Isoroku Yamamoto--Japanese


Hisaye Yamamoto
(1921-    )


Like many military men, Yamamoto was fond of writing poetry.  He continued his love of composing poems and practicing calligraphy throughout his military career.  Born in 1884, Yamamoto was Commander-in Chief of the Combined Fleet of the Imperial Navy during World War II.  He was a graduate of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy and an alumnus of the U.S. Naval War College and Harvard University.  During the time that Yamamoto held several important posts in the Japanese Navy he is most remembered for the development of Japan’s naval aviation capabilities.  Yamamoto was responsible for the battles at Pearl Harbor and Midway.  He died in 1943 while on an inspection tour in the Solomon Islands.  His transport aircraft was ambushed by an American fighter plane.  His death dealt a serious blow to the Japanese military force.

New Year's Day, 1940

Today, as chief
Of the sea guardians
Of the land of the dawn,
Awed I gaze up
At the rising sun.

I am still the sword
Of my Emperor
I will not be sheathed
Until I die.