Nakatami’s 3d Company and Kamishiro’s 1st Company are now under intense small arms fire and a rain of field artillery and mortar shells. Another 10 or so of 4th/1st fell wounded or dead. Standing on the 900 meter ridgeline, just ½ km from the enemy occupying the crossroads entrance to the pass, with sword drawn, MAJ Kamishiro reminded the disrupted 4th PLT of their duty; to the Emperor, to the Empire, and to their unit. “If you’re not careful, you will be regarded cowards! Worthless to your country! Worthless to your fathers! Worthless to your sons!” Standing alone, out of cover, as though to tempt the enemy, he turned, half crouched and leaning forward meeting each of his men’s eyes with fury, “Show your strength! Show your valor!” All the time the Canadian rounds whizzed by, the earth erupting around his feet, the fog drifting past him. The men of 4th PLT stared, mesmerized—most in awe, some in fear, a few with resentment…
CPT Nakatami also stood, but with more care than his counterpart, the MAJ. He looked at each of his men through eyes more of a father’s than of a CDR. He was confident that his company would see this battle through, and would perform well. They were just 100 meters from an entrenched enemy platoon, and at least 1 machinegun. In a low stoop, he ran from foxhole to foxhole, talking, ordering, directing, encouraging, and sometimes, admonishing; he knew he had to get this platoon in order for his next push up the steep mountainside...