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