Here is the context:
Letter by Ryouji Uehara 1922: Born in Nagano Prefecture. 1943: Entered Keio University. December 1943: Drafted into the Imperial Army of Japan. May 1945: Died while diving into a US carrier near Okinawa as a Kamikaze pilot. 22 years old at time of death.
I am eternally honored to be selected as a member of the Special Attack Squadron¹ of my great motherland Japan.
To come to think of it, based on the power of logic of the theories I learned through my life as a student–and maybe I am going to be accused of holding liberal thoughts because of this–it is clear that liberty is going to triumph in the end. Freedom, a part of human nature, can never be destroyed. Even if it looks as if it is being repressed, deep down inside, it will always fight back and in the end will always win. I believe this is fundamentally true as Croce of Italy² put it... It is an indisputable fact that authoritarian or totalitarian states, even if temporarily successful, will in the end most certainly be defeated. We can witness this fact in the fate of the Axis Countries (Japan, Germany and Italy) during the current world war. Fascism in Italy and Nazism in Germany have already been defeated. Authoritarian states are falling now one after another as if they were buildings with no foundation. Reality is proving the truth that has repeatedly been proven throughout history. The great nature of freedom will continue to be proven forever and ever in such ways. I am so happy to know that what I believed in was true, despite the horrific nature of these events for my motherland. I believe that ideas are what drive all the struggles of our days. By understanding these ideas, we can clearly predict their outcomes.
My dream of making my motherland, my beloved Japan, into a great empire like the British Empire of the past has perished. If Japan had been led by those who truly loved the country, Japan would not have been in the state that it is today. To be a Japanese proudly walking tall anywhere in the world–this was my dream.
A friend of mine once said that a Kamikaze pilot is merely a part in a machine. A device that controls the plane, nothing human, no feelings, no sanity either. He is merely a molecule in a bunch of machines lured into an enemy carrier like a magnet. If we were sane, well this is the unthinkable, or as they³ put it, it is “suicide.” This is something that can only be thought up in Japan–a country of spiritualism. As a mere machine I have no rights to say, but I only hope and ask the people of Japan that they make this motherland I love into a great nation in the future.
If I die in this sorry state of mind, maybe my death will be deemed worthless. Therefore, as I said in the beginning, I am eternally honored to be selected as a member of the Special Attack Squadron.
Once on a plane, I am just a part in a machine. But when I’m not there, I have feelings and emotions too. When my beloved girlfriend died, my feelings died with her. When I think that death is only a path to heaven where she will be waiting for me, I have no fear of it. Tomorrow, I will be taking off on my mission. I know my thoughts are extreme and should not be publicly stated. But these are my truly honest feelings. Please forgive me for writing whatever came to my mind with a total lack of organization. Tomorrow, one believer of freedom will perish from the face of this earth. He will have a sad look, but deep inside he will be content.
I have said everything that I wanted to say. Please forgive me for being so frank.
¹ The so-called "Kamikaze"
² Italian Philosopher, 1866-1955
³ The enemy
Does it mean that he had humbled himself because he had a different opinion about war from that of his country/Air force (organization)?