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

By M.G. Sheftall

Within the final days of global struggle II, the japanese unleashed a brand new breed of warrior. They have been the kamikaze-idealistic younger males believing there should be no better glory than to sacrifice their lives in suicide assaults to protect their fatherland. yet what of these males who took the sacred oath to die in battle-and lived? quickly after the 9-11 assaults, ethnographer M.G. Sheftall was once given unprecedentedly intimate entry to the cloistered neighborhood of Japans final closing 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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Together with the name as a He was one commander be remem- to of the planners of the participated in the Battle of air force one in the hearts of us, the in the Midway Solomons. His . . ability was recognized, and he became commander of the jewel of the Pacific Fleet, Task Force 58, and invaded Saipan. ' The broadcast ends, but most dio calisthenics program. listeners remain tuned The war can wait for the daily ra- at least long enough jumping jacks and back stretches before another day of maximum in fields, ing on factory spirit, floors, in office buildings.

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. when addressing his of the Philippine Sea the previous June, repeating command at the for the verbatim. Twenty- four hours later three of his bottom of the Pacific, along with irreplaceable veteran aircrews and over three hundred aircraft.

They knew what had to be done, and did not need balding armchair warriors to them why. tell Just when, where, and how. —what the Western press was the "Marianas Turkey Shoot"^ — had proven once and Ozawa's Marianas debacle peting as still for trumall, at least for the duration of the current conflict, that the once-invincible Imperial Japanese Navy could no longer dare to stand toe-to-toe with the Allies like the good old days, when they could weapons and tional and curling tactics. at the edges.

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