Blossoms in the Wind: Human Legacies of the Kamikaze

Blossoms in the Wind Human Legacies of the Kamikaze In the last days of World War II the Japanese unleashed a new breed of warrior They were the kamikaze idealistic young men believing there could be no greater glory than to sacrifice their lives in s

  • Title: Blossoms in the Wind: Human Legacies of the Kamikaze
  • Author: M.G. Sheftall
  • ISBN: 9780451214874
  • Page: 431
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In the last days of World War II, the Japanese unleashed a new breed of warrior They were the kamikaze idealistic young men believing there could be no greater glory than to sacrifice their lives in suicide attacks to defend their homeland But what of those men who took the sacred oath to die in battle and lived Soon after the 9 11 attacks, ethnographer M.G Sheftall waIn the last days of World War II, the Japanese unleashed a new breed of warrior They were the kamikaze idealistic young men believing there could be no greater glory than to sacrifice their lives in suicide attacks to defend their homeland But what of those men who took the sacred oath to die in battle and lived Soon after the 9 11 attacks, ethnographer M.G Sheftall was given unprecedentedly intimate access to the cloistered community of Japan s last remaining kamikaze corps survivors The result is a poignant and unforgettable glimpse into the lives and mindsets of former kamikaze pilots who never completed their final missions.
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    One thought on “Blossoms in the Wind: Human Legacies of the Kamikaze

    1. First of all, let s say that this is really a 4 1 2 star review, not a 4 star review The half star is lost as a result of my personal prejudice against the sort of history that writes Francis Drake walked down the Plymouth street, stroking his beard, and his jewelled sword hilt sparkling in the summer sun in other words, writing history as a novel, and filling in sentences with unverifiable but eminently plausible details Sheftall does this sometimes when describing some historical events where [...]

    2. Professor Sheftall immersed himself in the world of the surviving Japanese kamikaze pilots 60 years after that nation s surrender, to find the answer to a simple question why did they train to expend their lives in attacks on the advancing American and British forces This book is the lucid, attentive, and sympathetic result of his research, and it defines these aging warriors clearly and accurately Professor Sheftall had several competitive edgeshe has lived in Japan for decades, speaks the lang [...]

    3. This is a four star book.But I had to take off three stars because the author did something unforgivable like a Hollywood hack writing about a serial killer, he fell in love with his subjects.However, the surviving Kamikazes and families of kamikazes do give extremely frank and honest accounts, and they probably wouldn t have opened their dark hearts had the author not loved them so unconditionally, so I ll give back one star.Further, his admiration for his subjects gives him a very strong ident [...]

    4. An absolutely stunning work Not so much a comprehensive telling of the story of the Kamikaze, but rather a series of vignettes, telling individual tales of participants, siblings, and people who worked on bases While some people might object to Sheftall s lack of condemnation of the program, the book seeks to understand those who participated on their own terms A highly valuable addition to any collection on World War 2.

    5. This is an interesting and different sort of book on the subject It s not written as a historical analysis It does include some of that, of course, but it also includes a lot of personal memories from people actually involved in the kamikaze activities as interviewed by the author The author s own impressions are given, and this makes the entire book a little alive than most others of its general nature.He addresses the origin of the kamikaze movement in WWII and notes that it actually had no p [...]

    6. The best part of this book is the 10 or so individual stories, mini biographies really, in the book The author interviewed most of these people in person and relates their stories pretty effectively I was afraid initially that some of this work was going to assume to much, and I think in the beginning some of his portrayals show that the author is writing into some of the characters than he could know about their inner thoughts and attitudes of some of the people Several people died before the [...]

    7. I picked up this book hoping to learn about the history of the kamikaze program However, it seems Sheftall s goal was to examine the mind of the young kamikazes and the culture that created the phenomenon The end result was something between an historical account and a book on mid twentieth century Japanese society Sheftall told the story of the kamikazes through ten or so men and a group of women who lived through the kamikaze program Although I found the historical information such as the wide [...]

    8. This is a must read for anyone interested in the Pacific War, Japanese culture or language Sheftall s insight comes through like a bell in this book of firsthand interviews with Japanese men and women who experienced the war.He introduces us to men who trained for kamikaze missions giving us a look at them as human beings and not the typical crazed lunatics they are often portrayed as in old movies We also meet those who supported them and learn how they felt about the war.I also read, write, an [...]

    9. M.G.Sheftall has written an extremely well researched narrative on the tokko pilots Without judgement for the cause this men sacrificed for and were sacrificed for, Sheftall has put a human face to this terrifying weapon These young man were pawns whose lives were expendiable but they believed in their cause and importantly each other Many parts of the book brought tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat Most importantly, it brought about a new understanding The narratives of these former tokk [...]

    10. An excellent book considering the difficulties the author had in gaining the trust and confidence of the surviving kamikaze pilots in order to interview them and their families That took time and a plunge into the murky world of Yasukuni, the shrine in Tokyo that memorialises the war dead of all Japanese conflicts from Meiji onwards but is particularly associated with the Great Asian War M.G Bucky Sheftall works at a local university in the city we live in so an acquaintance with the author has [...]

    11. An excellent read about the suicide pilots and human torpedoes of the Japanese army navy in Big Two and the brass hats behind those operations Puts the events in their social, cultural, political and military contexts and makes the psychology of the phenomenon completey understandable Really helps bridge some of the vast gap between East and West and brings the few surviving pilots, torepedomen and their supporters right up close, ready to explain themselves Really a breathtaking piece of work.

    12. Why would than 6,000 Japanese young men and some young women do this or support this Sheftall talks to some of the survivors who were willing or even interesting ambivalent participants in the kamikaze programs planes, minisubs, saboteurs and last ditch civilian preparations at the end of WWII

    13. Interesting look into the mind and mission of toko special mission pilots, we know them as kamikaze pilots.


    14. Really well written an enthralling look into an aspect of Japan that not many people have examined.


    15. Really hard to get through because of the content, but it really gets into the mind of the Japanese during WWII.

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