I Led the Air Raid on Pearl Harbor
The Christian Testimony of the Japanese Commander who led the Air Armada of 360 planes that bombed our Fleet at anchor in Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.
I am Mitsuo Fuchida. As chief commander of the whole air squadron, I participated in the air-raid on Pearl Harbor on December 8, 1941 (Japan time), which actually opened up the Pacific war.
On that very morning, seating myself in the first plane, I led the whole squadron of 360 planes into Pearl Harbor, and having ascertained that the main force of the American Pacific Fleet, comprised of eight warships, was at anchor in Pearl Harbor, I lifted the curtain of warfare by despatching that cursed order No. 1 “Whole squadron, plunge into attack!” It was 3:19 a.m. according to Japan Time, which was December 7, 7:49 a.m. by Hawaii Time.
My heart was ablaze with joy for my success in getting the whole main force of American Pacific Fleet in hand, and I put my whole effort into the war that followed it with strong hatred twoards America, the result of which was that misery which is clear to everyone today.
Why were we aviators filled with such strong hatred against America then? Of course, we aviators then had neither hatred nor enmity towards American people as individuals, but the Board of Supreme War Command in Japan was strongly convinced that destiny of the war was wholly dependent upon the success or failure of the Pearl Harbor attack. Hence, in order to secure unfailing success in that strategy, the military high command accused America with such strong words as “brutal and proud America, the long-time enemy,” etc., only to create increased hatred of the aviators toward America.
Having thus started participation in war, I devoted myself to conducting warfare throughout the following four years, presenting myself as a most patriotic and faithful soldier to the mother country.
During these four years, I faced death several times, including six crashes into the sea, but was miraculously saved every time to survive and see the war’s termination.
After the war—and 25 years of Navy service—I retired and took myself to farming, but it was indeed a path of thorns to me. I had never in my life realized so keenly the unreliability of other men as I did during these years. I was strongly convinced that one’s own ability was all he could rely upon, and consequently I worked diligently in silence, giving but a cold glance to the world affairs around.
The new career which I started from nothing, as it were, was so insignificant and slow, like an ant’s progress. Nevertheless, as time passed on I built my house and digged the we; but my life during these years was no other than a re-enactment of the story of Robinson Crusoe.
Thus my lonely life dragged on. But in the meantime as I continued living in closer relation to the earth, through plants, cattle and nature, my mind was gradually led to think of the presence of God, the creator of all these. I came to feel ashamed of my former godless idea that man’s own power and ability was his only trustwothy resource. I had never been an atheist. But I was brought up in circumstances of very little religious atmosphere; consequently, I grew up to manhood without any religion and later enlisted in the Navy. Thenceforth I held the former “War Catechism” as my only ideology (faith).
With the termination of war, the national aspect was altogether transformed and Japan stepped out for the reconstruction of the nation with the slogan of PEACE.
Four years have elapsed since and in these years I have been watching the constant change of social phenomena, but with cold eyes. Nevertheless, I could not help but love the mother country with her mountains and rivers irrespective of good or bad. Accordingly my mind has been constantly set on the problem as to what would be the proper way for Japan to exist hereafter.
Finally I arrived at the conclusion that the only way for the Japanese to survive and prosper would be to have every one of the Japanese people thoroughly made peaceful, irrespective of other nations’ conditions.
However, my militarily specialized mind saw in the prevalent world conditions a possible danger of another war and a second Pearl Harbor. Therefore, with the sincere desire to warn the people, I determined to send out into the world a book entitled “No More Pearl Harbor” no matter how insignificant my work might be. As my writing progressed, however, I came to realize that in my appeal for “No More Pearl Harbor” there must be an assurance of the transformation of hatred among mankind to true brotherly love. So long as mankind remained in opposition to one another within the frame of nationality, the only consequence could be the destruction of civilization.
The latter half of the twentieth century should be a generation of mankind as a whole, and not a generation of separate nations; but finally the problem remained as to who could be the one to accomplish such a great task as this?
In the midst of these thoughts, one day in Tokyo at Shibuya Railroad station at a Pocket Testament League street meeting, I received a Christian pamphlet.
The pamphlet was the testimony of Mr. Jacob DeShazer entitled “I was a war prisoner of Japan.” At first glance my mind was captivated by the pamphlet and I read it through with great enthusiasm. One portion of the pamphlet interested me particularly, and that was the confession of Mr. DeShazer that during his imprisonment, he one day came to feel a strong desire to read the Bible. He recalled to mind what he had heard before about Christianity which could transform human hatred to true brotherly love. This portion, as I read, drew my mind to the same state, and with a desire to read the Bible I purchased one and started reading. Before covering the first thirty pages my mind was strongly impressed and captivated.
“This is it!” I was strongly convinced. I concluded that the true realization of “No More Pearl Harbor” was no other than to expect Christ’s second coming and to endeavor to prepare men from all over the world worthy of welcoming Christ’s return.
As a first approach towards this, I was convinced that I should first of all become a good Christian. Thus, I contacted Pocket Testament League representatives who showed me from the Bible how to become a Christian. I then opened my heart and accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour on April 14th, 1950.
Today is just one month since I was saved. Naturally, I am still in the early stage of Christian growth, but I feel great joy in my daily Bible reading, and my heart is filled with peace as I kneel down to pray.
Moreover, I think I can say today without hesitation that God’s grace had been constantly set upon me and guided me even before I came to know Christ.
God has revealed to me the way of salvation through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. I decided to believe whatever is revealed in the Bible, accept it, and stand as His witness telling others this truth with the help of the Lord.