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China angered by Japan's U.N. bid for kamikaze pilot letters

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dear oh dear, there are some-things that Japan just doesn't get.....

-3 ( +24 / -29 )

The southern city of Minami-Kyushu had last week asked UNESCO to register the wills and farewell letters of two kamikaze suicide pilots who had carried out attacks on allied ships to highlight the importance of world peace.

Boggles the mind.

-3 ( +13 / -17 )

People here are quick to judge without fully comprehending the reasoning behind the letters. While registering with the UN bid might not have been the most brilliant of ideas, there's absolutely nothing wrong with highlighting letters of kamikaze pilots to understand the mindset of those who wage war. And as such, to not forget and prevent that mindset from happening again. Nothing in this article indicates the intent is to whitewash history or minimize Japan's role in anything regarding the war.

30 ( +45 / -14 )

Unfortunately, some people don't even have the ability to think...

Well, this might make sense if the letters said something like, "I don't want to become a suicide bomber, but I am only forced to by my own nation..."

Anyhoo, too much of what is basically senseless fanatical nationalism muddled with nonsensical beautification and glorification.

-5 ( +18 / -24 )

Would a memo written and signed by a Nazi pen-pusher, authorizing the death of camp prisoners, be registered in order to show the value of world peace?

It seems odd. Of course these letters have value, but...

-6 ( +15 / -23 )

People don't misunderstand the purpose of this project! Here a more complete article:

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201402050042

Mayor Kanpei Shimoide said: "Next year will mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Through inclusion in the Memory of the World, we hope to transmit to a wider audience the real voices and feelings that are contained in the wills of the special attack pilots who became victims of the national war policy."

How is this supposed to be glorification of Japanese imperialism? He is saying they were victims of Japan war policy, is this wrong?

27 ( +32 / -5 )

Chinese are so afraid of Japan.

-1 ( +18 / -17 )

Kamikaze entered into combat when it was obvious that Japan is losing the war , and that Japan itself is in danger ,they were intended to protect not Impery , nor Emperor , they name says it all, Kamikaze ( spirit wind, divine wind )is wind that protected Japan from Mongolian invasion , so , they hoped that naming suicide pilots with Kamikaze would protect Japan .Of course , we know now that Kamikaze didn prevented Allies, and we also know that two atomic bombs were dropped , and that over 200.000 civilians died from that . So, why not persevering letters of pilots that wanted to prevent something like that ?

-13 ( +11 / -24 )

Would a memo written and signed by a Nazi pen-pusher, authorizing the death of camp prisoners, be registered in order to show the value of world peace?

You cannot compare Kamikaze pilots who were targeting military targets with Nazi officials who were responsible of massacring civil citizens based on their race religion etc.

26 ( +31 / -4 )

Kamikaze entered into combat when it was obvious that Japan is losing the war , and that Japan itself is in danger ,they were intended to protect not Impery , nor Emperor , they name says it all, Kamikaze ( spirit wind, divine wind )is wind that protected Japan from Mongolian invasion , so , they hoped that naming suicide pilots with Kamikaze would protect Japan .Of course , we know now that Kamikaze didn prevented Allies, and we also know that two atomic bombs were dropped , and that over 200.000 civilians died from that . So, why not persevering letters of pilots that wanted to prevent something like that ?

What does that have to do with highlighting the importance of world peace?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

These letters can show what brainwashing can do, and for this they can be useful for world peace. Some people see nationalism everywhere, even though Mayor Shimoide's words seem rather clear to me. He is not praising Japanese war policy. @oldman_13: you got the point.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

The last letter written by 19-year-old Fujio Wakamatsu is among the "Letters from Chiran" submitted for inclusion in UNESCO's Memory of the World. It reads in part: "Dear Mother, I have nothing to say now. I will go for my conquering mission with a smile for my last and first filial piety (for you). Please remember I did not cry and place some offerings like dumplings for me after I am gone." (Kunihiro Hayashi)

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201402050042

I don't see how that letter would promote peace.

While we're at it, why don't we include letters and diaries of a SS guard on a concentration camp next to Anne Frank's diary...

I liked this comment:

In related news, last videos of suicide bombers, often made shortly before they departed for their terrorist suicide missions, have been included in a submission by Al-Qaeda for entry into UNESCO's Memory of the World.

All in all, this is all just glorification of the kamikaze pilots, just in time for right-winger Hyakuta's famous novel, "Zero", which ends with a "pacifist" kamikaze pilot that kamikazes into an American aircraft carrier (lol).

It's rather strange that something like this should be included, but not say, letters and diaries of comfort women, etc.

-6 ( +12 / -19 )

I totally agree with the Japanese push for the suicide bombers letters to be registered and then next can we include Al Qaeda's suicide notes to be registered?

-2 ( +13 / -13 )

Japan's bid will be laughed out of the UN. Most of the world would see these suicide bombers as the brainwashed terrorists they were. I guess it is all part of Abe's push to whitewash the sins of the past.

0 ( +15 / -16 )

China wouldn't had problem with the Kamikazes if it weren't for Abe's push to militarize against China. After all these Kamikazes died defending Japan, not invading other countries. So why should China have a problem with that.

The problem for China is that it sees this as part of Abe's grand plan to resurrect fascism and imperialism. It's that grand plan they have problem with.

Such is the level of mistrust between the two governments, that they will misunderstand each other at every level, in everything they do.

-11 ( +6 / -16 )

What's next, Jihadist suicide poems?

0 ( +14 / -14 )

Alex80

These letters can show what brainwashing can do, and for this they can be useful for world peace. Some people see nationalism everywhere, even though Mayor Shimoide's words seem rather clear to me. He is not praising Japanese war policy. @oldman_13: you got the point.

oldman_13

While registering with the UN bid might not have been the most brilliant of ideas, there's absolutely nothing wrong with highlighting letters of kamikaze pilots to understand the mindset of those who wage war.

Then why don't we include Hitler's Mein Kampf, while we're at it? Gee... it so promotes peace by understanding the mindset of a brainwasher...

I've said it before and I'll said it again: Some people don't have the ability to think.

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

Again and again. You cannot compare Kamikaze pilots who were trying to defend their own country targeting military ships with jihadists who are targeting innocent civilians.

3 ( +12 / -8 )

nostromoFeb. 11, 2014 - 07:13AM JST dear oh dear, there are some-things that Japan just doesn't get.....

Sorry, but it is China that doesn't get it. Letter written by young pilots just before certain death to remember the horrors of war and to pray for peace.

BurakuminDesFeb. 11, 2014 - 08:21AM JST Japan's bid will be laughed out of the UN. Most of the world would see these suicide bombers as the brainwashed >terrorists they were. I guess it is all part of Abe's push to whitewash the sins of the past.

I doubt that very much. Most rational people and countries understand the historical value of such letters especially for an organization like the United Nations which is founded for the same purpose that these letters are being proposed. As for your claim that the Kamikaze were terrorists" you really have no idea what you are talking about. Anyone who has served in the military will tell you that Uniformed pilots in the military service of their country sacrificing their lives for their country by crashing into enemy military targets is a universe apart from non-governmental militant organizations conducting surprise attacks on innocent civilian targets under non-war conditions.

5 ( +20 / -14 )

"After all these Kamikazes died defending Japan, not invading other countries."

They were also defending an evil, brutal system. Human life in Japan had little value: all subjects of the emperor were expected to lay down their own lives for his.

In the meantime, it was a system that had ordered the military invasion of every single one of Japan's neighbors, inflicting untold misery on 10s of millions of innocent people.

1 ( +11 / -11 )

rsgz4gg7y2

After all these Kamikazes died defending Japan, not invading other countries. So why should China have a problem with that.

black_jack

Again and again. You cannot compare Kamikaze pilots who were trying to defend their own country targeting military ships with jihadists who are targeting innocent civilians.

Oh! Right! I forget that Japan was a poor little victim just trying to defend its country, and not the aggressor! Poor silly me, how could I not have seen that!

Of course, uncle Hitler and the good ol' Nazis were just trying to defend Germany! They were heroes! How silly!

I've said it before and I'll said it again: Some people don't have the ability to think.

-10 ( +7 / -17 )

What's next, Jihadist suicide poems?

Why not? Some people here apparently don't understand that what matters is the intention behind the project. If the purpose is to show what brainwashing can do well yeah, the world needs to know also Jihadist suicide poems.

5 ( +12 / -6 )

No one is trying to beautify the Japanese militarist history of invasion. China is trying to make something up out of whole cloth.

2 ( +10 / -7 )

Angry people are angry.

They hear, "Japan", "War", "Soldiers" and automatically they are war criminals or even Nazi regime like doings.

Angry people are brainless too it seems.

5 ( +14 / -8 )

OssanAmerica

As for your claim that the Kamikaze were terrorists" you really have no idea what you are talking about. Anyone who has served in the military will tell you that Uniformed pilots in the military service of their country sacrificing their lives for their country by crashing into enemy military targets is a universe apart from non-governmental militant organizations conducting surprise attacks on innocent civilian targets under non-war conditions.

This is hilarious... "OssanAmerica" defending suicide bombers that attacked America... I'm sure that you'll be severely attacked by the American conservatives... lol.

Alex80

Why not? Some people here apparently don't understand that what matters is the intention behind the project. If the purpose is to show what brainwashing can do well yeah, the world needs to know also Jihadist suicide poems.

How would that promote peace? Not to mention... utterly insensitive to those who fell victim to the suicide bombers.

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

Don't they mean "beatify"?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Some people have a really simple brain that prevent them from rational-thinking. They cannot even distinguish between Kamikaze pilots who were in their 20's targeting military targets with Hitler or jihadists.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Some people don't have the ability to think.

Now you are offensive. If the Mayor Shimoide's had said "the world needs to know these great heroes who fought for the glorious Japanese empire" it would have been nationalist nonsense. But he spoke about "victims of Japan war policy". And he is correct, these guys were brainwashed, and he is blaming Japan war policy, not praising it.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

The Japanese government is the 'black hand' sponsering that rightist movement of glorifying war aggressions and the 'misconduct of Japanese military services! Kamikaze is something that even the Nazi SS couldnt have imagined! Praying for peace? Very doubtful indeed! Was that a civilized manner of war conducts and a rational 'rule of engagement' to encourage those 'naive youngmen' to carry out these pointless attacks that will causing harms to others and their own! Those mothers of Kamikaze pilots were the ones who suffered most while their sons killing people and killing their own in a savage manner! That was the motto of Japanese military. And these wear conducts is what the Abe administration is encouraging at present hostilities in east asia! Well, Japan under Abe's rule has lost her mind already.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

black_jack

Some people have a really simple brain that prevent them from rational-thinking. They cannot even distinguish between Kamikaze pilots who were in their 20's targeting military targets with Hitler or jihadists.

Hitler and his men also targeted military targets. How is that any different?

You're basically saying that the kamikaze pilots were fine, pure, innocent, brainwashed... while Hitler and his men... not.

Alex80

Now you are offensive. If the Mayor Shimoide's had said "the world needs to know these great heroes who fought for the glorious Japanese empire" it would have been nationalist nonsense. But he spoke about "victims of Japan war policy". And he is correct, these guys were brainwashed, and he is blaming Japan war policy, not praising it.

Then why don't we include letters and diaries of an SS guard? If you think about it, pretty much anyone who was under Hitler or Tojo or whatever was "brainwashed".

I think, that we are getting pretty sick of the "Japanese as the poor victim" mindset (even though it was true that they were victims), while ignoring the suffering of all the other people (10x as much as the Japanese) that Japanese army inflicted upon. Where is the justice?

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

I hope the UN World Heritage organization registers these letters.

I think they're a really interesting part of WWII history.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Then why don't we include letters and diaries of an SS guard?

If the purpose is to show what brainwashing can do, I think it can be useful to humanity. Or you think censoring this stuff it's better?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Japan, please dont do something hurting your neighbour. The American forget kamikaze who killed millions of Americans at pearl harbour.

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

What's next, Jihadist suicide poems?

Next on the list, Japan claims the war crimes accusations against Japan, was a fabrication by America

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3120699/posts

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Eiji Takano Feb. 11, 2014 - 08:51AM JST I think, that we are getting pretty sick of the "Japanese as the poor victim" mindset (even though it was true that they were victims), while ignoring the suffering of all the other people (10x as much as the Japanese) that Japanese army inflicted upon. Where is the justice?

The other side of this issue is how much it has become politicized in places like China and Korea, as well as in Japan. But Abe isn’t alone playing the politics of personal gain with this issue. China and Korea do the same thing, redirecting anger and dissatisfaction with the countries’ politicians and leadership to Japan. I suspect that China and Korea will never be satisfied with any apology, and they are happy to keep rejecting apologies and pressing for new apologies because they can turn this position into a popular one among the people in their countries. While recognizing Japan’s guilt in this matter, we also need to recognize the political posturing on the parts of China, Korea, and others who want to keep this issue fresh and unresolved for the purpose of personal political gain.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Japanese had sunk so many PCR aircraft carriers with so many PRC sailors aboard using those fighters that it surely hurt their feelings...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

From "The Nobility of Failure" by Ivan Morris)

*Far from accomplishing its objective, the Special Attack strategy may well have contributed to one of the greatest catastrophes that ever befell the disaster-prone Japanese people, namely, the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the first (and only) nuclear bombs ever used in warfare. This is hardly what the air-borne samurai had envisaged as the fruit of their dedication, yet such ironic outcomes are familiar in Japanese history, where heroic efforts have often led to results totally at variance with those intended.

Suicide tactics, instead of overawing the Americans as had been confidently expected, produced indignation and rage out of all proportion to their practical importance and had much the same psychological effect as did the V-1 and V-2 rockets in England, which were similarly regarded as "unfair" weapons. This probably helped remove such qualms as President Harry Truman and his close associates may have felt about dropping atomic bombs on huge population centers at a time when Japan was already on the verge of surrender and busy with peace feelers. Furthermore the ferocity of kamikaze tactics seemed a logical culmination of Japan's wartime "fanaticism" and no doubt served to warn the Americans of the immense casualties they could expect if they proceeded with their plans to invade the home islands in the autumn of 1945. It is possible that Japan, faced with the dual threat of atomic attack and the full participation of Russia in the grand alliance, might have capitulated without any invasion at all, and that the obliteration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was therefore not only immoral but gratuitous. This we shall never know. *

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Alex80

If the purpose is to show what brainwashing can do, I think it can be useful to humanity. Or you think censoring this stuff it's better?

I would leave those stuff to institutions to analyze human behavior.

But I don't exactly think that they belong in UNESCO to "promote peace". It's really no different than including "Mein Kampf" to "study the effects of brainwashing and/or madness". In institutions, sure, that's fine, but these letters would do nothing to justify the legitimize and even glorify the kamikaze pilots.

Unfortunately, there are still many people in Japan who look up to kamikaze pilots as something heroic and honorable. There is a popular rightist novel now by Hyakuta (the one who denied Japanese military aggression) which is about a kamikaze pilot who is "for peace" that kamikazes into an American aircraft carrier.

You see where this is going?

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

I agree the letters are an important part of WWII history and should be preserved.

There should be no censure ship because someone dislikes aspect A or aspect B.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Oh so if America found itself in a similar situation America would surrender without a fight? The Allies had carriers of of their coast and fighters were shooting at everything in sight. They shot up the railroads, roads, all type of buildings including schools and hospitals. The B sans were bombing with no distinction as to military or civilian. The Japanese did not have enough fuel for their fighters to intercept. hundreds of thousands of Japanese, millions were being killed by American "heroes" who were killing with no sign of a heart. It is like that crap series as Americans are still bashing Japanese today.

One last time the Japanese Kamikaze were flying clearly marked military aircraft against Allied military ships that could defend themselves. The Jihadist is wearing civilian clothes and walks to his/her target. The Nazi was killing the helpless in camps. The Allies had a good chance to defend themselves unlike the people of Japan who were helpless against the American attacks.

The Kamikaze Pilot was trying to save civilians sacrificing their lives to protect defenseless civilians. So these letters were being written by brave men before flying to their deaths. True the leaders of Japan were wrong in starting this war but that does nor "dehumanize" the people of Japan.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

@Eiji Takano: I don't know how I can say it anymore...the words used by Mayor Shimoide show how the project isn't the one to glorify the kamikaze pilots. The aim is to show one of the many horrors of wars. These guys killed other people and themselves because they were brainwashed by their government. I think everyone, not only institutions that analyze human behavior, can learn something reading stuff they wrote.

.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

How is this supposed to be glorification of Japanese imperialism? He is saying they were victims of Japan war policy, is this wrong?

It feeds the idea that rank and file Japanese were all unwilling victims.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I suggest everyone read what historian Ivan Morris concluded in "The Nobility of Failure" --- rather than impressing with their self-sacrifice and courage, the perceived fanaticism of the Kamikazes directly influenced US leaders to proceed with use of nuclear weapons to bring the war to a speedy end.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I suggest everyone read what historian Ivan Morris concluded in "The Nobility of Failure" --- rather than impressing with their self-sacrifice and courage, the perceived fanaticism of the Kamikazes directly influenced US leaders to proceed with use of nuclear weapons to bring the war to a speedy end.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It feeds the idea that rank and file Japanese were all unwilling victims.

It's because you want see it this way.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

YuriOtani

The Kamikaze Pilot was trying to save civilians sacrificing their lives to protect defenseless civilians.

Then the people who were fighting against the Japanese Empire, both Japanese and non-Japanese, must be even bigger heroes. What about those who fought against Japanese imperialism, and were arrested or executed for it? Shouldn't they be the bigger heroes? There may even be some Japanese soldiers who directly went against orders to save innocent lives. How are they less for peace than the kamikaze pilots that actually killed in the name of war and Emperor?

In an extreme case, you are either with the fascists or the freedom fighters. No matter how well intentioned, the Japanese soldiers were on the wrong side. Even if you were brainwashed, you killed people in the name of evil.

Alex80

@Eiji Takano: I don't know how I can say it anymore...the words used by Mayor Shimoide show how the project isn't the one to glorify the kamikaze pilots. The aim is to show one of the many horrors of wars. These guys killed other people and themselves because they were brainwashed by their government. I think everyone, not only institutions that analyze human behavior, can learn something reading stuff they wrote.

No matter how well intentioned, this is just going to glorify the kamikaze pilots. If the right-wingers don't complain about it (which I'm sure they won't, but even encourage it), then you bet on it that it does.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Kamikaze pilots were ordered to attack Pearl Harbor. At that time, they had no choice. They were ordered to kill themselves with Mitsubishi Zero planes. They had no choice. Some expressed their feelings in Waka Poems. These writings were hidden for years.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

The city hosted an airfield from which hundreds of pilots launched suicide missions in 1945, the final year of the war.

In fact, many young pilots wrongly believed emperor was a divine living God. They were conned by media and senior officers. The problem of Japan is still praising Suicide is the beauty as recent NHK boss.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Well first off, how would those bases protect Japan?

Chinese vessels can't go freely around Japan and to the Pacific Ocean aiming for US west coast with their submarines like Soviets did?

Enough?

Okinawa should bear the burden?

How many Okinawans were killed in WWII compared to the four main islands of Japan?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

No matter how well intentioned, this is just going to glorify the kamikaze pilots.

Why you shouldn't care about the actual intention? The main purpose is blaming war propaganda, it's not the one to legitimate the kamikaze pilots' actions.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

While i think these letters should be registered and studied for the control that was prevalent at the time. I also think a lot more could have been done, up till now, to find Japanese people who went to great lengths to not be forced into being a kamikaze. There was, perhaps is, people like that who totally were not acknowledged for their choice to avoid being controlled. China can sweep all Japanese together if they want, but just like China, not all citizens are brainwashed and controlled. And most of these comments here just go to show how many can easily be controlled and have no way of really seeing any sort of light.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan, please dont do something hurting your neighbour. The American forget kamikaze who killed millions of Americans at pearl harbour.

Millions? No. Thousands.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The American forget kamikaze who killed millions of Americans at pearl harbour.

Millions? No. Thousands.

Kamikaze attacks didn't start until 1944, when Japan was well on the way to losing the war and was reduced to increasingly desperate measures.

Kamikaze killed not a single American at Pearl Harbour.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

YuriOtaniFeb. 11, 2014 - 09:06AM JST The Kamikaze Pilot was trying to save civilians sacrificing their lives to protect defenseless civilians.

What about the actions of Japanese soldiers in Okinawa in 1945? Were they trying to protect defenseless civilians? As you know, some 200,000 Japanese and Americans died in Okinawa including more than a quarter of Okinawa's civilian population. Thousands of civilians in Okinawa were told to commit suicide by Japanese soldiers. That to surrender to U.S. troops would be to disgrace the emperor. Many families committed suicide together on the orders of fanatical Japanese soldiers rather than allow them to surrender.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Kamikazes made their first appearance in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, Philippines, in Oct. 1944.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kamikaze killed not a single American at Pearl Harbour.

I stand corrected. I was just thinking about deaths at Pearl Harbor, not the actual method of death.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Everyone is a victim of circumstances. While we're at it, why don't we humanize the slave owners, SS guards, Jihadists... after all, they were all victims. We can list letters of SS guards to the World Heritage list to promote peace... how absurd.

As a Japanese, I'm really getting sick of the Japanese people constantly having a victimized mentality. Oh, they were victims of this, victims of that. Ok, but what about the millions of other people that they actually harmed during the war? They care nothing about those people, apparently Japanese are the only ones that are important enough to matter.

-8 ( +6 / -15 )

The Kamikaze attacks were not aimed at the Chinese so what is the PRC is upset about? These 'kamikaze' letters were written by the young, inexperienced pilots in the Japanese tokkoutai "Special Attack Group" and are mostly about ' I don't want to die/ what's the point?' As such the letters are more critical of war in general and the desperate and futile policies of the Japanese army and air force in 1944/45. So they are legitimate anti-war documents and not instruments of any resurgent Japanese imperialism.

7 ( +11 / -3 )

>Eiji TakanoFeb. 11, 2014 - 08:39AM JST >OssanAmerica ”As for your claim that the Kamikaze were terrorists" you really have no idea what you are talking about. Anyone who has served in the military will tell you that Uniformed pilots in the military service of their country sacrificing their lives for their country by crashing into enemy military targets is a universe apart from non-governmental militant organizations conducting surprise attacks on innocent civilian targets under non-war conditions.”

>This is hilarious... "OssanAmerica" defending suicide bombers that attacked America... I'm sure that you'll be >severely attacked by the American conservatives...

No it's not hilarious at all. I am sure this is all above you but in 2001 immediately following the World Trader Center attacks the US media was using the term "Kamikaze" attacks to describe the terrorists flying planes into the buildings. Quite a number of Americans complained pointing out that using the term "kamikaze" to suggest that cowardly acts of the terrorists killing civilians was an insult to all servicemen/women who serve their countries in uniform. The loudest complaints came from former US Navy retirees who had seen action in WWII in the Pacific. Learn something new everyday.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Ryokai

The Kamikaze attacks were not aimed at the Chinese so what is the PRC is upset about?

Oh Japan... how you amuse me with your cool indifference towards injustice... I wonder how you can go on living being so amoral.

Apparently, you can only be upset if you were the receiving end of something. Not to mention that China was under the Japanese imperial control...

These 'kamikaze' letters were written by the young, inexperienced pilots in the Japanese tokkoutai "Special Attack Group" and are mostly about ' I don't want to die/ what's the point?' As such the letters are more critical of war in general and the desperate and futile policies of the Japanese army and air force in 1944/45

If they were critical of the war, then I wonder... why they didn't suicide bomb into a military headquarter or something.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Kamikaze pilots were used first to attack Pearl Harbor/ Shiju- wan Kogeki. That was the starting of WW II. Dec/7 1941James D Delina(sic), Mike Mansfield, etc wrote essays around 1989.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

All a kamikaze pilot is, is a radical suicide bomber for an evil regime who flies a plane killing good people. He is the same person as the Islamic terrorist who drives a truck full of explosives into a check point. Japan just doesn't get its past at all.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Not quiet most of the kamikaze pilots were ordered to partake, were declared as KIA before takeoff and only carried enough fuel to hit their targets.

Many of the letters reflect that they were not volunteers.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

"Oh so if America found itself in a similar situation America would surrender without a fight?"

Yeah, it would if Washington had been hijacked by an emperor-worshiping cult and an un-elected clique of militarists who were suppressing the citizens' basic human freedoms, while the victors were promising to deliver freedom, democracy and peace.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

China is the country that twice tried to invade Japan, they hardly have a leg to stand on for this greiveance. The events of the second world war included bravery by both sides and that bravery has the right to be recognized, it is not a matter of the politics of the government but the courage of the individuals who were serving in honour. If the Chinese has a similar standard of courage I am sure it would qualify as well, but i dont see any example of that.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I think the problem is that Japanese think it's America who started this war. They just refuse to believe Japan did anything wrong, and it's all others who are unfairly attacking Japan.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Kamikaze pilots were mostly children, high schools kids, or early 20s. I think all adluts were responsible for the war, but not children. And those letters were meant for their mothers, etc . In the letters, they were concerned about mother's health and happiness, and thinking about country. Very sad letters.

1 ( +5 / -5 )

Chucky, Where you got idea that Japanese think it is America who started war? Japanese knew Shinju-wan Kogeki by Mitsubishi-Zero plane rode Kamikaze pilots who had no choice but KIA. It was 12/8 (Japanese date) in 1941. We Japanese heard Emperor's Choku-go on NHK announcement on Radio. Maybe you think alll Japanese have memory problems and so stupid that they can't read newspapers, but everybody knew Japanese Pearl Harbor attack was the start of WW II.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

They are sad. Those kids had no choice...refuse to get in the plane and they would have most likely been severely punished, if not dispatched on the spot. Fulfill the mission and still end up dying. The conscripted had very little choice in their destiny.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Wow, looks like the usual suspects at it again yelling and screaming while not actually reading why the city wishes to add these letters as a world heritage.

The city isn't trying to glorify or seek acceptance of what these men did, the city is trying to highlight how brainwashed they were by nationalistic madness.

The crazy part is these men were so brainwashed and so devoted to their madness that they most likely died happily.

Nationalism taught and pushed by Totalitarian and Authoritarian regimes are the most vile things this world has to offer. These kinds of regimes instill in their people hatred of others and try and make themselves appear superior than the rest.

That starts at an early age and they never relent. Nationalistic brainwashing uses propaganda, teaching the young to hate your neighbor, State controlled media, state funded and controlled TV programs, the censorship of movies etc. etc. etc. to get this point across. Those are their tools of hatred and motivating their masses.

They try to make it seem as if their goals are not for expansion of their own territories and the theft of natural resource. No, instead they claim that all they are doing is liberation of others or taking back lost territories.

Then when they conquer what is not theirs they send any and all who oppose them to either re-education labor camps or to the gallows. There can never be dissention against their absolute rule.

By highlighting these letter and documents they are in fact trying to show the world the horrors that these forms of governments want to pass onto their neighbors.

But, of course Communist China is using this as another tool to motivate their brainwashed masses into believing their coming war is a justified war. Communist China would use anything to try and get their masses ready for this war, no matter how benign it really is.

Communist China is planning to start a war that they think they will be able to contain. But, with all Nationalistic insanities that will not happen and we will have World War III upon us.

Know the past and it will allow you to see the what lays behind the lies of propaganda.

0 ( +6 / -7 )

Classic! Japan wanting to register the letters of murderers as relating to "peace". And comparing Kamikaze letters to the diary of Anne Frank??

Ossan: Sorry, bud, but if these can be registered in the UN as 'cultural heritage' than so can letters left behind by Al Qaeda members before they flew into the twin towers, if there are any. Talk all you want about how they are 'different' because the kamikaze pilots had a uniform on, but in both cases you have people in an army (AQ may not have a uniform, but they are a militant group, no?) ordered to kill themselves and the enemy for a certain cause.

I've read a bunch of these letters at a visit to the kamikaze museum in Chiran 'peace' Museum, and they are quite sad, and at times touching, but you cannot say recognizing them as world heritage properties is for 'peace' with a straight face.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

So we start the "oh those poor victims/kids blah blah" sob stories and pity party again.

Please, do not be fooled world. Pretty soon the Japanese right-wingers will be saying "We did nothing wrong! Those pilots were heroes! Poor victimized Japan!"

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

JoeBigs is dishonest. I read some of those letters that are proposed for UNESCO. They write they are proud to die for the Emperor, don't weep for me mother, etc etc. emotional letters that Japanese leaders today are surely hoping to stir Japan's nationalism.

Maybe you think alll Japanese have memory problems and so stupid that they can't read newspapers, but everybody knew Japanese Pearl Harbor attack was the start of WW II.

Toshiko, I think Japan does have serious memory problems when it claims the Americans are fabricating Japan's war crimes. I do think Japanese read Japanese newspapers, that's the problem. Everyone knows Japanese Pearl Harbor attack was start of WWII, all except the Japanese who say it was self defence.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Let's bypass China's whatever motive for a moment.

I am not sure that registering kamikaze pilot’s letter in UNESCO would be a good idea to promote peace in the world.

The bottom line is that kamikaze pilots essentially were organized suicide bombers who wanted to sink allies’ warships and killed sailors on the deck at the end of World War II.

Should we pay remembrance and tribute to those kamikaze pilots or suicide bombers even if they indeed wrote some touching letters to their love ones before their missions ?

For a heavy note, 10 hours ago, a suicide bomber in a Toyota Corolla crashed headon into the NATO Convoy in Kabul, Afghanistan; two NATO contractors were killed instantly. Does anyone want to express condolences to that suicide bomber?

0 ( +5 / -6 )

It's as absurd as posting SS guard's letters (over the actual victims of the Nazi regime) to "promote peace". If Germany did that, then the world would be outraged.

But Japan... always the poor victim. Poor Japan.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

EthanWilber, but they were just primitive Afghans, not the special superior raced Japanese.

Here is a country that worships and idolizes the Kamikaze, their WWII soldiers, in mangas and other popular culture. It's laughable how some people here claim that it's just trying to show the realities of Japan's war time brainwashing. Laughable and not convincing when you see all the glorification of Japan's Imperial past. Japan claims its war crimes are American fabrications, it's clear to me what the real motive Japan is. I don't buy it one minute.

What is the goal of Japan to register this at UNESCO? It's their attempt to normalize and deflect criticisms of their historic revisionism, and to plant military nationalism into their youth population who are currently looking at the imperial past with romanticism and rose colored glasses.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Chcky You are the only person who stated Pearl Harbor attack was result of self defence. Are you suggesting Japanese people should stop to read Japanese newspapers?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Some of these letters are on display at Yasukuni Shrine. They say "Mother, Father, thank you for raising me. Please take care of my little brother Jiro" and stuff like that. They don't say "Praise the Emperor and I die for his glory!"

0 ( +2 / -3 )

toshiko, that's what I have read and heard from many Japanese who say they had no choice but to attack America because America was being unfair to Japan, after the Nanjing incident (you know that same incident that Japanese also say it was fabricated) when the US put sanctions on Japan. Japanese say Japan tried to liberate Asia from Europeans and Americans (the Yasukuni shrine that your politicians endorse, says so), why America unfairly attack Japan? I suppose you can't blame the Japanese when they have been fed lies for so long, it's become the truth. Now Japan also wants to register with UNESCO, the Mitsubishi plants and Japanese coal mines where thousands of Asian forced laborers and allied POW's were abused and killed. This madness of Japan is never ending, they keep coming up with new ways to offend everyone's senses so that Japan can feel good.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

chucky3176Feb. 11, 2014 - 11:26AM JST JoeBigs is dishonest. I read some of those letters that are proposed for UNESCO. They write they are proud to die for the Emperor, don't weep for me mother, etc etc. emotional letters that Japanese leaders today are surely hoping to stir Japan's nationalism.

So, in your view the letters have no value. Well, you may want to see what other letters, documents, picture and films are held at Unesco's Memory of the World Programme before you jump the gun.

BTW, here is an excerpt of one of the letter's you say you have read,"Letters from Chiran" submitted for inclusion in UNESCO's Memory of the World. It reads in part: "Dear Mother, I have nothing to say now. I will go for my conquering mission with a smile for my last and first filial piety (for you). Please remember I did not cry and place some offerings like dumplings for me after I am gone."

If that doesn't scream "nationalistic brainwashing" nothing will to you or others who are so filled with hate that they would censor the past.

Look up the UNESCO's Memory of the World before you guys keep jumping the gun.

This site is not hiding from our past they are shining a spotlight on it.

Yes, this includes the horrors of Totalitarian/Authoritarian regimes and the madding horrors of war.

So if you have a beef with the truth and you wish censorship by all means protest UNESCO's Memory of the World and it's site.

Folks here hear "Japan" and their heads spin off their heads spewing pea soup and vile words. Read, do research before your heads fall off, come on folks it's really not that hard.

-1 ( +4 / -6 )

gokai: Notice the functional word of your first sentence "SOME", as in, "not all". There are plenty of letters which state the motivation for doing what they were going to do was "for Japan and the Emperor (as the embodiment of kokutai)", and praising the Imperial family in general.

So, how about a letter praising Allah before suicide bombing a bunch of US troops in Iraq or Afghanistan?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

JoeBigs, "it scream "nationalistic brainwashing" to us, but to the average Japanese? They think they are brave souls who died doing good for their country. That's the problem. Why would anyone who has been victimized by Japan, like to see Japan being glorified and rewarded at the UNESCO? The same country that denies Nanjing, Comfort Women, all war crimes - and claims that the Americans, Koreans, Chinese all fabricated them all to make Japan look bad? Why would Japan at this explicable moment, as you suggest, try to show that the Kamikaze's were brainwashed? uh-huh. I really believe that.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

I just love the double standard hypocrisy written by the pro-korean, anti-Japan resident trolls. If you compare the posting above with the ones written in defense of An Jung-geun in a similar article posted a couple of weeks ago.

So which is it assassins or freedom fighters?

One difference is the Kamikaze pilots were FORCED while An did it on his own free will and the Kamikaze pilots went against a fortified military target which they knew were coming at them while Ito was shot in the back who was not a central governmental figure at that time.

1 ( +7 / -7 )

Perfect example Samurai. Look the hypocrisy of Japan. Wasn't it Japan claiming Ahn was a terrorist? What does that make the Kamikaze's?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

JoeBigs: so by the same token, you should also be feeling sorry for the victims of comfort women, Nanking massacre, etc.

But you don't. Why? Because they're not Japanese. You and others only feel sorry for those poor kamikaze pilots and not their actual victims. "Oh, it's the past, move on".

Japan should really be moving past this Japan centered thinking.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

I guess you don't get it since you are immersed in it.

It's called propaganda and unlike An or yourself the Kamikaze pilots understood that fact since they were reluctant participants which you can easily read from their letters. That is why their letters are so precious unlike some mindless rants filled with hate embedded through PROPAGANDA.

1 ( +7 / -7 )

Chucky: Japan did not use defense/ That is the word after WW II. Haven't you heard Chugoku Shinryaku Chosen Seiha, Manshu Kaitaku, ? Japan did not use such luke warm ward as defense. Beside that, they knew Pearl Harbor is in Hawaii, not in Japan. America Shinryaku we were told.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

SamuraiBlue: First off, this has nothing at all to do with An. Secondly, since you brought up the 'comparison', all you are saying is that either both are terrorists, or both heroes, and I highly doubt you think An is a hero as much as you might want to glorify the murderers known as kamikaze. And again, you seem to miss the point that many of the letters indicate the men were NOT hesitant to go out and fly their planes and kill themselves -- that they were proud to serve the emperor and Japan. It doesn't make them heroes, it makes them stupid, and their letters have no more place in world heritage status than a suicide bomber in Iraq or Afghanistan, saying they are doing it for their nation, for god, and family, etc.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

'Here is a country that worships and idolizes the Kamikaze, their WWII soldiers, in mangas and other popular culture.' It's a little baffling that you depict Japan in such a one-dimensional manner. Are these idiotic comics read by the majority? I remember nut jobs like Ishihara writing a screenplay about the kamikaze and succeeded in reminding the majority of the sickening waste of life, not to mention why he should stick to writing erotica ( Ishihara bemoaned the fact that the majority of Japanese didn't share his psychosis ). For more sober-minds, these boys and men were disgracefully sacrificed by twisted minds in power, often brainwashed by nationalistic/religious claptrap and their deaths seen as a result of madness. There may be those who 'worship' and 'idolize' the kamikaze, but please stop depicting an entire nation as dimwits reading manga or longing for a return to brutality.

-3 ( +3 / -7 )

Kamikaze pilots understood that fact since they were reluctant participants

Many of them volunteered.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

As a Japanese, I would say that unfortunately many actually feel quite proud of kamikaze pilots. Here is a country that glorifies ritualized suicide. Some crazy nationalists, especially middle aged men will get pissed at you if you criticize the kamikaze pilots. I have had some get pissed at me for criticizing kamikaze pilots.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

The world's media can save a lot of time by making a template that starts off every article about China with the words

"China angered by"

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Many of them volunteered.

Correction: "Many of them were forced to volunteer"

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Ethan the terrorist who drove a civilian car into the convey was a terrorist. The Toyota could not be distinguished as a combatant. There was no defense possible as it could of been innocent civilians. Kamikaze were spotted a long way from the fleet by radar. The Allied fighters intercepted them miles from the fleet. The remaining aircraft attempted to make their runs.

Americans sometimes did kamikaze attacks. They being American were considered "brave".

I do not know anyone who would claim the Pacific war was fought in self defense by the Japanese. Most people just do not want to talk about it. However many posters believe in "collected responsibility". That all Japanese were war criminals including children and infants. Many of the criminals were justly hung after the war.

I see these letters as a important historical documents. They give us insight to what people are thinking before flying their final one way flights. If you want to pin it on a war criminal, look at the men who ordered the attacks. Even though they knew the war was lost.

-2 ( +3 / -6 )

"I guess you don't get it since you are immersed in it. It's called propaganda and unlike An or yourself the Kamikaze pilots understood that fact since they were reluctant participants which you can easily read from their letters. That is why their letters are so precious unlike some mindless rants filled with hate embedded through PROPAGANDA."

The Kamikaze's were all volunteers. Read the research works that were done on them, they volunteered willingly to die for the emperor. Reluctant? No way. The Japanese command specifically stated in their documents that to die a beautiful death, it cannot be commanded. Did you ever heard of the slogan "Jusshi Reisho"? It means "sacrifice life". Well before 1944, students were brainwashed to die for the emperor. The difference between Ahn and the Kamikzae's are pretty clear to me. Ahn fought to free his country from colonial Japan. The Kamikaze's fought to die for the emperor, their living god. Ahn didn't commit suicide like a mad maniac with a plane full of bombs. He was severely tortured and executed. Korea didn't attack or invade anybody, Japan attacked and invaded everybody. Ahn fought for the freedom of his people. The Kamikaze's fought to sustain their totalitarian system not just for Japan but for all the peoples, countries and territories they conquered and abused, for Tojo, for Hirohito - all well known war criminals (one was hanged and the other let off scot free). Big differences my friend. It's not just the method of warfare, it's also about which side you were on and what you were fighting for.

Are these idiotic comics read by the majority?

The comic book Zero was a huge success, and most Japanese (OK, for political correctness, I will say "many" Japanese) idolizes the Kamikaze. The popular Japanese culture idolizes the Kamikaze and WWII whitewashed history of Japan. Most Japanese agree with Abe, NHK officials. That's why none of them got fired so far, and all keep their jobs with no problems. The Japanese command at the war time, believed in "Tokko", which meant "let young men die beautiful deaths with sympathy". And that spirit is still alive to this day with Japanese who think the Kamikaze's died beautiful deaths, deserving of sympathy with sadness. You can often see this popular sentiment in Japan's popular culture. But to the rest of the world, they were crazy lunatic brain washed fanatics that they were.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Kamikaze pilots were not volunteers. the time was discriminatory time. Pilots were officers who passed way high to get trained to be in tokkotai.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@JobBigs,The crazy part is these men were so brainwashed and so devoted to their madness that they most likely died happily

I did not see that way those short letters. They seemed very calm and sad. I didn't feel they died happily. It seems they believed it was what boys have to do for the country. They were so selfless, stoic, pure that made it all the more sad.

-3 ( +3 / -7 )

The 2 A-bombs had really stopped the WWII from carryng on, which end more deaths and damages. They should be registered for highlighting the importance of world peace. Just how sweet those city folks are to remember the suicide bombers! We should not forget those 2 that did a good job.

2 ( +5 / -2 )

Just watch Letters from Iwo Jima and I'd probably guess that would have been the mentality of Japanese Imperial foot soldiers. They were in dilemma where they had to absolutely obey the order from highest position, yet they saw the pure futility in fighting in war they already knew they were going to lose. So I'd say the letters were not about promoting peace but a mere acceptance for death and love to their family so their families have easier time in bereavement and huge pride that these soldiers sacrificed for their countries.

And if there's anything those right-wing nutjobs are good at is twisting the real intentions and serve them for their benefits. The supporters don't like hearing facts that the letters are supposed to be personal memoirs addressed to only their families not commentary about war.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

”Pretty soon the Japanese right-wingers will be saying "We did nothing wrong! Those pilots were heroes! Poor victimized Japan!"

They already do.

I see nothing wrong with letters from kamikaze being widely published. As long as people realise that there were many mindsets of those pilots. It isn't so simple.

To make sure that this isn't used in the wrong way, I suggested to types of letters.

One from poor Taro who wasn't interested in war and just wanted a simple life with this wife and kids and okaasan - but who ended up as a kamikaze, because it was pretty impossible to say "no", and who just thought that if his sacrifice could prolong or stop the enemy from attacking his family then he would carry out the ultimate mission.

Then another one from the guys who even after hearing that Japan had surrended and the war was over, jumped into a plane and took off to fly into an American ship. Then with the letter from that king of guy, also attach the last letter from the poor American guy who died on a ship thinking he would soon be going home to him ma and pa in Idaho.

ie. it's fine for Japanese to remember the kamikaze. I think there were many good men among them. But I'd also like every Japanese who was moved by Eien no Zero, or who wants the letters from Kamikaze to look at it from the perspective of the American young sailors who lost limbs, faces, and lives when a pilot flew into their ship.

And then hopefully, we'll learn to talk and negotiate instead of killing each other.

This comes from a person married to a Japanese. So I'm related to POW's, people who died defending their country from Japanese, but also by marriage to people who died thinking they were stopping the Americans to coming to their furusato, and others who ended up training to be kamikaze.

For what it's worth, their were plenty of Japanese airforce who thought the kamikaze system was completely crazy. On the flip side, I'd like to think that if it would save my family, I'd have the guts to fly a plane into boat on its way.

We've all got to learn to see both sides.

2 ( +3 / -2 )

Peacetrain

I see nothing wrong with letters from kamikaze being widely published. As long as people realise that there were many mindsets of those pilots. It isn't so simple.

Well obviously, there's nothing wrong with them being PUBLISHED (they already are), but they want to list them as world heritage for some reason that I do not know about.

ie. it's fine for Japanese to remember the kamikaze. I think there were many good men among them. But I'd also like every Japanese who was moved by Eien no Zero, or who wants the letters from Kamikaze to look at it from the perspective of the American young sailors who lost limbs, faces, and lives when a pilot flew into their ship.

I would agree with this, but unfortunately many Japanese still have trouble seeing it from the American or foreign perspective, and complain that it's "anti-Japanese". Try talking them into about how the atomic bombings, as unfortunate and tragic as it were, actually saved more lives than cost them. Even the leftists will say that you're pro-war or some such nonsense. Or let alone talk from the perspectives of comfort women, victims of nanking massacre, etc.

But instead, we have pity-party films like "Grave of the Fireflies" that only focuses on Japan's sufferings, even though it was Japan that caused suffering to the other countries in the first place.

tinawatanabe

They were so selfless, stoic, pure that made it all the more sad.

LoL, if they were so selfless and pure, then they wouldn't have killed anyone in the first place... even if they WERE "forced". What about those who died, opposing the war? Aren't they even more selfless and pure than the kamikaze pilots? And what about the actual victims of the war? Millions of them? I have no idea why we're suddenly focusing on the kamikaze pilots.

And so the beautification begins...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Eiji.

Are you aware that the author of "Grave of the Fireflies" is the older brother in the movie and the story is basically his war experience..

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It"S ME

Are you aware that the author of "Grave of the Fireflies" is the older brother in the movie and the story is basically his war experience..

And? The point is that it only focuses on Japan's experiences, Japan's perspectives.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Oh, wow,

I could say the same about Saving Private Ryan", Das Boot and nearly every war movie ever done.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yeah, no. There aren't that many movies that constantly tries to paint itself as the poor victim. Not to mention that there are many movies from the Jewish perspective, etc.

It is true that Japan had suffered during the war. But the problem is that the Japanese tend to exclusive focus ONLY on Japanese sufferings, but almost never about the others (unless they're some crazy "leftists" that are harassed by the right-wingers).

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Like it or not, agree with it or not those letters are a part of history. Learn from mistakes or what ever you would like to take from them but I see absolutely nothing wrong with making those letters a part of that important group. Those are letters to be remembered.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Yeah, no. There aren't that many movies that constantly tries to paint itself as the poor victim. Not to mention that there are many movies from the Jewish perspective, etc.

It is true that Japan had suffered during the war. But the problem is that the Japanese tend to exclusive focus ONLY on Japanese sufferings, but almost never about the others (unless they're some crazy "leftists" that are harassed by the right-wingers).

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

More of Shinzo Abe's monkey tricks? The laugh is going to be on him when the Nikkei collapses and his economic policy fallacies reveal themselves.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Eiji.

I guess that us why Marry Chrtistimas Mr Lawrence, Bridge over the River Kwai and more are shown along with Hitaru no Haka.

If you are Japanese you should also be aware if kids to plays about the war.

Done here.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It is said that these kamikaze pilots made promises to each other to "meet at Yasukuni" after they carried out their suicide missions.

http://www.warbirdforum.com/yasukuni.htm

While the reasons put forward for wanting these letters heritage listed are noble (wanting to highlight the madness of war and dangers of nationalistic brainwashing), it's hard not to be skeptical of ulterior motives in light of the events that took place under Abe's administration, such as justifying Yasukuni visits and seeking sympathy for the imperial Japanese soldiers.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

it"s ME: "Are you aware that the author of "Grave of the Fireflies" is the older brother in the movie and the story is basically his war experience.."

So how did he write it then, if he died as a kid?

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

During World War II when Japan was allied with Hitler and Mussolini, did Japan care about the suffering it inflicted upon others in its war efforts? When its armies invaded other Asian nations in order to expand its Empire, did it think about those who fought to defend their country? The last strong hold of the Hitler was Berlin, do we, also, honor those brave Nazi's who fought gallantly to defend Nazi Germany against the allied forces?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Smithinjapan.

Watch the movie again, he doesn't die at the end. Or Google his name.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I guess we should also be honoring the anti-Japanese forces in China, Korea, etc, but no, that would be "anti-Japanese".

So now you have people trying to change tunes like, "But it's to show the tragedies of misguided nationalism and brainwashing!"

Sorry, but you already have people saying stuff like "The kamikaze pilots were so brave, stoic, pure and innocent" "Kamikaze pilots fought for the civilians and saved their lives".

Let the beautification begin...

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I just love the double standard hypocrisy written by the pro-korean, anti-Japan resident trolls.

@SamuraiBlue - What makes the pro-Korea posters 'trolls"? If my opinions were predominantly pro-Japan, would I be a welcome contributor in your eyes, but if my opinions are pro-Korea I am a troll? Are people only allowed to have officially santioned, pro-Japan opinions on this site?

If you compare the posting above with the ones written in defense of An Jung-geun in a similar article posted a couple of weeks ago.

You're onto something. Any comment from you regarding Japan's double standards, telling China not to interfere in Japan's domestic affairs (Yasukuni visits), while interfering in China's domestic affairs (building a monument to Ahn on Chinese territory)?

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Kamikaze suicide idiots deserve sympathy. They are victims of Hirohito, brainwashed and manipulated.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I went to the 'peace' museum in Chiran a few years back - absolutely nothing to explain the suffering caused by these kamikaze pilots (unless the victims were Japanese). They just don't get it. And they also managed to rope in Kannon in their ruthless plan to overtake the rest of Asia. I only went in because it was cheaper to get a combined ticket for this museum and the natural history museum next door. I found the other museum more interesting - but surprise, surprise, I was practically the only one inside.

Kamikaze and playing the victim card aside, why is Japan so FIXATED on registering every damn thing in this country with UNESCO?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Kamikaze suicide idiots deserve sympathy. They are victims of Hirohito, brainwashed and manipulated.

And what about the people that those "idiots" killed or harmed? Shouldn't they also deserve sympathy?

See the basic problem is this... Apparently the Japanese people carry more weight than people of other nationalities or races. This is how the Japanese view themselves and others. Basically, they see themselves as more important, more equal than others, whether they admit it or not. There is no concept of "equality".

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Here is what Japanese and Japanophile don't understand. The Kamikaze pilots are military personnel carrying out orders by the aggressor, the axis of evil during WWII for the purpose of KILLING.

Their jobs were to KILL. Whether they have filial piety, patriotism, love for peace loving fairies and cute cuddling white jumping rabbits has nothing to do with the fact that they were by military proxy, militarily trained killers.

Compare that with Anne Frank, whom was a victim in one of the biggest genocide in modern history is absurd.

Only narrow-minded people will push for supports such as this. Those suicide bombers/fighters/soldiers/pilots are only hero to an Imperial and Militaristic Empire of Japan.

Any peace loving Japanese should oppose to any type of glorification of such past. Even if they are letters demonstrating their struggles, love, hate, emotions during the time of their KILLING missions.

Don't forget the reasons of WHY these KILLERS/SOLDIERS wrote those letters in the first place. Its because they were about to kill a whole bunch of people by suicide bombs. Those planes carried only enough fuel for one way and mounted massive bombs on them. They were made, designed, trained to KILL. How they felt about their emotions should not be glorified by UN on the same sentence with Anne Frank.

This is beyond ridiculous. But at the same time, its so Japanese. Wishful thinking and complete negligent on every one else's feelings. Selfish intents as usual by the Abe led gov't.

Ask yourself this question. Its been over 60 years and no one thought of doing this for all these years. But these politicians chooses this time to want to piss off the rest of the world. Those Kamikaze killers did the most damage against Americans. And someone some of you so called American commentators here are in support of this? I question your motive and intent as an "American" or are you just a Japanese pretending to be an American to try to push your own agendas?

Just wait a bit more and you will see objections coming from our side. The Chinese jumped their gun on this. Our military personnel suffered much more under these Kamikaze killers and murderers. Don't forget, you people sneak attacked us first. Everything after on our part is completely justified and kosher.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

@yuri Its amusing to read your irrelavent comments on kamikaze pilots and jihadism. Another pathetic attempt to defend japanese imperialism. Ha... There is one connection i can make between the two, however. Both are acts of extreme cowardice and are despicable.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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.

11 ( +10 / -0 )

albaleo

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.

If they wanted to show the "tragedy of brainwashing and madness of war for peace" as some posters suggest, then maybe they should be preserving the actual brainwashing methods left by the military teachers and commanders? But no... somehow, we must have letters of kamikaze pilots...

This whole "kamikaze letters for peace" is a total, complete and utter hogwash to hide the ugly side of kamikaze pilots and to glorify and beautify them.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

In a small city like Minami Kyushu these letters are a big deal. In the big world these letters are of some historical interest but could in no way qualify as world heritage documents.

There are millions of letters written by combatants. Very few are extraordinary outside of being historical relics.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I can certainly see the historical value of these, and if used to emphasise to futility, stupidity and human cost of war, would welcome their inclusion.

-1 ( +1 / -3 )

I am retired now, but we used to have an employee who was a Japanese "kamikaze" pilot in World War II. Instead of killing himself, he had landed his plane and surrendered. He couldn't be re-patrioted back to Japan after the war, for fear of assassination, so he was allowed to settle in the United States. He got a job as a truck mechanic, but died relatively young due to cancer.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"The crazy part is these men were so brainwashed and so devoted to their madness that they most likely died happily"

"They were so selfless, stoic, pure that made it all the more sad."

Both of these are misrepresentations. Seems like both sides want to paint an overly simplistic view. It's a lot more complicated than that.

@Eiji I agree that they don't need to be in the World Heritage whatever it is. And I agree that many Japanese fail to see things from the other side. But, not many people can do that anyway.

@Yuri I understand perfectly what you are saying. They didn't target civilians.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How would those letters emphasis the stupidity of war, when all it says something like "goodbye mother, goodbye father" etc, which could have very well been written by anyone who is not a kamikaze pilot? What makes these kamikaze pilot anything special other than that they were kamikaze pilots? Oh that's right... Its premise is that the kamikaze pilots are special and somehow deserve more attention than the others.

Sickening. We could include similar letters by comfort women who are forcibly taken from their families or something like that.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

It might have some truth in it that some of kamikaze pilots were victims of Japanese militarism during World War II . But few can deny the fact: majority of kamikaze pilots were, according to existing writhen records, were zest nationalists who willingly pledged their ultimate loyalty to Japanese wartime empire, which had caused excruciating pains and sufferings to many countries across the Asia.

I don’t see how kamikaze pilot’s letters are able to stake up against Anne Frank’s dairy or the ordeal of accounts from war-time sex slaves.

Here is another disturbing thing that only people who lived and is living in Japan can tell you. After few drinks down at the bar or at private settings, relaxed Japanese people oftentimes show proudness of (admiration to) the spirits of kamikaze when subjects of the chat touch Japanese bravery and loyalty.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Everyone knows Japanese Pearl Harbor attack was start of WWII

What? WWII started on 1 September 1939 in Europe. This is the date generally given by historians worldwide, except in your country, I guess.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Everyone knows Japanese Pearl Harbor attack was start of WWII

Only if you are American. The Americans were way late to the war, everyone else had been fighting it for years.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

it's actually interesting hearing about these letters. but as far as unesco's involvement, i see it on par with honoring nazi soldiers' letters. again, more effort for recognition should be spent on the victims, not the perpetrators.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

...."The accumulation of the many articles which are exhibited in here today are due to the assistance of many friends and relatives of these deceased pilots. It was the relative's mission to ensure that the sacrifices made by each pilot would never be forgotten. The pilot's last wish was that Japan would be peaceful and prosperous once more. Today Japan is very prosperous. We should be grateful to the pilots for this.

Chiran Peace Museum has been built to commemorate the pilots and expose the tragic loss of their lives so that we may understand the need for everlasting peace and ensure such incidents are never repeated. That is now our responsibility."

http://www.chiran-tokkou.jp/english/about/heiwakaikan/index.html

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Why, a constant reminder to others of past atrocities? Or an encouragement to the Japanese youth to die in military conquer dictated by the militants and the political cronies for power and ambition? The path to inflamed nationalism, the lack of remorse of past atrocities, and the controlled history will one day bring Japan into conflicts again. Is this what Japanese people want?

Stop buying in the 'fear' as the use of fear is a normal practice by Right Wing to instigate wars and to stay in power.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The wars Japan engaged in Asia was not called WW II. Way? It was Japan's Chosen Seiha ( Japanese stealing of Korea) Tairiku Shinryaku (Invasion and agreesion to make China as Japanese territory). and Japan declared Amerika Shinryaku when it attacked Pearl Harbor.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

"The pilot's last wish was that Japan would be peaceful and prosperous once more. Today Japan is very prosperous. We should be grateful to the pilots for this."

Wait! That's ridiculous. If Japanese want to he grateful to people for their prosperity, their thanks should go not to their soldiers but to the Americans who killed the Japanese pilots. Fighting Japanese soldiers just prolonged the time before peace and prosperity came.

Think about it. If all the Kamikaze and other military men gave up and refused to fight en masse in July 1945, Japan would still be peaceful and prosperous and there'd be more people alive in Nagasaki and Hiroshima.. Feel sorry for the kamikaze but thanking them for prosperity is crazy.

6 ( +6 / -1 )

Think about it. If all the Kamikaze and other military men gave up and refused to fight en masse in July 1945, Japan would still be peaceful and prosperous and there'd be more people alive in Nagasaki and Hiroshima.. Feel sorry for the kamikaze but thanking them for prosperity is crazy.

Methinks U.S. would of continually bombed mainland with much greater damage thanks to the complete lack of defence on the Japanese counterparts.

-3 ( +4 / -6 )

I always thought the Pacific War started in September 1931 with the invasion of Manchuria. If not then the Japanese invasion of China in July 1937. So the USA December 1941 to August 1945 was a "short timer". Also I see two sets of rules one for Americans and another for Japanese. They see nothing wrong killing so many civilians but the killing of their sailors on American military ships is war crime.

So the Pilots of Nippon flew out to attack the Allies. They only had enough fuel to reach their targets. What really won the war was the allied blockade of the Japanese "home islands". There was a severe shortage of fuel. The Japanese Navy was mostly sunk. Aircraft of all types were flown by the inexperienced while other planes flown by the experienced were there to record damage and lead them to their targets. The pilots were told they were the last defense against the allied planes that were killing civilians.

The letters were written by men. They did not start the war but it was their duty to fight it. People might learn something if they read these letters with open mind.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

YuriOtaniFEB. 11, 2014 - 09:06AM JST Oh so if America found itself in a similar situation America would surrender without a fight? The Allies had carriers of of their coast and fighters were shooting at everything in sight. They shot up the railroads, roads, all type of buildings including schools and hospitals. The B sans were bombing with no distinction as to military or civilian. The Japanese did not have enough fuel for their fighters to intercept. hundreds of thousands of Japanese, millions were being killed by American "heroes" who were killing with no sign of a heart. It is like that crap series as Americans are still bashing Japanese today. One last time the Japanese Kamikaze were flying clearly marked military aircraft against Allied military ships that could defend themselves. The Jihadist is wearing civilian clothes and walks to his/her target. The Nazi was killing the helpless in camps. The Allies had a good chance to defend themselves unlike the people of Japan who were helpless against the American attacks. The Kamikaze Pilot was trying to save civilians sacrificing their lives to protect defenseless civilians. So these letters were being written by brave men before flying to their deaths. True the leaders of Japan were wrong in starting this war but that does nor "dehumanize" the people of Japan.

Wrong. In so many ways as said above.

Kamakazi...was basically young men coxed into flying unarmed planes into allied targets. Thats the best way to put it. Yes their letters should be shown.....should they be glorified? NO. Should they be respected? YES. Are they historic? YES.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I usually love to Japan bash but I got to say that. The poilet were the victims here and they should and we should be able to see there state of mind. I would love to be able to read those letter. In regard to China. I think they should have a look at the war crimes the are continuing to get away with and how they treat there own people.

1 ( +5 / -2 )

I have no idea about what the letters contain, but, kamikaze pilots were humans too, and I'm thinking that their human self will show through these letters in which they wouldn't have to fake patriotism if they didn't feel it, or if they felt it maybe it came across in a different way. In any way I agree with Alex.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

bluesea67 Feb. 12, 2014 - 04:53AM JST The poilet were the victims here and they should and we should be able to see there state of mind.

Victims? You tell that to 5,000 families that lost their sons. At the end of the war in Okinawa, at least 1,500 kamikaze pilots had given their lives for their emperor, in the process, they sank or damaged over 250 Allied ships, resulting in the deaths of 5,000 men, the greatest losses ever suffered by the U.S. Navy in a single battle and more than it had lost in all the wars of U.S. history to that point.

0 ( +1 / -2 )

Peacetrain

Wait! That's ridiculous. If Japanese want to he grateful to people for their prosperity, their thanks should go not to their soldiers but to the Americans who killed the Japanese pilots. Fighting Japanese soldiers just prolonged the time before peace and prosperity came.

You are absolutely right. The Allieds suggested that Japan unconditional surrenders before the dropping of two bombs since the odds were heavily stacked against Japan. But of course, the Japanese government just ignored it and kept going on. So the kamikaze started, etc. Btw you learn this in Japanese history...

Had Japan surrendered, then there would not have been two atomic bombings, kamikaze pilots, etc. If anything the kamikaze pilots prolonged the war, and of course the fault lies in the Japanese military and the government who refused to surrender and went to extreme desperate measures like suicide bombing.

So yet again the hypocrisy is uncovered: This "honoring the letters of the kamikaze pilots" is nothing but a way for Japan to wiggle out of their responsibility of their war, and make their part in it seem not as bad.

Japan often criticizes fire bombings and atomic bombings. But wait! Those who fire bombed and a-bombed are human too! Do they also not deserve respect? It's an ingenious way to change the subject and make the tragedy seem not as bad. This kind of skillful maneuvering is something many Japanese almost seem to unconsciously and automatically do. But of course like the kamikaze pilots, they are only brainwashed and fooled by someone in higher positions.

-2 ( +3 / -6 )

The key in our debate here is not about whether or not kamikaze pilots’ letters curtain values to be preserved for reminding us about heinousness and many kinds of sufferers on a sad page of our shared human history, rather can we satisfactorily answer a fundament question? Do these letters belong to a place where the real victims of the war such as Anne Frank are remembered.

To me, after giving some thoughts, those kamikaze pilot’s letters don’t meet the screening criteria.

Here is an unsettling fact of Japanese lives if you will: Japan seems having this very special feeling/attachment about its soldiers who fought for the wrong causes in World War II. Case in point, when Hiroo Onoda, a low rank intelligence officer of Imperial Japanese Army returned to Japan after hiding out 29 years in an island of Philippine, he was hailed as a national hero. Then, last month when he died, he was admired again for so called loyalty and perseverance by many of Japanese people including some of high level government officers.

So, should Japan submit Hiroo Onoda’s ragged army uniform to UNESCO in the name of promoting world peace?

If anyone thinks Japan should just do that, then I have to remind you, Mr. Onoda and his buddies killed 30 Filipinos during their going underground years.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Those japanese pilots were True Heroes. They fought enemy forces, defending their Motherland by ultimate price. Only plain cowards and uneducated hypocrits can not understand it.

-2 ( +4 / -4 )

Only plain cowards and uneducated hypocrits can not understand it.

Well I'm reading about this on the front page of Yahoo and there are quite of few of these type of people commenting on it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Gentle readers mistake my support of the Kamikaze pilots as a support of the attacks. The government knew the war was lost months before, perhaps even a year or more. They wanted to get terms of surrender that would of saved their necks. So as a result of their actions so many people died who should of lived. The pilots had no choice die in the attack or die by beheading. What people take as fact was propaganda. They had no regard for the welfare of people including their own.

3 ( +4 / -0 )

No one has the right to censor our world's history, be it dark and dirty or be it bright and clean. Too many books documents of our history have been burnt or censored just because some didn't like what someone said.History isn't clean, history teaches us that we as a species can be can ruthless, vile and cruel.

History of the world must be preserved no matter what that history is.

Censorship is wrong on all levels.

Kuribo1Feb. 11, 2014 - 03:44PM JST Like it or not, agree with it or not those letters are a part of history. Learn from mistakes or what ever you would like to take from them but I see absolutely nothing wrong with making those letters a part of that important group. Those are letters to be remembered.

Well said! Bravo!

This is directly from the UNESCO's concerning their Memory of the World program. Their goals are pretty simple and only folks that wish to hide the past would be offended by preserving these letters.

UNESCO's Memory of the World Communication and Information The vision of the Memory of the World Programme is that the world's documentary heritage belongs to all, should be fully preserved and protected for all and, with due recognition of cultural mores and practicalities, should be permanently accessible to all without hindrance.

If we shun away from our past, we will fall into the same traps in the future.

In my opinion we should be able to see and read what these men thought and why they thought they were doing the things they did. This way we will be able to teach future generations on how to spot and avoid the same pitfalls.

I looked over what is already there and I found that I didn't like a few, but who am I to try and deny future generations of our past?

I have no objections to any papers, documents, pictures or video's being added to these archives.

EthanWilberFeb. 12, 2014 - 07:50AM JST Do these letters belong to a place where the real victims of the war such as Anne Frank are remembered.

Visit the site, see what and why they are doing what they are doing and then see what you think.

-1 ( +5 / -4 )

But these politicians chooses this time to want to piss off the rest of the world. Those Kamikaze killers did the most damage against Americans. And someone some of you so called American commentators here are in support of this? I question your motive and intent as an "American" or are you just a Japanese pretending to be an American to try to push your own agendas?

Well said! I guess Ossan America, Joe Bigs, House Astrides and some die hard pro J posters are wearing American masks for pushing their bashing ROK, DPRK and PRC agenda. They are very biased.

-3 ( +2 / -7 )

I guess if you think that they might have been written while they were plugged full of speed, high quality, it would give a whole different taste. The so-called scum of todays Japan know very well that that was what was used by the kamikaze. Maybe facing family with an addiction would help pus you to death. Maybe it would help you write a bullsh*t letter about your leaders. And maybe if Japan of now would admit that drugs on the pilots, -I dont see that mentioned anywhere yet-were being being used, it may be easier by all on the whole. Not that China has any clean record either, but maybe the flavouring in how it is served could have a little more salt.

0 ( +2 / -3 )

It amazes me that everyone continues to pile on Japan, even though America has invaded countless nations in past and recent history, and continues to do so (with enormous civilian deaths) to this day. The Chinese Communists butchered around 40 million of their own people, and the Chinese emperors used the masses as sacrificial fodder throughout Chinese history. As for the genocide in Tibet, Chinese insist they never hurt one single Tibetan... tell that to the surviving Tibetans that had to flee their homes or be killed.

But... let's leap to the here and now. Japan is one of the most peaceful nations on Earth. And just about everyone from WWII is now dead or on their way out (thus why attack people that had nothing to do with WWII?). Yet, poor mistreated China is threatening everyone in the region (Korea, Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines), the U.S. is basically a life support system for big business and the military, and everyone fearfully leaves them alone and raves about Japan.

As for war, it's never pretty. Every nation has done terrible things. Note the word "done." The Vikings are no longer a threat, Mexico is no longer demanding the return of Texas (please, please take it back!), Germany is a very peaceful country, and the Japanese are not hurting anyone... but others ARE. Turn your anger to the present warmongers (you know... actually trying to prevent more mass killings of civilians), and tip your hat to Japan - a country that has stepped away from militarism and violence.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Victim mentality much? No one is piling on Japan. They're criticizing this kind of nonsense that tries to skillfully maneuver Japan's responsibility out of admitting past wrongdoings.

And I love how you just pulled a Hashimoto there - "everybody else did it too!" Grow up.

Tell me, why do you keep on defending the Japanese government or the ex-Japanese government? You seem to be mistaking, like many Japanese, that the government and its people are the same.

You are trying very hard to maneuver what is basically a genuine criticism into "Japan bashing". Germany has it 100x worse. It's time that Japan owes up to its mistakes instead of making excuses and playing the victim.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@ Eiji Takano

You're wrong, I see endless cases (in article after article) of "pile on Japan" troll behavior. May I suggest you buy some new glasses? Or acquire some reading comprehension skills (where did I praise the Japanese government? You pulled that out of your #!X). Japan has apologized to Korea, but they keep demanding more and more apologies and, eventually, it's time to tell Korea to shut the hell up. The past is past, and I see no reason why the Japanese people need to be constantly bombarded by demands that no other nation has to face.

As for the Japanese government, they suck. They continuously demonstrate incompetent behavior, and (gag) they remind me in many ways of American politicians, who are unable to achieve anything whatsoever that helps American citizens. As for Tepco, the heads of that organization should be tried as traitors to their country. So I'm not defending the Japanese government, I'm castigating trolls and nations that want Japan to beg and cry and grovel for deeds long gone.

"Germany has it 100x worse"... what other things do you want to make up?

I'm a Jew, and I don't ask Germans (or the descendants of Pharaoh) to apologize since the German's of the here and now didn't do anything wrong. And I'm an American, yet I don't ask the Japanese to apologize for Pearl Harbor (since those people no longer exist). I would like America to apologize for the butchery they are doing now, since it's NOW... in fact, to hell with silly apologies... I would like them to stop!

I also take offense about China making any demands about anything. That out of control nation has earned nothing but my disgust.

Finally, wanting the World Heritage Organization to register letters by World War II kamikaze pilots has nothing to do with hiding from responsibility. These poems are often beautifully framed and heartbreaking (have you ever read one?). They show the agony of war... for both sides. Dehumanizing Japanese troops for following orders (just as American troops blow away women and children in foreign lands) misses the truth about war. Offering up these letters might help in showing the world that war is a lose/lose situation for both sides, and suffering isn't something that only one side experiences!

It's time for you, Mr. Eiji Takano, to grow up.

-2 ( +3 / -4 )

ColinWilson

May I suggest you buy some new glasses? Or acquire some reading comprehension skills (where did I praise the Japanese government? You pulled that out of your #!X).

And when did I say that you praised the Japanese government? Maybe it's you who need glasses and "reading comprehension skills"...

Japan has apologized to Korea, but they keep demanding more and more apologies and, eventually, it's time to tell Korea to shut the hell up. The past is past, and I see no reason why the Japanese people need to be constantly bombarded by demands that no other nation has to face.

Because they keep coming up with new denials. Notably in the recent, Abe, Hashimoto, Momii, Hyakutai and Tamogami who all more or less denied that the Japanese war atrocities had ever occurred.

The past is past, and I see no reason why the Japanese people need to be constantly bombarded by demands that no other nation has to face.

lol? No other country denies as much as Japan when it comes to war atrocities, either. And Germany gets bombarded and get called a Nazi and crap all the time. I'd say compared with what Japan had actually done (changed the entire geographical climate of Asia), Japan has it pretty easy.

Finally, wanting the World Heritage Organization to register letters by World War II kamikaze pilots has nothing to do with hiding from responsibility. These poems are often beautifully framed and heartbreaking (have you ever read one?).

So are every other heartbreaking letters and poems written by non-kamikaze pilots. So what makes the kamikaze pilots especially special that they need to be listed on World Heritage? And what about the actual victims of kamikaze pilots? You are saying, that they are less important than the kamikaze pilots?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Chucky3176,

The Japanese command at the war time, believed in "Tokko", which meant "let young men die beautiful deaths with sympathy".

In think you mean "gyokusai", not "tokko", which means "special attack." and refers to the suicide fighter plane attack missions that are generally referred to as "Kamikaze" in English (although gyokusai is the romanticized ideology behind the tokko missions).

Even if the "kamikaze" pilots were "volunteers" as you assert, it was hardly out devout allegiance to the Emperor or Japan's militaristic regime at the time. Owing to the heavy casualties sustained by then, Japan had resorted to widespread conscription from the general public in the closing days of the war (although effective propaganda may have encouraged the practice of referring to the drafted as "volunteers"). Kamikaze weren't even Japan's best pilots, the were new conscripts barely out of their teens who were trained as pilots for a matter of weeks before being sent to their deaths. In return, their starving families would be looked after by the regime (or so they were led to believe). By a similar token, the answer to Eiji's question of "If they were critical of the war, then I wonder... why they didn't suicide bomb into a military headquarter or something." is that they feared that any such act would cause their surviving families to be shamed an ostricized horribly (or worse).

Anecdotal evidence also suggests the pilots were forced to eat, sleep, etc. together constantly in groups in which no single individual would dare speak out against the regime, and that they were administered copious doses of methamphetamine to ensure they would actually carry out their missions. None of this would have been necessary if Japan's military actually had the luxury of volunteers.

"All of them willing volunteers?" Doubtful at best, complete fantasy at worst.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

While the bravery of kamikaze pilots is admirable, the fact that they worked under a fascist and criminal regime that slaughtered more people than the Nazis tarnishes their memory. And their mission was TO KILL AND DESTROY. How could that be placed next to diaries of a victim like Anne Frank. She would turn in her grave.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

After reading some of these letters , I think they are beautiful , brave , fully emotional ,full of love for their families, for their country... but as we all know now that those efforts were misguided and wasteful. But as a lesson for avoiding war and choosing peace , these letters may be good for UNESCO's heritage listing.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The Kamikaze were told not to just waste their lives, but to only make the suicide attack when it would be effective. Thus, it was acceptable to return to base if no targets could be found.

One pilot returned to base 9 times! Then they shot him when he landed that ninth time! I don't mind the inclusion of letters from that guy if they exist. I am positive he was a victim. But the others? How to separate the victims from the willing kamikaze? Sorry, but the letters of willing soldiers of the butchering colonizing military of Japan from WWII don't belong anywhere near the diary of Anne Frank. Even making a case for the unwilling ones is going to be a tough sell, that is, if you can separate them out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You cannot compare Kamikaze pilots who were trying to defend their own country targeting military ships with jihadists who are targeting innocent civilians.

Yes I can, and yes I will. They are one and the same.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The best tribute to the Kamikaze spirit I have have seen was in the original San-cho-me-no-yuuhi comic series (from which the movie was inspried). Two best friends were both to be Kamikaze pilots, one went and completed his mission but before the other friend could take off the war ended. The survivor spent years nurturing a guilt complex while he was working as a taxi driver. Finally one day he had a near miss with a truck and drove off the elevated highway into a billboard sign; which just happened to be an ad for a war movie with a picture of a kamikaze pilot flying into a US ship. He spent a long time in hospital recovering but finally was able to escape from his guilt complex. I think that episode could be in a peace museum because humor is the best medicine of all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Kamikaze attacks were not aimed at the Chinese so what is the PRC is upset about?

Well, given that the idea is to show evidence of how single party authoritarian government systems can brainwash their citizens into believing nonsense and then use such beliefs to steer them toward insane acts, there could be plenty for the CCP to be upset about.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There can be no beautifying terrible deeds, but Japan is not attempting to do that. This bid is about showing people the mindset of the Kamikaze pilots, so that the current generation and future generations can avoid following a similar path. Has anyone actually read the letters or are they just jumping immediately to conclusions. Not every pilot seemed entirely willing to give their life like that. There seemed to be some who felt they were being coerced. China could learn a lot from these letters, since they seem to do a lot of brainwashing themselves.

It is important that we learn from the mistakes of our past so that we don't repeat them. It is also important to know our past, so that we can move on into the future more confidently without risk of error. It sounds cliche I know, but it is true.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ok. 1) None of China's business. 2) If America, the country against which kamikaze's actually attacked, doesn't have a problem with it than nobody should. 3) Those pilots, and the family members to whom such letters were written, were just as much victims of the war as anyone was. I can't imagine being ordered to go kill myself or be executed as traitor... The last words of these men should stand as testament to the insanity of war.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

lol @ "teaching of the effects of brainwashing by listing the letters of kamikaze pilots to World Heritage"! I'm not sure if they're really serious when they say something as ridiculous as that.

This bid is about showing people the mindset of the Kamikaze pilots, so that the current generation and future generations can avoid following a similar path.

If they really wanted to show the effects of brainwashing, and want to stop it, then why don't they show the military school textbooks or something like that that taught militaristic brainwashing, and reveal how they did it? How would those letters actually prevent people from becoming kamikaze pilots, especially if they're so "beautiful" and "poetic" as they claim them to be?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Mea culpa is not going to happen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

These letters are of historical value but simply not significant enough to be included in the UNESCO world heritage registry. Putting feelings aside, that is plain fact. These letters are up to the level of the Magna Carta or documents that reveal the truth about atrocities, like the rape of Nanjing.

It is sad. These poor suicide flyers died for nothing and have nothing of much value to the world. The regime that do this to them should be damned all over Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I dont see any problem with it. As many of you know, kamikaze were mere soldiers who were serving their nation during the war, and they were in fact young who had families and their hobbies like anyone else. It would be interesting to see the letters from them and know how was their feelings and thoughts back in those days. By the way, the Japanese government made a lot of mistakes back in those days the same way that all countries involved in that war were wrong.

Now, more than 60 years had passed since the end of the war. Japan, from a country who were engaged in wars turn to be a pacific and a prosperous nation. Meanwhile, the "winners" China and Korea kept their lives in the past without solving their domestics issues concerning poverty and misery.

Some will say "Korea and China had a significant progress" Yea, in part I agree; however, it would not be possible without foreigner investment including Japanese money. Korea start having a significant development after 1965 agreement between Japan and South Korea. China start developing from 1990s and until 2008 China was still living with non decent toilets.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Agreed MM, the letters would be interesting as historical evidence. But they are not significant historical evidence. Most likely they were written by ordinary guys with ordinary interests. The only thing that would make them extraordinary is that the writers were living extraordinary lives and having extraordinary deaths. But those letters are NOT equal to the Magna Carta or any personal accounts from the Rape of Nanjing by the Japanese, a major historical event and atrocity.

Anything from WWII ought to be preserved but not all of it should be given world heritage status.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mitsuo Matsuyama wrote "By the way, the Japanese government made a lot of mistakes back in those days the same way that all countries involved in that war were wrong."

are you saying that because all countries defended themselves and they were wrong?

What is this logic?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

On the one hand, Japanese hope the strong-arm rightist Abe can use samurai patriotism to push vested interests to accept reform of the third arrow, which will make them suffer. On the other hand, considering this sort of stupid stuff, Japanese may realize what damage this is causing, and get rid of the rightists and find a better path.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pretty unbelievable how many people are completely missing the point. The intention of course is to show the world how war can screw up the lives of so many ordinary people and their lives... on both sides including people who fight for an evil empire. That was the extent that Japan went to at the time... to make victims out of even their own people supposedly in the name of their country. That is how ugly war can be, and it makes no difference whether you are a Kamikaze pilot or suicide terrorist bomber or a US serviceman because you essentially join a cause which you believe to be good and are willing to kill people (enemy soldiers or civilians) and die yourself as well. Although civilian casualties are the obvious victims of war Kamikazes are the epitome of war because their death was guaranteed and no matter how one may say he is willing to die for his own country, deep down inside no one really WANTS to die. That is how stupid Japan was at the time and that is how stupid war can be and that is what I believe these people are trying to say.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ivan

Dont try to justify. Killing people, causing trouble, etc... is wrong.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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