Stone War Memorial in Onagawa, Tsukuba (one of many such monuments now hidden in the shadows)
By Avi Landau
Here is a translation (by Mamoru Shimizu) of the message engraved on the stone composed by Lieutenant Colonel Heiichi Nishikawa:
Monument for Beloved Army Engineer Sergeant-7th-degree Asajiro Otsuka
You, Asajiro, born on May 17th, Meiji 45 (1912) in Ibaraki prefecture, Tsukuba County, Onogawa Village, were a gentle boy, who enjoyed studying, and graduated from Onogawa Elementary-School. When you turned 16, you were hired as a clerk for the National High Meteorological Observatory in Tateno (now part of Tsukuba city), in 15 Taisho (1925) you entered the National Post Office School in Tokyo, and after graduating were hired as an officer of the Arakawaoki-Honjo-County-Post Office. Then, in Showa 3 (1928), you were drafted into the 3rd company of the 1st Electronic-communications Regiment, and were assigned as a candidate for petty-officer. You were promoted to the rank of corporal, and then sergeant. In Showa 6 (1931), when the Manchurian incident occurred, you were transferred to the Electronic-communications unit and became commander of the Harbin, Kichirin-Hairaru Electric-communication unit. In March of Showa 8 (1933), during Nekka-campaign, you were made commander of the Akasaki Electronic-communications unit and did excellent work. Then, by some twist of fate you fell ill and were transferred to the Tokyo Imperial Army Hospital for intensive care. But alas, on the 27th of August of the same year, at the age of 28, you could arise no more. Serving over there, in the severe cold of that wild land, with deep snow and many bandits roaming here and there, one must be very healthy , brave, intelligent, and loyal. Especially in special units such as communications, one should always be prepared to travelling through unknown territory, informing allied companies of enemy movements. Such a person was needed to bear that very heavy responsibility. You did very well with your sincere efforts and loyalty and for that you should be greatly praised greatly. I myself was the humble commander of your regiment, have been humbly asked to pay tribute to your special work.
This spot, near Mountain Tsukuba and Lake Kasumigaura is the perfect place for interring your bones.
May the Spirit of the Hero Sleep Peacefully.
Showa 11(1936) 27th of August
The Kanto Army Corps Electric-communication Regiment Commanding Officer Engineer lieutenant colonel Heiichi Nishikawa present
Dedicated to sacred spirit of Engineering Sergeant Asajiro Ohtsuka
Erected by Lower-house member Ippei Kazami
President of the Onogawa District Veterans Association Minoru Yamaguchi
Asajiro`s Father, Kinsaku Ohtsuka
April 1923 (Showa 12)