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Mourners pray for kamikaze pilots ahead of WWII anniversary

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Prayed for what? their souls? their safe return?

-17 ( +9 / -24 )

Kamikaze boys fought for Japan and they deserve great consideration and respect from people who live today.

Im very sad that the young generation in Japan are growing up being spoiled. Many dont think about going to university and getting degree. Or worse than that, some go to universities abroad and prefer to help other countries rather than staying in Japan to help the country be better. Some young complain about Japan, but what they are doing for their country? Basically nothing. Anyway, I just wanted to get that off my chest.

I wish the young generation could learn from those young kamikaze the value of being Japanese. Those boys had dream, left their loved ones for this stupid war. They did not have opportunity to grow and have what the young ones have today, yet they showed their spirit.

The same thing is for other Asians who think other country is better than Asia. Many think western nation is this western nation is that, but staying in America continent or Europe will not help your country being better.

-28 ( +14 / -40 )

Mitsuo: "Kamikaze boys fought for Japan and they deserve great consideration and respect from people who live today."

Why do they deserve respect? They deserve sympathy for being used and dying for absolutely no reason, for sure, but the absolute saddest fact of those who died is that they are STILL glorified to this day and age.

"I wish the young generation could learn from those young kamikaze the value of being Japanese."

Killing yourself in the name of a divine emperor?

"They did not have opportunity to grow and have what the young ones have today, yet they showed their spirit."

No, they showed that people who are young and uneducated save by propaganda are dumb enough to be duped into losing their lives so that the people in power who profit from it don't need to. Bottom line. Fortunately the people paying their respects are only asking that the deaths of these men be learning lesson not like you suggest, but a lesson that war never pays, and peace is the answer, and that war should not be repeated. THOSE people deserve respect!

15 ( +30 / -16 )

Some young complain about Japan, but what they are doing for their country? Basically nothing.

Really? How many is "some"? I think it's kind of natural for all young people, no matter what their nationality, to complain a little. "What are they doing for their country?" What are any young people anywhere "doing for their country"? Studying? Working? What do you want? Conscription, probably! And the number of young Japanese living and working in America or Europe is a very, very small percentage of the population. As with most nationalists, you appear a little deluded. Any dreams of the future those pilots had were wiped out by the cruelty of the Japanese High Command. The brother of one of the "tokko" was correct......they were victims of similarly deluded and failed nationalists.

19 ( +23 / -6 )

Regardless of government decision back in those times, we should consider that those young boys didnt have choices. Off course they loved their families, their loved ones and their country, but war was the thing that none of them wanted to participate too. They were brave and we should respect them for their wish.

I dont understand why Smithjapan want we mock those young boys(as he suggests). If your country call you to go to war when you are 15, would you not go? Would you not like to be recognized decades or years later for your bravure? Off course your would. You have to stop and think about the situation of that time before accusing them of being stupid.

Maybe your country is a common thing to not obey government, but here it is different.

You should blame the government and not those boys sir Smith.

-16 ( +12 / -27 )

Mitsuo: "They were brave and we should respect them for their wish."

You just said they had no 'wish', no choice. Why should we respect any of what they did or what happened to them?

"I dont understand why Smithjapan want we mock those young boys(as he suggests)."

I wasn't mocking the boys at all. I was mocking the system that had them killed, and mocking those who glorify them to this day and age -- like you.

"If your country call you to go to war when you are 15, would you not go?"

My country would never do that, nor could they. In fact, they did not allow non-adults to enter war, and for good reason (some snuck in, of course).

"Would you not like to be recognized decades or years later for your bravure? Off course your would."

No, I wouldn't. And it wouldn't matter because I would be dead. Do you think the dead have any feelings or knowledge of how they are thought of? They are cold, dead meat, incapable of thinking, experiencing joy, or having a future.

"You have to stop and think about the situation of that time before accusing them of being stupid."

I pointed out that they did not know better, because they were fed lies and propaganda, and told what they were doing was glorious, by people like yourself who buy into it. One of the dangers we currently face today is that Japan is reverting back to this kind of behaviour; military propaganda on the rise, suppression of any opinions that run counter to said propaganda, the government gearing up for whatever it wants without approval, government censorship of all media and punishment for those deemed 'a threat', etc. And yet you say we should learn from the people of those times!

"Maybe your country is a common thing to not obey government, but here it is different."

And yet you say we should respect things, and that young people of today should be like these men who died for nothing?

7 ( +17 / -12 )

Its been documented that the overwhelming majority of kamikaze pilots were bullied into their missions by superiors. Those who declined were forced to fly endless combat missions where their death was almost assured.

Kamikaze are nothing more than a sad reminder of the abuses Japanese leaders continue to get away with even today.

16 ( +18 / -4 )

No, they showed that people who are young and uneducated save by propaganda are dumb enough to be duped into losing their lives so that the people in power who profit from it don't need to.

Interesting. Therefore no respect is necessary to all the soldiers who died during the British (French, Dutch....) colonial wars. No respect to all those who died during the First World War or in Gallipoli. Or to the US soldiers who lost their lives in the war in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia in the 60s. The list of people who gave their lives for the wrong idea can be rather long... Perhaps you are from Switzerland? You should know that Germany pays respect to all those German soldiers who gave their lives in WWII. There are monuments in every German city etc. Or perhaps the suggestion is that only the Japanese soldiers who fought in WWII should not be respected. Interesting.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Pidestroika: If you want to respect them, fine. I said no one should HAVE to respect them, and given the person I was addressing is a nationalist who thinks "young Japanese these days should be more like them", I do not at all think anyone should respect them in the way Mitsuyo says we should -- the same way nationalists demand we stand up and respect the Japanese flag, by the way. I don't respect war, period, and I do not at all glorify those who died in it, regardless of nationality or war. What I respect is the solemn opinion and dignity of the man in the article, who lost his brother to such nationalism. I lament the loss of lives and find it extremely sad they were forced into giving up that most precious gift. Respect is not a word I fit into any element of that fact.

-2 ( +11 / -14 )

I think you confuse respect for young soldiers who gave their lives believing they were serving their country with the idolization of them by modern day nationalists. I've met kamikaze pilots (those who did not fly their final mission) and not even one of them idolizes those who died or even considers them heros. Solemn respect is what they offer. Respecting kamikaze pilots does not make one automatically a nationalist. There are more shades in life than black and white. If Matsuyama is a nationalist and you disagree, I think you should protest against what he says and how he says it, without showing disrespect towards the dead by calling them "dumb".

7 ( +11 / -4 )

One of the main reasons that Japan lost the war was that they disregarded the value of human life. They killed when killing wasn't necessary, and they died when dying wasn't necessary. Had they valued life more than they did, they would have been better able to judge the future consequences of their actions, and perhaps acted accordingly.

I cannot say that the suicide pilots were brave or courageous, better words would be deluded and foolish. They were not strong, they were weak. The words "death before dishonour" could only apply if their defeat were a dishonour, but such was not the case. The great dishonours occurred in the places where the Japanese were victorious, and brought rape, murder, slavery, and oppression.

The places conquered by the Japanese saw their infrastructure neglected. Water and electricity stopped running. Hospitals were not supplied with medicines. The local currencies were replaced by Japan's wartime currency, which was printed out in such large scales that it was not work the paper it was printed on. Opium dens were opened, and monopolised by the Japanese government, brothels "recruited" women to service Japanese soldiers. The famous "Raffles" in Singapore became a brothel after Singapore was conquered. Everything of value was looted, and sent back to Japan, slave labourers were worked to their deaths by the hundreds of thousands. It wasn't long after getting a taste of "co-prosperity" that the countries "liberated" by the Japanese began collaborating to throw them out.

When deaths occur to save lives, then these deaths are honourable. But when deaths are intended to cause even further deaths, these are deaths are despicable. That Japan threw away the lives of so many of it's young men to no purpose when defeat was inevitable was one of the greatest calamities of the war, and that it continued to attack and kill others when defeat was inevitable was almost as bad.

<I wish the young generation could learn from those young kamikaze the value of being Japanese.

What is the value of being Japanese? Are the Japanese different from anyone else in a fundamental way?

There is value in becoming a human being. A great person once told me that half of the people in the world were male, but only a very small percentage of these males were real men. Most people merely exist, from day to day in most of the world, and paycheque to paycheque in the rest. They live not much more differently than a society of animals, and as people are fundamentally animals, that is as much as can be expected of them. But all people should aspire to be the best they can be, to live up to the full potential that every person is born with. The young soldiers were not yet men. They did not fight and die out of bravery or honour, they fought because they were told too, and they didn't have the judgment to question what they were being told to do. I can forgive them for that, but I cannot respect them.

5 ( +10 / -6 )

The Kamikaze fighter fought for his country; they deserve respect from the Japanese.

2 ( +8 / -5 )

The Kamikaze pilots were brutally destructive and severely misguided. They were young, impressionable, and knew only war in their short lives. They deserve respect for the loyalty and sacrifice they were manipulated into their service for Japan and the emperor .

The actual death and destruction they have caused is not respected today. Don't take is from the obvious points first.

-4 ( +2 / -7 )

Adults in positions of authority exploited the youthful ardor and idealism of those boys and young men whose deaths were a great tragedy. They deserve to be remembered as victims of Showa fascism and militarism, and the blame and shame reserved for those who brainwashed and bullied them and lured them to an early grave. Kamikaze pilots represented a cross-section of Japanese youth, from the disadvantaged and uneducated to the brilliant, privileged university students who left behind their thoughts and dreams in diaries, essays and poems. These writings can be very moving and some display an intellectual curiosity and sophistication and evidence of wide reading in foreign languages that would put many contemporary students to shame. The political views of some may surprise those who have a stereotyped image of suicidal maniacs: some hated militarism, considered the war stupid or without logic, despised narrow-minded nationalism and rejected fascist, right-wing ideology; one intellectually gifted student memorably recorded that right-wing Japanese jingoism is like "shochu" and the Japanese who imbibe that nonsense are like loud-mouthed drunken fools who bring shame on the nation. The lesson their deaths teach us should be that the harm the Japanese incurred through war was in the main self-inflicted and that future generations of Japanese must NEVER obey a government that tramples on their freedoms and uses them as cannon-fodder for a war fought in the selfish interests of the ruling class.

9 ( +8 / -0 )

Pidestroika: "I think you confuse respect for young soldiers who gave their lives believing they were serving their country with the idolization of them by modern day nationalists."

You miss the point again. Anytime someone demands you respect someone or something, it is wrong. It's not me confusing the different kinds of respect. And for someone who says things are not so black and white, you're saying my not respecting because I am told to means I do not respect at all is being hypocritical. I did not specifically say those kamikaze pilots who gave their lives were dumb insomuch as I said blindly following people who feed you nothing but propaganda and nationalism without properly educating yourself is not something we should be striving for, and definitely is not smart.

And I'm sorry, I don't respect someone who died for their country simply because they were forced into it and are a sad example of how things can go so utterly bad in their nation and circumstances. If there is something they did individually that is worthy of respect -- say, one of them stood up and said 'no' and died for THAT, or perhaps one went off because if they did not the government would imprison their family -- I might, but I'm not going to automatically respect a young man who got in a plane and killed himself based solely on that any more than I would a young man or woman given a bomb to strap on themselves and told what they are doing is for their nation and for god, or what have you, and believed it. Again, pity? sorrow? for those forced into it, absolutely. Respect? show me why I should.

Peeping_Tom: "The Kamikaze fighter fought for his country; they deserve respect from the Japanese; especially if a Canadian disagrees."

So, you should especially agree with something solely because someone else disagrees with it? pretty silly logic. If I said members of 751, who 'fought for Japan', should not be respected, you're telling me you think they should automatically be respected because I don't think they should be?

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

That's cool. Their soldiers were just following orders from their government like everybody else was.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I posted the following comment on Japan Today some time back. Apologies for the copy-and-paste, but I thought it was appropriate.

"In the early 1980s, I met a former kamikaze pilot in Kyushu. He was introduced by an English friend of mine. He was one one of my friend's English students. Naturally, I asked him how come he was still alive. He explained that he was 19 at the time right at the end of the war, and they preferred to send the younger pilots (16 year olds). So although he was trained, he was never sent on a mission. Apparently, the younger ones were more likely to hit their targets. The older boys had a tendency to ditch in the sea and perhaps be picked up by a US ship. (I guess wisdom comes quicker in war time.) His general attitude was that it was a time of madness, but he strongly suggested we visit the Kamikaze museum near Ibusuki, perhaps so we would learn how insane it was. We did visit the museum, and we learned it was insane. Don't send your children to war."

14 ( +13 / -1 )

albaleo.

Agree I did my compulsory service, You DON'T question or refuse orders. Let's also not forget that many of the Kamikaze Planes only carried enough fuel to make it to their target.

There was ZERO option of returning, refusing, etc Pilots were registered as KIA before take off.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Smithinjapan

Yes, I do agree that it's solely a Japan business to respect (or not) what the kamikaze did.

If the Japanese want to honour whoever fought and died for their country, that's their business!

My girlfriend's uncle was a kamikaze pilot who died in Okinawa (extremely young); they respect him for having died for Japan. Rightly or wrongly!

Certainly it's none of your business as a foreigner.

You should be concerned with what your lot did to the native Indians (or Americans) rather than passing judgement on Japanese behaviour vis-a-vis their dead.

3 ( +8 / -6 )

Kamikaze boys fought for Japan and they deserve great consideration and respect from people who live today. Im very sad that the young generation in Japan are growing up being spoiled. Many dont think about going to university and getting degree. Or worse than that, some go to universities abroad and prefer to help other countries rather than staying in Japan to help the country be better. Some young complain about Japan, but what they are doing for their country? Basically nothing. Anyway, I just wanted to get that off my chest.

Mitsuo,

Wow just WOW! You are clearly the product of Japanese education................ your English is good, you should read more about what kamikaze's were all about & the nasty ways the IJA forced them into their cockpits!!

3 ( +8 / -6 )

"It's easy to find something worth dying for. Do you have anything worth living for?" Dying for your country is easy. It lets you off the hook. All you have to do is have one moment of bad judgment, and then you're spared a lifetime of having to make tough decisions and working hard to make things better. Choosing to die can in many cases be nothing but a form of running away.

Mitsuo Matsuyama MAY. 05, 2015 - 04:22PM JST Im very sad that the young generation in Japan are growing up being spoiled. Many dont think about going to university and getting degree.

Many of them shouldn't. If they aren't academically-inclined or if they enjoy working a vocation then they absolutely should pursue that vocation rather than university. University for the sake of university just wastes resources.

Or worse than that, some go to universities abroad and prefer to help other countries rather than staying in Japan to help the country be better.

And what's wrong with that? Has it ever occurred to you that service to other countries might indirectly be a form of service to Japan?

Some young complain about Japan,

And that is a problem? Do you not believe in free speech? That's a protection granted by the Japanese constitution. Surely you don't hate Japan so much as to try and undermine the constitution.

but what they are doing for their country? Basically nothing.

Au contraire. I frequently see the youth of this country doing loads of things to make it better. I've seen many students at many different schools organize cleaning campaigns to beautify their surroundings. I've seen students organize garbage and recycling-sorting events to minimize waste in their community. A group of students escorted me to a local police box to make sure I could find it and translate in case I needed help with the police officer to turn in the lost key I'd found on the street. Of course, thousands of children across Japan make illustration posters to help encourage good manners- often manners not even followed by the adults looking down at them. And while I don't know if I could say it about schools across Japan, in my classes students think critically about various problems facing Japan and write detailed proposals for how to address those problems and make Japan a better place.

Now let's turn the question around: What are YOU doing for your country?

8 ( +10 / -3 )

For the Japanese, the Kamikaze pilots epitomizes the ultimate consequences of war; death of the young for a cause that may not have been a common view but enforced from a motive created from early 20th century Japanese imperialism. For foreigners to criticize Japanese respect towards such historical consequences opens up multiple cans of worms in each and every "gaijin" country.

2 ( +5 / -4 )

History is as much about forgetting as it is about remembering. Victims have a right to choose to forget. History would not be made richer by giving any stage to the Japanese empire. Wonder how many pilots showed up for their reunions?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

divine intervention MAY. 05, 2015 - 08:27PM JST For foreigners to criticize Japanese respect towards such historical consequences opens up multiple cans of worms in each and every "gaijin" country.

Not really. I have absolutely no problem with people from any country calling out the historical wrong-doing of members of my country's military. Back up your complaint with sufficient evidence and I'll probably join in complaining with you. Only delusional nationalists demand their country's military never be criticized.

8 ( +7 / -1 )

Kamikaze pilots had no choice but Japanese military Govt ordered them to Chiran for Suicide attack on Hawaii. They wrote their Sayounara poems and short notes to their families and families hid these letters as Japanese Govt would puinish tjhe families. They deserve sympathy for being used and dying No one could tell anything about Govt. They went PH because they had no choice. After that, we rumored that anyone use toilet is not God. Japanese Govt used these young pilots as if they were just parts of airplane. with Emperor's name.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

ct to all those German soldiers who gave their lives in WWII. There are monuments in every German city etc. Or perhaps the suggestion is that only the Japanese soldiers who fought in WWII should not be respected. Interesting.

There's nothing wrong with respecting the fallen soldiers - it's what Australians do every Anzac Day. It's when politicians use their "sacrifice" (and many of the kamikaze pilots were on barbiturates) to justify their own agenda that it becomes a case of cynical expediency. The kamikaze pilots didn't die for peace - they died to satisfy the whims of hardline nationalists

2 ( +6 / -5 )

"History would not be made richer by giving any stage to the Japanese empire."

What a comment!!!

So, history would be made richer by only giving prominence to the Mongol, Chinese, Roman, Egyptian, Greek, Ottoman, Russian, French, British, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Belgian (yes, they were at it too), German, Inca, Azteca et al empires!!!

Kamikaze are representatives of the only "evil empire" that must be obliterated from history records???

With attitudes like this little wonder the Japanese discriminate against you foreigners' lot.

Point me towards any empire that was totally beneficial to the people it conquered and I'll forever shut my gob.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Seems the bickering above has lost sight of the article's most poignant quote:

“We pledge to make an effort for peace, not forgetting about the graveness of the lives of young people victimised by ‘Tokko,’” an 84-year-old who lost his brother in the mission told the ceremony

Yes: mostly young, with rudimentary training, and viewed as no more than cannon fodder by their leaders, they were victims of their own country. That other countries at various times in history have committed similar crimes does not lessen its severity; that their service to a dying, criminal regime was futile does not lessen their bravery; and that their actions should inspire revulsion rather than admiration does not proscribe pity and compassion. Peace.

5 ( +5 / -1 )

kamikaze pilots did not volunteer, No one could volunteer anything then, But lucky to female, they hated women so much that Govt did not draft women as soldiers.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Regardless of all the (disrespectful) fighting going on, may these poor souls rest in peace.

7 ( +7 / -1 )

Those boys had dream, left their loved ones for this stupid war.

You got that part right at least.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“We pledge to make an effort for peace, not forgetting about the graveness of the lives of young people victimised by ‘Tokko,’” an 84-year-old who lost his brother in the mission told the ceremony, according to NHK.

Have real mixed emotions regarding this comment. While I agree that these lives should be memorialized, as they bravely gave their lives for the defense of their country, I have a real problem with the "victimised" part. I mean when will the population of Japan recognize that their history, especially WWII, was brought on by their willingness to be "led to slaughter" by their government, and that they did not attempt in any meaningful way to rise up to stop it? The military did not care about these young men -- they were just collateral damage. Just like the hundreds of thousands killed needlessly by the two atomic bombs and the fire-bombings. (An anolgy would be a victim of domestic abuse. Yes, he/she is a victim, but at some point you have to ask why they didn't leave the relationship?) So, not only were Japanese people a victim of U.S. "atrocities", they were also a victim of their own government? Sorry, but I can't buy that.

-4 ( +4 / -9 )

That's cool. Their soldiers were just following orders from their government like everybody else was.

Soldiers at the time were indoctrinated. In the second war, each of the Axis powers believed they were fulfilling a "destiny". Germany was the leader in the eugenics movement, and eugenics at the time was an accepted science. Germany believed that the races were becoming defiled by the intermingling of "inferior" races, and that in Germany there existed a "master race" which had to be resurrected. Mussolini wanted a return of the golden era of Rome, and to be emperor of a this new Rome. Japan saw itself as superior in all ways to other Asians, and that Japan had a "divine duty" to "civilise" the rest of Asia. The 1920's and 30's was an age of new ideas and political thought, almost all of it total rubbish, yet countless people believed in it (some still do).

Not only were the young and gullible brainwashed by this garbage, some of the leading minds of the day believed in it as well, people like Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Ford, or Leland Stanford, to name a few Americans. It was quite easy for an experienced, middle-aged military instructor to get your average 18 or 19 year old to believe whatever the military wanted them to believe. Of course, not everyone was fooled, but they were caught up in the tide, and opposing the Nazis, or the Imperial Japanese Army might mean you and your families would be visited in the night by the Gestapo, or the Kempe Tai. Such a visit would not be pleasant, the term "to be disappeared" became prevalent at that time.

My grandfather was an instructor in the American Army before the war started. Though some people in America were caught up in the various political movements of the time (my uncle was a devout communist his entire life), most Americans were down-to-earth people who came from many lands. They saw America as a great place, but not divine, or destined to rule the world. Many people in America had come there to escape monarchies, and oppression. The American Army had no particular political belief systems, there were no "political officers" of the type found in the Soviet Union, German, or Japanese armies. American soldiers were taught to obey, but even then, as now, soldiers were taught that they had to follow "legal" orders. Of course, not every order was legal, and not every illegal act was punished, such is what happens in calamities like war.

The Americans did not want to enter the war, they were not particularly affected by what was going on far off in Europe and the Western Pacific. They had no political or economic, or ideological ambitions they wanted to exercise, for the most part, they simply wanted to be left alone. They provided money and arms to the sides they supported, and did what they could to thwart those whom they didn't support, but that was as far as they wanted to go. That is, until December 7th, 1941.

When American soldiers went to war, they did so with the full intention of one day returning to their homes. America was a country of "individual" freedom, and each person was a free and independent individual. They strongly valued their lives, they had hopes and dreams they wanted to accomplish. Their leaders also valued their lives. It takes time, money, and a great deal of effort to train soldiers, the life of each soldier represents a great investment, and one which could not be risked needlessly. Though many still died, there were no suicide attacks, no futile "death walls" to protect the next waves of attackers. If the human cost of an attack was considered to be too high, then that attack was not executed. American soldiers were dismayed by the senseless and hopeless attacks mounted by the Japanese, and even more dismayed when Japanese soldiers preferred to kill themselves rather than be captured. These were the type of acts they would expect of ants or hornets, not human beings like themselves. On the other hand, the Japanese soldiers were surprised at how allied soldiers simply surrendered once there were no other options. The Japanese soldiers didn't respect anyone who wasn't prepared to fight to the death.

One of the greatest lessons of the war is that of human fallibility, and that the human desire to want to believe in something can allow them to be manipulated and driven like sheep to slaughter. It should also teach them never to permit to exist a political system which passes beyond the power of the people to control, however much it claims that doing so will be for the greater, collective good of all people.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

While I agree that these lives should be memorialized, as they bravely gave their lives for the defense of their country, I have a real problem with the "victimised" part.

I'm opposite there, jerseyboy. Those who fought for Japan in the Pacific War were never "defending" their country: They were aggressors in the early and mid stages and simply defending their leaders - not their country - in the latter. Subsequent history bears this out. On the other hand, the "tooka" were different from those only a half-generation older, not only as they had spent their adolescence in a society on total war-footing, but also because there was absolutely no alternative to acquiescence other than suicide by the time they were mature enough to make decisions for themselves. Blame their parents and, perhaps, their older siblings, but theirs was a fate beyond their choice.

2 ( +7 / -4 )

They gave their lives to a losing cause so naturally Japanese are wanting to memorialize them just the "Dog of Flanders". Japan loves the lost cause and those fighting for it. Shoganai ne.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Laguna

"Those who fought for Japan in the Pacific War were never "defending" their country: They were aggressors in the early and mid stages and simply defending their leaders - not their country - in the latter. - See more at: http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/mourners-pray-for-kamikaze-pilots-ahead-of-wwii-anniversary#sthash.Nbjg6X9g.dpuf"

how can you know what they were thinking? do you have supernatural power?

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

The young men who threw away their lives "for the Emperor" in the kamikaze planes were pawns used by Japan's military to lengthen a war the military leaders had already acknowledged was lost. Their aim by that point was to make the Allies pay in lives for their (by that time) certain victory. So many lives wasted and for what? To simply delay the shame the military leaders would face in failing their Emperor. Tragic.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Poor pathetic victims of the utterly stupid and insane war fiends who ran Japan into death and destruction. The military morons were not simply content to sacrifice the lives of these innocent boys; they ready to sacrifice the life of every man, woman and child (excluding Hirohito and his family of course) rather than surrender. In the language of the time, they preferred to see Japan "shatter like a jewel" in defeat. A friend of mine was a student at a women's university. She and the other girls had to practice using bamboo spears that they would stick into each other if the gaijin landed in Japan.

I am so glad today's youths prefer texting to fretting about Japan's national honor. I just hope they realize that Abe and the LDP are no different from the idiots who drove Japan into war.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

@kabukilover. "shatter like a jewel" in defeat. That was order of ichioku "gyokusui" Male instructors were already drafted to war. We had ketchups and were going to spread ketchup on stomach area to pretend we killed ourselves. In my middle school, my best friend was the most wealthy merchant family in city and i suggested her family to donate ketchup to all students or I would not ... . So 1 ketchup jar for 4 students. Teachers trained us how to spread ketchup by pulling summer uniform up because we needed school uniform after we survived.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

There were eleven Korean kamikaze pailots, one captain and ten second lieutenants. Chiran Peace Museum exhibits their names with Japanese colleagues. Yasukuni shrine worships them with more than 20000 brave Korean countrymen. Many Japanese visit the shrine and pray for them.

0 ( +5 / -6 )

Every country pays tribute to fallen soldiers. Japan is not an exception. Eternal Glory to young heroes who died, defending Motherland !

0 ( +5 / -6 )

In human history, the young kamikaze pilots like vast majority of soldiers who died or were injured in wars were usually misled victims of a group of power crazy, greedy and ambitious leaders/decision makers. And vast section of population also suffered greatly in times of wars.

Wars reflect the senseless and cruel behavior and the great destructive power of head-long herd behaviour.....the army of soldiers. The madness and dominating power of herd behavior always cloud and overwhelm individual sound judgment and suck a multitude of participants along, doing crazy things & encouraging even more crazy behavior, which in a sane state these very individuals will not do.

We can see the similar parallels of destructive herd behavior in the last phase of a bubble and its inevitable burst. Because the Japanese culture is homogenous and strong it maybe more liable to very extreme destructive herd behavior when led by some strong persuasive leaders. The 2nd World War and the Great Japanese Stock Bubble of the late 1980s are good examples.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Bless the souls of the tokkōtai pilots who sacrificed their lives - betrayed by a government that fuelled its war propaganda machine by shamefully abusing its people's deep-roted sense of honor and loyalty.

These young men were sons, brothers and husbands and deserve to be remembered by their beloved ones. And it's no stranger's business to criticize this. Or is it the good old 'the winner takes it all' mentality that allows some nations to pay respect to their fallen soldiers (no matter how much blood they have on their hands) while others are expected to hang their heads in shame and simply forget the loved ones they lost?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

We had ketchups and were going to spread ketchup on stomach area to pretend we killed ourselves.

Toshiko, I think some of us would like to hear more about your story. Perhaps like others, I've assumed you were about my age (60). Is this something you really experienced? Please tell us more. I've heard stories such as that by Kabukilover about practicing with bamboo spears, and various other end-of-war experiences. But no ketchup stories.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@albaleo: I am over 82, I was in first year of girls middle school. I have 5 children. My son was born in 1961, then 4 daughters. Every 15 months,

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I see them as victims to a war that should never have been fought. Those that see them as "villains" miss the point the Japanese people had lost the capacity of choice. The military government that replaced the civilian government was at best cruel to both Japanese and non Japanese alike. The heads of the military saw themselves as new samurai and above ordinary people who they saw as their inferiors.

So we must remember these young men. They gave their lives for their country in a cause that was as bad as it gets. Imperial Japan was not fighting for its freedom but to take it away from others. They did their duty because their families would of been punished. When we remember these and the other dead, we must remember the causes of this conflict and vow never to repeat their mistakes. Japan needs to be neutral in the worlds conflicts and maintain a self defense force to only protect Japan. "Collective defense" and the other rants of Abe and the Liberal Democratic party is the road to repeating our past mistakes. So pray for these young men and all who were killed in the Pacific war. Remember the lesson that aggression to make peace is aggression. It is just one excuse of many to cover evil motivations.

3 ( +6 / -4 )

I think they mourned, not prayed. Mourn is itamu, kanashimu. Pray is inoru.

3 ( +4 / -2 )

Were prayers said for the sailors on the Allied ships they flew into? Probably not.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@bobohMAY. 06, 2015 - 09:58AM JST Were prayers said for the sailors on the Allied ships they flew into? Probably not.

======================================================================

They mourned for Japanese pilots. Japanese people mourned. Sailors you mentioned,were they Japanese pilots?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

^Toshiko, it was a simple question. A "yes" or "no" answer will suffice. It may come as a surprise Toshiko, but where I'm from, on ANZAC Day (25th April) and Rememberance Day (11th November), the dead from all sides are remembered and prayed for (if that's your thing), from all conflicts Australia was involved in. I'll take the answer to my initial question as "No", and the answer (which you know already) to your flippant question to me, also is "No".

0 ( +4 / -5 )

@boboh: Remind you Ausie is a very humanitarian country and Japan is not. Ausie care about their people ( they tried to rescue their citizen form Indonesia recently)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

^YuriOtani, "So pray for these young men and all who were killed in the Pacific war."- hear, hear, well said.

-1 ( +2 / -4 )

Being dumb is not a crime. Manipulating the dumb is. I met an ex-kamikaze pilot several years ago in Nakamurashi, Kochiken. His mission was set for a date in September 1945. He showed me the group photo. "We were crazy young men in those days." he said "Now we are quiet and peaceful."

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

alb: You are young; Here is more fqct about we were ordered to die when Yankees landed to Japan. After Gen Mac came to Tokyo, hd had an order by Truman to execute /emperor. His GHQ official found if he execute Emperor, Japanese will perform suicide, Already PM suicided, /at /tokyo trual, first time Tojo testified, Tojo said detail of Emperor and his govt planned for Pearl Harbor, /then he did seppuku (harajiri) but GHQ official rescued. Gen Mac already met Emperor and found Emperor was a lonely botanist. Next time Tojo explained all of Pearl Harbor attack was his responsibility and said nothing about /emperor. Gen Mac decided not to put Emperor on trial; There were too many Japanese who would kill themselves when Emperor would be executed. They believed Gyokusui. "shutter like jewel" Tokkotai members last letters to family indicate they were not brainwashed. Just scared young men, There was no ex kamikaze pilots. They all died at Pearl Harbor (Bungei Shunju Special Issue 1990)
-2 ( +1 / -3 )

When American soldiers went to war, they did so with the full intention of one day returning to their homes. America was a country of "individual" freedom, and each person was a free and independent individual. They strongly valued their lives, they had hopes and dreams they wanted to accomplish. Their leaders also valued their lives. It takes time, money, and a great deal of effort to train soldiers, the life of each soldier represents a great investment, and one which could not be risked needlessly. Though many still died, there were no suicide attacks, no futile "death walls" to protect the next waves of attackers. If the human cost of an attack was considered to be too high, then that attack was not executed. American soldiers were dismayed by the senseless and hopeless attacks mounted by the Japanese, and even more dismayed when Japanese soldiers preferred to kill themselves rather than be captured. These were the type of acts they would expect of ants or hornets, not human beings like themselves. On the other hand, the Japanese soldiers were surprised at how allied soldiers simply surrendered once there were no other options. The Japanese soldiers didn't respect anyone who wasn't prepared to fight to the death.

Brilliantly put

-4 ( +1 / -4 )

America was a country of "individual" freedom, and each person was a free and independent individual

...unless that person decided the best way to return to their homes alive was not to go to war in the first place. Then your "individual" freedom would get you arrested. Draft dodgers were akin to traitors and treated as such.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan’s Kamikaze pilots say war horrors lost on young

“It was crazy — I cannot support the idea of glorifying our mission,” the former navy pilot said of young men ordered to crash their planes into Allied ships.

“Japan could go to war again if our leaders are all like Abe. I’m going to die soon, but I worry about Japan’s future.”

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/628748/japans-kamikaze-pilots-say-war-horrors-lost-on-young

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@YuriOtani

I agree. And the wicked people who sent those young men to their death are worthy of Antenora.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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