Last desperate hours of Japanese on Attu
28th May 1943: The Japanese prepare for their final 'Banzai' attack on the US positions - by killing all their wounded
The U.S. assault to retake the island of Attu was now inexorably closing in on the Japanese occupiers. Many of their units had been decimated by American attacks and their much-reduced force could not possibly resist for much longer. There was no prospect of any Japanese force coming to relieve them.
Imbued with the Bushido code of the Japanese military regime, these troops were now expected to accept the purity of death over the shame of surrender. With the ancient battle cry Tennōheika Banzai [ 'His Majesty the Emperor [shall live to] ten thousand years old'] they would make a final assault. They were not expected to survive such an attack or to achieve anything of any military value.
It appears that individually and as a group, they accepted this fate. While the fit men prepared themselves to go out in a blaze of glory together, there could be no exceptions for those incapable of participating.
Only 33 years old and I am to die here. I have no regrets. Banzai to the Emperor, I am grateful I have kept peace in my soul. At 1800 took care of all the patients with grenades.
The following is from the diary1 of a Japanese doctor, discovered on his body after the final Japanese attack, which commenced at 0400 on 29th May 1943. Dr Nebu Tatsuguri had lived in the United States from 1926 to at least 1938, when he gained his California Medical License. Despite this background, he seems to have entirely accepted the Bushido Code after he returned to Japan and joined the Imperial Guard Infantry in January 1941.