• Sydney Under Attack: Japanese Midget Submarine 31 May – 1 June 1942

    Looking back on the Japanese midget submarine attack on Sydney.

    Mrs Matsuo's story

    Lieutenant Matsuo, Japan 1941
    AWM 128885

    Mrs Matsuo Matsue was the mother of Lieutenant Matsuo Keiu, one of the six Japanese submariners who died that night. In 1968, at the age of 83, she visited Australia to thank the authorities for the honorable treatment of her son's remains. One of the tokens of gratitude she presented was a hand-written poem that is kept at the Memorial's Research Centre.

    Mrs Matsuo's PeomOriginal Poem (87 KB, PDF)
    hand-written by Mrs Matsuo

    The English translation:

    Bottom of the sea
    Died while diving
    Brave warriors
    Given a navy funeral
    I am grateful for your kindness


    Umi no soko
    Kugurite chirishi
    Yûshi-ra wo
    Tomurai mashishi
    Minasake omou

    Mrs Matsuo Matsue is seated second from left. Japan. c 1969.
    AWM P02820.001