargeant accountant Natori; other non-commissioned officers

We departed to the front around 9am. We stopped in the mango grove northwest of Marcott airfield to assess enemy movements. Around 10am lockheed and gurmann aircraft began attacking in waves. The recon aircraft was circling more than necessary. Around 2pm, enemy M4 tanks appeared. Afterwards, we were under intense tank fire while the lockheed and grumman aircraft kept opening machine gun fire from above. In the wide airfield, tank cannon fire felt like being enveloped in a lightning storm. The smoke, the earth and the sand lifting all over the place made it hard to perceive the battlefield. If I shot once, I'd have to leave the area in three minutes or else I'd be under heavy concentrated fire.

Our squad was involved in a number of skirmishes, chasing and being chased around the airfield. Around 4pm, hostilities ceased. In the morning, we returned to the mango thicket, hid the self-propelled artillery and had a small break. While we were performing vehichle maintenance, we got a message from one of Sgt. Terada's men that the company commander had a chest wound, that 2nd Lieutenant Koube was wounded in his right arm and that both were being treated in a nearby dugout. However, as there were recon aircraft flying over us, we had to wait until sundown, around 6pm, to depart to their rescue and bring them to the convoy on valley 2. Company commander Washimi sent 2nd Lieutenant Koube to the field hospital in valley 5. His arm had to be amputated.
On January 27th, the fighting became intense. Company commander Washimi, 2nd Lieutenant Koube and four others suffered injuries. The company's fighting prowess suffered especially due to commander Washimi's and 2nd Lieutenan't Koube's injuries. January 28th proceded without incident. First Lieutenant Nakamura took charge of our company. On the 29th, we were given the usual orders to hide the self-propelled artillery at the base of a large tree. Around 2pm, the enemy executed a simultaneous assault on the Iwashita armored company, defending the Marcott airfield.

FIG. 2 - American M4 tank during battle, near landing site
FIG. 3 - Remains of Iwashita armored company's vanguard, near Clark airfield

Clarkmarcott = Marcott = Clarkfield = Clark airfield. The author seems to have used all these terms interchangeably.

I translated up to here in the final day of samachan. Then I got tired. The rest I translated yesterday.


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We on the self-propelled artillery were ordered to provide cover fire to the Iwashita armored company. We departed to a location no bigger than 1.5km but the wide airfield was like a hellish torrent of dirt, sand and fire. The enemy recon aircraft kept persistently circling above us, watching our every move, so we couldn't act. We couldn't establish wireless communication with the Iwashita tank corps. We didn't know their location. As we had to guess, as well as attack enemy M4 tanks, we couldn't be stopping at one given location any longer than three minutes. While moving around 100, 200m, we looked through the dirt, sand and fire and aimed our guns directly at the enemy M4 tanks. We couldn't fire more than twice at any given location. Around 4pm, the enemy bombardment began to cease, so we hid the self-propelled artillery in the thicket and began inspecting the vehicles. At that moment, there was a bout of concentrated enemy fire but, thanks to innumerable dugouts nearby, there were no casualties. As the caterpillars in the self-propelled artillery were damaged, we took to their repair while waiting for sundown.

Around 7pm, with sundown, while slowly pulling back to the convoy, we saw three american M4 tanks through the dark, headed our way. At that moment, it didn't surprise me. They hadn't noticed our self-propelled artillery. The three tanks were about 60 to 80m ahead of us. Luck was on our side, as we hadn't started the engines. We all held our breaths. It was our first experience being chased, and it had to be right at the end of the day. The platoon leader, second lieutenant Ohata and about seven other men, believing these were their final moments, shared a canteen, held hands firmly and prepared for what was to come. We let our fate to the heavens. The enemy tanks fired twice at us while advancing. We were ordered to break through the enemy's formation and retreat to valley 2 at the second volley. The following ten to fifteen minutes were long. The enemy didn't know about the self-propelled artillery, but we were on the same road so there was nothing we could do.

I thought it took twenty minutes. The enemy M4 tanks kept getting closer. Meanwhile, our self-propelled artillery pointed its gun directly at them. At the moment of the second volley, the sight in front of me turned to fire and I felt something like a metal rod hitting me. The right side of my body went numb and I couldn't move it. I held to the self-propelled artillery with just my left hand and we broke through the enemy's formation. We retreated desperately for 2km, then stopped the self-propelled gun. Enemy fire came down on us like a rainstorm but, mysteriously, none of it hit us. We stopped without meaning to. Our driver, private first class Toi was wounded but made it this far on sheer force of will.


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Platoon leader, second lieutenant Ohata, died in battle. Master sargeant Anzou was gravely wounded (chest, neck, right leg), two ammo handlers (communications worker and wireless worker) and a driver had minor to major injuries. [Driver's] assistant, private first class Koshiba, escaped miraculously unscathed, so he became the driver. We retreated to valley 3. The entire convoy retreated from valley 2 to valley 3. The wounded were tended to in the convoy and were sent to the field hospital on vally 5. However, company commander Washimi and second lieutenant Koube had already left to Mt. Pinatubo's Shinanoyama hospital and no-one else was left in the field hospital. Only about ten banana tree leaves arranged over a hole were there. The army physician and two combat medics were there. I thought we had about 30 gravely wounded people but the atmosphere of suffering suggested otherwise. I had the wounds I sustained that I couldn't see in the dark treated and spent the night there, but my wounds hurt all night so it was a painful ordeal. I wasn't the only one. A few people died. At the time, I thought the shrapnel that perforated my chest would be removed but it wasn't. For the past 15 years, even now, a piece of shrapnel about 3cm long is lodged deep inside my chest.

Early in the morning, a hand grenade was given to every wounded. The field hospital was relocating to the rear, to Mt. Pinatubo (Shinanoyama), so every wounded who could walk was to march there and those who couldn't were instructed to do as they must with what they were given. The battlefield is heartless. Clinging to a cane, I descended a slope of about 300m. There was a dugout there with five or six wounded. I was allowed inside and, after a week having my wounds treated, I got much better and, on the 15th day, I managed to join back with the convoy. But at that time, I didn't have a lot of meals and physically weakened. The men in the company were very happy for me, and I was very happy as well. The company was divided among three dugouts. It was valley 4's dugout. Each dugout couldn't fit more than six or seven people. Besides wounded, there were many soldiers with malaria and amebic dysentery.

Obviously, this was all written 15 years after the fact. The term used for "do as they must with what they were given" can be translated as such, as well as "commit suicide". Yeah. I decided to leave the very japanese vagueness of the term in the translation.

War fucking sucks.


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Less than half of the entire company was still healthy. In the afternoon the enemy would bombard us with artillery and do air raids, we couldn't even leave the dugouts to relieve ourselves.

I recall that in the day before we moved from valley 4 to valley 5, private first class Kotama Shigeru, from Matsuhiro town in Hanishina district, Nagano, was gravely wounded and suffered from malaria and didn't see himself surviving. In the afternoon, he told me of his life.

「My home town is close to Karuisawa. I have a wife and a seven-year-old daughter at home. My wife has an incurable illness and is bed-ridden but my daughter has no such issues. I don't think I'm going to survive. My time is up. Master sargeant Anzou, if you get back to mainland, take this pocket watch, a memento of my father, and give it to my wife and daughter.」

Was his request and he gave me his watch but, later at the Montalban POW camp, they confiscated all documents, remains of deceased and mementos.

「One last thing. I've been holding dear a piece of muscovado. I know you like sweet things, master sargeant, so please, eat it」

and he gave it to me, but I couldn't hold back my tears and couldn't bring myself to eat it. Later that night, within the dugout, private first class Kotama laid in peace. I took his little finger, wrapped it in oiled paper, and retreated to valley 5. The five men renaming in the dugout were at death's door.

Just like the wounded, everyone was giving it their all with no time to think about anyone but themselves. Malaria, dengue, amebic dysentery, lice and nothing to eat. Life is a mysterious thing. In dugouts here and there, the dead were getting buried. The company retreated from valley 3 to valley 4. During that time, there were no big engagements. I heard that, by January 29th, the Marcott airfield was completely under american control. The officers in charge of the company were first lieutenant Nakamura, warrant officer Nagashima from tank academy and master sargeant Saito, three non-commissioned officers, 4 reserves and I think 15 soldiers.


Since the second squad's self-propelled artillery couldn't be found, I made some inquiries and found that, on February 8th, having been informed that enemy M4 tanks lead the vanguard on the assault of valley 2 from Marcott airfield, the self-propelled artillery was either to be fixed on a trench and defend against the enemy attack, or was to sortie and blow up the enemy tanks. First lieutenant Nakamura insisted on the sortie. It seems the idea to fix the self-propelled artillery on the trench came from Master sargeant Saito.

First lieutenant Nakamura boarded the second squad's self-propelled artillery and moved out to valley 2 but enemy infantrymen had moved to the peak of the hill to the right of valley 2. Heading into the valley exposed the self-propelled artillery to heavy machine gun fire from the top of the hill. The situation was unsustainable and a retreat was attempted, but the self-propelled artillery couldn't. The self-propelled artillery blew up in flames from the enemy fire, leading private first class Koshiba and four other soldiers to meet honorable death in battle. Survivor private first class Kawano relayed to me that he jumped off the self-propelled artillery and hid in a nearby hollow. First lieutenant Nakamura also jumped off the self-propelled artillery. They tried their hardest to save their comrades in arms but the enemy fired incessantly and they couldn't do anything. He told me they waited for sundown and returned to the convoy. First lieutenant Nakamura as well. Private first class Kawano spoke honestly, having heard that first lieutenant Nakaura felt the weight of his actions and vanished from the company. After that, first lieutenant Nakamura wasn't seen again. I think it was a pitiful way to end.


The enemy followed the Batan highway and, in succession, firebombed valleys 1, 2, 3 and 4, causing forest fires, and only advanced after nothing was left to burn down. Valley 5 was the last point in the expressway and from valley 6 on was the mountain trail of Mt. Pinatubo. On the entrance to valley 6, master sargeant Saito dug the last dugout and prepared to engage the enemy M4 tanks. I had about 10 men and we mounted two machine guns, but I had terrible amebic dysentery and couldn't move for two days. We got word that the enemy was downstream the river, about 300m away. We dismounted the machine guns and buried them along with ammo and other weapons and determined ourselves to retreat to the Eguchi detachment's headquarters in Shinanoyama. As I couldn't move, the soldiers tied me to string and carried me over so I managed to retreat. Master sargeant Saito also retreated to Mt. Pinatubo (Shinanoyama) two days later, after engaging the enemy M4 tanks, firing at them at point blank range. The self-propelled artillery also blew up. Warrant officer Nagashima, sargeant accountant Natori and about 20 soldiers brought food supplies while we made our way to Shinanoyama. On our way there, after walking the steep mountain pass for two days, company commander Washimi and second lieutenant Koube who had also sustained heavy injuries, appeared in shape or –CUT–


And there you go. For the record, the text ends on a point where it can't be easily deduced whether or not Washimi and Koube were in good health, but the sudden use of "genki" in the text leads me to believe they were.

Remember folks, war fucking sucks.


ルソン - Luzon
リンガエン - Lingayen

タルラック - Tarlac
バギョー - Baguio
クラクフィルド - Clarkfield
マルコット - Marcott
バンバン - Bamban
クラクマルコット - Clarkmarcott
マバラカット - Mabalacat
ダオ - Dao
ピナツボ山 - Mt. Pinatubo

江口支隊 - Eguchi detachment
柳本大隊 - [Ya]Nagimoto battalion
岩下戦車中隊 - Iwashita armored company
鷲見中隊 - Washimi company
長嶋准尉 - Warrant officer Nagashima
与曽井軍曹 - Sargeant Yosoi
名取軍曹 - Sargeant Natori
神戸少尉 - Second Lieutenant Koube
寺田軍曹 - Sargeant Terada
小幡少尉 - Second Lieutenant Ohata
安藤曹長 - master sargeant Anzou
中村中尉 - first lieutenant Nakamura
斉藤曹長 - master sargeant Saito
名取主計軍曹 - sargeant accountant Natori
渡井上等兵 - private first class Toi
小斯波上等兵 - private first class Koshiba
児玉豊上等兵 - private first class Kotama Shigeru
河野上等兵 - private first class Kawano

下士官兵共 - "the men"; enlisted men
分隊長 - divisional officer
中隊 - company
中隊長 - company commander
指揮班隊 - commanding officers
グラマン - Grumman
分隊 - squad
四名 - four leadership reserves (page 12)


Oh damn translation sushi roll is back nice
Now that you've posted this though I'm reminded of how weirdly cavalier the Japanese can be about their role in the war. I guess it's to be expected, everyone has their war heroes, it's just strange to see it in manga, and extremely varied manga with no connection to the story of the war either e.g. SnS and Kengan.


I think it's odd to us because no one really gives a shit about the Pacific war from the Japanese side. Eurocentrism and all that. In turn, translated primary sources are hard to access. We can't get enough of memoirs about Barbarossa or Kursk though.


This is true, it's just also that the Japanese are usually considered the bad guys and the amount of, well, I don't really want to say apologetics because that's not really what it is but the amount of weird excusing that can happen is pretty strange.


God I wish we had more books about Frederick Barbarossa or Hayreddin Barbarossa


I don't think this is exclusive to the Japanese or right-wing nationalists either. i.e. Clean Wehrmact myth. There's a particular image of the war that captured Germans were able to successfully create during the Cold War. And American schools do an awful job as it is.

Doesn't help when most Japanese veterans have died without telling their stories.


I suppose it comes down to the fact that I read more manga than western comics/modern fiction so I see it much more often in Japan.
Still, an interesting story.


Letters from Iwo Jima did pretty well and you also occasionally see the IJA/IJN playable or at least some stuff about them in video games. I think there's interest there but it's kind of untapped for whatever reason. Westerners are certainly more familiar with the Third Reich and German war crimes though and the Nazi has been a stock villain since the 40s.

You don't have to be some kind of nationalist to partake in apologetics or revisionism. It's easy to inadvertently explain away or defend the crimes of your own grandparents. If you're from the American South you know what I mean.


It's less about inadvertantly explaining them away and more that it often feels like they specifically go there.


File: 1591776850874.zip (7.5 KB, war record.zip)

Here's the transcription. It's an html file but those aren't supported so I put it inside a .zip.

The amount of times I tripped over myself while transcribing this was surreal. I'd inadvertently skip one or another vertical line and ~70% of the time the result still made grammatical sense. So much so I'd get paranoid at times, about whether the text continued from the upper right block to the lower right or upper left blocks. Still, it was great practice and the kind of thing which would look great in my NORP curriculum. I'd have to explain all the futanari trap Raikou porn I've translated as well, though…

And with that, this ups the number of non-h content I've translated to a grand total of 3!

…I swear I wish I could translate non-h more often!


Speaking of kancolle, I dare recommend Takotsuboya's Teitoku no Ketsudan series of doujins, as they provide great detail, even concerning the Philippines theatre of operations and the catastrophic loss of human life along with the desperate attempts at supplying and rescuing the retreating land forces. It's got some hentai in the mix but the author pieced together the events in compelling fashion.


Thanks for the hard work, this looks like it was crazy to work on.


Sorry, I might have missed this, but who is the author? What was their rank/background/etc?


He doesn't make mention of who he is at all during this. The only giveaway to his identity is in >>2505. The author must have been master sargeant Anzou.

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