This man is significant in US history for being the strategic planner behind the bombing of Pearl Harbor. But to know just that one fact is to miss a great deal of the story. Son of a school teacher, he actually admired Benjamin Franklin, loved the US and Americans, studied briefly at Harvard, was a military attache, traveled the world, and was a strong opponent of World War II. But when he was given his orders, he followed them and created the decisive strike that brought the US into the war. Ironically, he was killed by American fighter jets over New Guinea two years later.
While the memorial hall is physically small, the pieces are touching and deserve some time and attention. The wing and seat of the plane that killed him are there, along with family photographs and his personal memorabilia. Much of the material is in Japanese with no translation, so a Japanese reader would be a good friend to have along. A block or so nearby stands the memorial garden in his honor as well as the little house where apparently he was born and grew up, a humble wooden cottage with a few small rooms covered in tatami mats. The feel for entrance (summer 2015) is 500 yen.
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