Kazuo Sakamaki
Historical Figure
Nationality: Japan
Date of Birth: 1918
Date of Death: 1999
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Occupation: Sailor, Businessman, Author of Non-Fiction
Children: Two
Military Branch: Imperial Japanese Navy
(World War II)
Fictional Appearances:
Days of Infamy
POD: March, 1941;
Relevant POD: December 7, 1941
Appearance(s): Days of Infamy
Type of Appearance: Direct
Date of Death: 1942
Cause of Death: Execution by firing squad

Kazuo Sakamaki (November 8, 1918 – November 29, 1999) was an ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy. He was one of ten sailors (5 officers and 5 petty officers) who volunteered to attack the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor in a Ko-hyoteki class midget submarine. Of the ten, the other nine were killed (including the other crewman in his sub) and Sakamaki was captured by the Americans. Thus, Sakamaki unwittingly became the first Japanese prisoner of war. The attack inflicted no damage on the American fleet. After the war, he found work with the Toyota Motor Corp. and became president of its Brazilian subsidiary in 1969. In 1983, he returned to Japan and worked for Toyota before retiring in 1987. In 1991, Sakamaki attended a historical conference in Texas and was reunited with his submarine for the first time in 50 years.

Kazuo Sakamaki in Days of Infamy[]

During the Japanese invasion of Hawaii in 1941, Kazuo Sakamaki (1918-1942) was captured during the initial attack by Japanese midget submarines on U.S. warships in Hawaii. He was liberated during the subsequent conquest of the islands. However, he was promptly taken into custody by the Japanese military for having dishonored himself by being captured. He was tried and immediately sentenced to death by firing squad - his surrender was too dishonorable to permit him to commit seppuku. Sakamaki refused to be tied to the post before being shot, to show that he still had some honor.[1]


  1. Days of Infamy, pg. 250-251, PB.