4. Story of Ise Tanno (1899.9.15 – 1981.7.1)

Photo of Ise Tan’no


Photo of Ise Tan’no The Wharf at Maizuru where she waited

Ise Hashino was born in the town of Togi (currently Shiga), Hazaku county in Ishikawa prefecture. She was a resident of Hakodate with her husband Kiyomatsu Tan’no, who was a crue for ferries between the city of Aomori and Hakodate, and their daughter. In 1930, both of the family members unfortunately passed away. She then adapted Sinji as her son from the Hashimoto family, her landlord who was very well-off in the area. Then they went to live in Tokyo in 1931. Shinji dropped out of Rikkyo university and tried to enter a higher merchant-marine school, but changed his mind to become a military personnel. In 1944, he went to Manchuria and entered the preparatoty military academy at Shitou. In the same year, when the Soviet army attacked the area, he became a missing person.

After the war, Ise continued to live in Omori, Tokyo. She kept going to the wharf at Maizuru for six years in belief that Shinji was alive and would return to Japan. The visit began from the time of the first repatriation ship that arrived from the port of Nakhodka in Soviet in January 1950. In September 1954, the recognition of his death was published by Ministry of Health and Welfare. Later, in 1956, the mayor of Tokyo published the Report of Death in Action of Shinji at Mu-tan-chiang in China on August 15, 1945. (This is kept in the Maizuru Repatriation Memorial Hall.) On the other hand, Shinji (1926-), the son who his mother was waiting for, has been reported to be alive after the war. It was found out in August, 2000. He was caught as a prisoner of war by Soviet army and was detained in Siberia. Later, he was transferred to Manchria, and joined the Eighth Route Army of Chinese Communist Party. Later, he resided in Shanghai as an assistant X-ray technician. He had his wife and children there. Although he knew that his mother was waiting for him at Maizuru, he neither returned to Japan nor contacted her. There are different speculations for the reason, but nothing is definite. One of the members of the Japanese visitors to the graves to comfort spirits of the deceased in Siberia who found Shinji met him three times since 1996. At that time, he remarked, “ I am registered as a deceased person. There is no way I can go back any more.”

In the meantime, Ise Hashino published her writing, “The Mother of a Soldier that Does not Return” from a Shinjinbutsuorai publishing company. After September 1976, she began to visit hospitals often due to the old age and illness while she made her living as a seamstress for kimono clothing. She passed away at the age of 81 at 55 minutes past 3 in the morning of July 1st, 1981. She continued to believe that her son was still alive to that day. Yuriko Futaba, the singer, who visited her at the hospital testified that she never forgot about Shinji even a moment. She heard her say “ When Shinji comes back, I want to cook my own food for him to make him happy.”

In August, 2000, Japanese members to the graves to comfort the spirits of the deceased in Siberia confirmed that Shinji was alive in the city of Shanghai. Then Kyoto News Paper reported his existence and clarified the recognition of the personal identification with the name of Shinji Tan’no, published by the Chinese government. Nevertheless, the confirmation for the fact has not been established. In 2003, an article “New Testimony of the Mother at the Wharf at its 49th year” was published in Bungeishunju magazine regarding the circumstance.