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Do you think of Japan's World War II kamikaze pilots as brave? How would you compare them with today's suicide bombers?

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I'd say more brainwashed than anything. Bravery plays less and less a part the more brainwashed you get I assume.

I wouldn't put them as bad as today's suicide bombers as they were strictly military attacking military targets in defense of their nation and homes, as opposed to random killing of innocent civilians. There is also the fact that many could have been under orders to kill themselves.

The government and military establishment at the time should be held entirely responsible for deliberately sending these men off to their deaths.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Yes these walking bomb Idoits are Self Centered fool. They do it for Martadome, self prises and they believe in doing so they have a great after life lavish 14 year old girls. A Self Centered and pedophiles atitude which can not be compare to the Kamikazi warrior ethos of defending a invasion of Japan which no Country has ever achieved.

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

Kamikaze pilots must have been very brave young men when they left their aircraft carrier on their final mission. To write a letter to your wife and children or to your parents and tell them you would not be coming home, and to parcel your belongings to be sent home to them. Knowing that you were flying out to your death must have been very hard to do. A lot of them never completed their mission being shot down before they reached it or missing their target completely. On the other hand suicide bombers do the same thing, set off on a mission knowing they are going to their death and leave a video tape or write a letter to their families. Are they brave? Well you could say that they are, but I think their bravery stems from their religion or being brainwashed by their leaders. And of course they have the added bonus of seen virgins to look after them when they get to heaven. However no matter what, they carry on to the target, their death and the carnage that follows is usually very gruesome with dozens of death.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Kamikaze pilots attacked military targets. They are no different from the Marine who runs up to an enemy pillbox with a grenade in his hand, or a soldier who refuses to retreat from a post (Fort Sumter, for example) when facing unopposed artillery or a naval captain who refuses to surrender his vessel even when the odds are hopeless.

When we talk of suicide bombers, we are usually thinking of those depraved cowards who attack non-combatants. There is no comparison.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Whether they were brave or not is relevant. The government who sent them to their deaths was not brave. The people who ruled Japan were self-serving monsters. That these young men were forced to die for a lost cause that was ignoble to begin with was war crime.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Unfortunately deluded.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Wow. Did any of you study any history, or are you just spouting the opinions from pro-U.S. textbooks?

After the massive civilian casualties from the repeated firebombings by the U.S. the Japanese government didn't need to do much to convince the Japanese public that the U.S. intended to exterminate innocent Japanese women and children. Most of the kamikaze pilots had lost friends or family to U.S. bombings, and they went to their deaths knowing that while their chances were slim they might be saving someone else's family member or loved-one from the cruel and indiscriminate U.S. war machine.

... which is pretty much exactly what motives most suicide bombers in Palestine. The myth that they're just doing it for 99 virgins (which is pretty laughable when you realise that most all Muslims can read Arabic and know it actually translates as "dates") in an attempt to paint these people as sex-crazed lunatics is disgusting. Go and read the diaries some of these suicide bombers have left behind. They tell stories of losing family members and friends, and of seeing suicide bombing as their only way to make a difference.

The sooner we realise that everyone, Japanese, Muslim, etc. are just people, who do things for very similar reasons the sooner we can embrace the humanity of everyone and start to sit down and talk stuff out.

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

The Army and especially Navy fanasptics potentially wanted all Japanese to be "brave" and commit suicide rather than surrender. There is nothing worthy of being brave if your cause is unworthy. I am sure that the Kamikaze were brave and the idiot suicide bombers who bow up innocent civilians are brave. But that does not make them virtuous. The American Sniper was brave but he was no hero. The Japanese Army and Navy fanatics cut their tummies open after Hirohito decided to surrender were brave but they were pond scum.

My late friend was a kamikaze. After the war he became a Communist.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

A kamikaze pilot does not compare at all with a suicide bomber.

Kamikaze pilots attacked military targets using military aircraft only and did so with the belief they were dying at the direction of their Emperor.

Suicide bombers overwhelmingly attack civilian populations and hide their intentions until detonation. They do so with greed as their motive: Apparently they get Wagyu beef for their dinners in the afterlife, or something. The men supposedly get 47 virgins in the afterlife, but it seems to me that award would have resulted in a shortage of virgins a long time ago. Now they probably get 47 "former-virgins who have been reconditioned".

3 ( +6 / -3 )

There can be no comparison.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

First a correction. My initial post should have read that whether the kamikaze were brave is not relevant. I will say that again. Bravery per se is not an automatic virtue. The kamikaze were fighting for a brutal aggressor regime. The difference between Kamekaze and today's suicide bombers is that the latter are volunteers and former were volunteered. There is no virtues in either.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

More brainwashed and manipulated than anything else.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Frungy

The sooner we realise that everyone, Japanese, Muslim, etc. are just people, who do things for very similar reasons the sooner we can embrace the humanity of everyone and start to sit down and talk stuff out.

The reasons or motivation behind their acts may be similar, but what they actually do are worlds apart. One was a tactic carried out by uniformed military combatants against other uniformed military combatants within a declared war according to the Geneva Conventions. The other is not, and in stark contrast, is carried out indiscriminately against noncombatants. That's an insignificant difference to you?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

USNinJapan2May. 15, 2015 - 08:35AM JST The reasons or motivation behind their acts may be similar, but what they actually do are worlds apart. One was a tactic carried out by uniformed military combatants against other uniformed military combatants within a declared war according to the Geneva Conventions. The other is not, and in stark contrast, is carried out indiscriminately against noncombatants. That's an insignificant difference to you?

Yes, it is an insignificant difference - it is like focusing on what clothes a serial killer wears.

The bottom line is that both kamikaze and suicide bombers have seen the enemy killing their women and children, but lacked the numbers and weapons to strike back with conventional warfare techniques, so they found other ways.

I'm reminded of the American revolutionary war. At that time it was normal for two armies to line up on a field and take turns shooting at each other until one side ran away, sortof like a military version of roshambo. The U.S. revolutionaries didn't have the manpower to engage in this sort of slaughter, nor the weapons, so they instead fired from cover, killed a few enemies and then ran away, eventually wearing down the enemy. At the time they were called cowards, accused of defying the normal rules of warfare, and had the word "terrorist" been around they would have been called that too.

But they were human beings doing what they could to defend their friends and families. Assymetrical warfare isn't something new, it just seems to have been rebranded as "terrorism" for political reasons.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

They are the same as modern-day suicide bombers.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

One was a tactic carried out by uniformed military combatants against other uniformed military combatants within a declared war according to the Geneva Conventions. The other is not, and in stark contrast, is carried out indiscriminately against noncombatants.

Have you ever considered that the distinction you make isn't one that is recognized by the suicide bombers?

Don't get me wrong, I think suicide bombing is wrong on every level, but if we are ever going to deal with the issue, we need to first recognize what the bombers are thinking, and why they do it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Frungy

Yes, it is an insignificant difference - it is like focusing on what clothes a serial killer wears.

Wow. You really just said this? Targeting only combatants vice purposefully targeting and killing noncombatants is an insignificant difference for you?

How/who you choose to kill is a critically significant difference. That the two, Kamikazes and suicide bombings, happen to be two different types of asymmetric warfare is the insignificant similarity which you have used to justify the latter.

As for your crazy Revolutionary War example, the Patriots weren't targeting British civilians but were after Red Coats. Just because they employed asymmetric warfare it doesn't make them terrorists. All terrorism are forms of AW but it is only one (the worst) of many types of AW. You seem to erroneously believe that the two are synonymous. No, American revolutionaries would not have been branded terrorists as defined today and neither would the Kamikazes.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Being brave is not a timeless universal standard, but being brave or acting brave is defined by its times and cultural standards.

I am convinced that the mindless narrow minded low educational psycho of the males in general during WW2 was the prime reason for so many deaths. Another was the poor social and cultural standards of these times. Most boys on D-day were low educated and for todays standards pretty dump. Anyone who could count until tree must have known that thousands would get exploded in to pieces by high capacity machine guns on the beaches, yet they thought not as canon fodder of them selves. They were not brave, because once they got on the battlefield it was only luck that made you survive.

The kamikazes were not brave too, as most of them had no combat experience, so never experienced battle stress. The few veteran pilots who committed suicide attacks were completely brainwashed, so that in any case they had no roots in to a normal social life anymore. Kamikazes and other suicide dudes were asocial, uneducated and so deeply brainwashed that a return to a normal life with social regular norms was unthinkable. Even if japan had won, they would all have been psychos, living their sick, selfish pathos of warriors.

Thats why I still think its discussing to say that japanese soldier sought for peace and a better japan, they only fought for them selves and the victory would have made japan like a shogun kingdom on their return . . . . probably sharia style life for most women and children in that case.

BRAVE by definition today is your local fireman, who loves his kids and wife, who kisses them everyday even when coming back from a hard terrible day . . . . if he gives his life saving someone else, someone else's child, he clearly made that decision not because of selfishness and pride, but because he is so brave that he understands that the pain of a dead child for their parents and risks his life to save it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Frungy,

Don't forget tit-for-tat bombing between religious sects. Not just Muslim either.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I don't think they had much choice anyway. There are multiple testimonies indicating that those men were often coerced. The reluctant ones were often pushed into the planes by other soldiers. Even those who did it willingly were misguided and died for a wrong cause, a fascist military State. We often hear Abe and others say that those soldiers "died for Japan", "for what is today's Japan". This is a complete non sense: today's Japan is the complete antithesis of Imperial militarist Japan. Those soldiers actively fought against the current foundations of today's Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Zombies come to mind.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To end one's life in a cause you believe in - kamikaze were the same as today's suicide bombers in my eyes. Radicalised in a different cause, but still brainwashed all the same.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The myth that they're just doing it for 99 virgins (which is pretty laughable when you realise that most all Muslims can read Arabic and know it actually translates as "dates")

72 virgins. You would probably need to know Syriac rather than Arabic for the fruit translation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Today's suicide bombers are doing it to ram their religion down other people's throats and go to heaven in the process, (or at least escape their cynical handlers' brutal grip/threat on their families).

The Kamikaze pilots and human torpedoes were trying to stop an advancing enemy on their doorstep, having run out of normal weaponry and fuel.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

USNinJapan2May. 15, 2015 - 10:12AM JST Wow. You really just said this? Targeting only combatants vice purposefully targeting and killing noncombatants is an insignificant difference for you?

Oh the irony! You do realise that currently the U.S. "precision" drone strikes kill about 36 civilians for every one terrorist they kill. By your OWN logic this means that the U.S. are in the same boat as suicide bombers (except the U.S. can add cowardice to their list of crimes as they're not even risking their own lives).

How/who you choose to kill is a critically significant difference. That the two, Kamikazes and suicide bombings, happen to be two different types of asymmetric warfare is the insignificant similarity which you have used to justify the latter.

It is only significant if you have a choice and instead CHOOSE the indiscriminate option. The U.S. armed forces have plenty of choices and CHOOSE to kill innocent civilians. The kamikaze and suicide bombers have no other choices and theirs are weapons of desperation.

That's what is significant.

Just because they employed asymmetric warfare it doesn't make them terrorists. All terrorism are forms of AW but it is only one (the worst) of many types of AW. You seem to erroneously believe that the two are synonymous. No, American revolutionaries would not have been branded terrorists as defined today and neither would the Kamikazes.

Your lack of knowledge about your own country's history is simply appalling. Had the revolutionaries lost they would most assuredly have been branded terrorists and criminals.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

The bottom line is that both kamikaze and suicide bombers have seen the enemy killing their women and children, but lacked the numbers and weapons to strike back with conventional warfare techniques, so they found other ways.

...including using their women and children.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

NessieMay. 15, 2015 - 08:35PM JST ...including using their women and children.

I know, why don't you get a Palestinian passport and go and live there for a while. Have family members die because the Israelis declared a curfew and you couldn't get medical help or fresh drinking water. Or have family members die from beatings given by Israelis.

Or go to Afghanistan where you can't walk outside for fear of being mistaken for a terrorist and summarily killed, and can't let your children play outside because they might be too near someone else being mistaken for a terrorist.

Stay there for a good long time, long enough to feel desperation, anger, and depression... and then when someone approaches you with a way to strike back tell me you wouldn't say no.

You would leap at it. The same way that countless Americans buy guns for "self-defence" simply to feel less fearful and use them with sickening regularity at the slightest provocation, even on unarmed children.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Kamikaze pilots must have been very brave young men when they left their aircraft carrier on their final mission.

Novenachama@Most of Japan's carriers were gone by Oct. 1944, when Admiral Onishi organized the special attack corps. The kamikazes did not fly from carriers but from land bases --- Malabacat, Philippines at the battle of Leyte or Chiran, Kagoshima in the case of Okinawa.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

GalapagosnoGairaishu@ Thank you very much for the correction and additional information.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Interesting topic. No educated muslim believes the 72/47/__ virgin story btw...

Not many people would willingly take their own life, those that do likely feel they have lived through the worst and lost everything they hold dear. Let's look at the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. You're talking about 1, if not the most advanced military in the world - the IDF. They regularly kill women, children and the elderly, and no, this isn't a muslim vs jew issue. The Palestinian identity encompasses the 3 Abrahamic faiths: Jews, Christians and Muslims, many of whom are connected genetically to the ethnic Israeli jews. To take an innocent life is a crime against mankind, true believers of Islam keep this in mind at all times. Dropping bombs (Hiroshima, Nagasaki), drone strikes (Afghanistan etc.), false claims of WMD etc. are the acts of cowards e.g. the US. These methods claim many innocent lives but we call this "collateral damage" and pass it off as a tragedy of war. What gives one the right to call another a terrorist when your hands are equally dirty and bloodied? Who gives Country X the power to snap their fingers and say YZ are terrorists? The word terrorist is thrown around like a party favor after 9/11 and it's ridiculous. Jump back 3/4 of a century and Japan likely viewed the United States as monsters because of those atomic bombs. There is a fine line between heroes and villains. Most of the applauded war heroes murdered enough innocents but we defend them, "they are defending their country/our freedom/our right to eat Cheetos in PJs blah blah."

Tbh, I can't see a difference between a suicide bomber and a soldier. Both end up killing innocents regardless of intentions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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