How a IJN Zero fighter pilot became a deity in Taiwan

A small temple in Tainan, Taiwan may appear similar to other places of worship on the island but the Chen An is actually the only temple in Taiwan that worships a Japanese soldier.

鎭安堂飛虎将軍廟
By 茶葉蛋 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Also known as the General Flying Tiger temple, it sits on the crash site of a Imperial Japanese Navy Zero fighter flown by Sugiura Shigemine.

Shigemine lost is life during a dogfight with U.S. Navy warplanes on Oct. 12, 1944. He was last seen pulling up his burning plane to avoid civilian homes before crashing.

Although his body was recovered by Japanese forces, his spirit is said to have lingered around the village over the years. In 1973, the locals erected a shrine to worship him. It was later demolished and a bigger structure to replace it was completed in 1993.

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