Download Blossoms in the Wind The Human Legacy of the Kamikaze by M.G. Sheftall PDF

By M.G. Sheftall

Within the final days of global conflict II, the japanese unleashed a brand new breed of warrior. They have been the kamikaze-idealistic younger males believing there may be no better glory than to sacrifice their lives in suicide assaults to safeguard their native land. yet what of these males who took the sacred oath to die in battle-and lived? quickly after the September 11 assaults, ethnographer M.G. Sheftall used to be given unprecedentedly intimate entry to the cloistered neighborhood of Japans final final kamikaze corps survivors. the result's a poignant and unforgettable glimpse into the lives and mindsets of former kamikaze pilots who by no means accomplished their ultimate missions.

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That was a direct order from Imperial General Headquarters. He was to provide air support for Operation Sho, the last-ditch Japanese naval plan for the "decisive battle" that would save the Philippines and stop the Allied advance in the most conservatively optimistic scenario, icans badly enough to bring them at least in its tracks, or, bloody the Amer- peace table with favorable to the terms, Roosevelt's "unconditional surrender " declaration at Casablanca be damned. This would be the most crucial naval engagement for Japan since Admiral Heihachiro Togo stopped the Russians in the Tsushima Strait and in 1905,"* like that fateful sea clash thirty-nine years earlier, failure to the assigned strategic objectives would spell doom Of course, Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa had used fleet before the Battle Togo's famous carriers were this line achieve Japanese empire.

Onishi could not allow this to happen. Chain-of-command protocol was tary than in the ways it was armed also far forces of more chain" by subordinates to one's immediate left more rigid in the make to in commander, the reverse down was also true. The the chain as well. rules No one were could out of the loop, especially under circumstances requiring the The responsibility in this case men off men who would was simply too onerous crash the American flight decks. is- on suicide misfor anything be put into motion without the entire chain in accordance, right to the many was no "jumping the requests of superiors above the level of suing of orders as unprecedented as sending sions.

It A kami kaze that swept away centuries past. was worth a The odds try. After nearly ten minutes of silence, the admiral cleared his throat to speak. "I have come here to discuss with you something of great importance. May we go to your headquarters? The men around the table gathered '^ to shut down their the shack for the night. backseat of his limo by Commander maps and gear and prepared The admiral was joined Rikihei Inoguchi,* a pleasant, self- effacing staff officer from First Air Fleet sent at the 201st Air Group some days before, and the bull-necked but mild-mannered *Inoguchi's older brother Toshihira was XO down to assess the situation Commander Asaichi Tamai, of the 201st standing in for the commander of the superbattleship Musashi, at this point steaming toward the Philippines from Lingga Roads with Kurita's main force.

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