• SHARE

NEW YORK — Lisa Hosokawa Garber, a fresh graduate of St. Andrews Presbyterian College in North Carolina, has sent me “Crosswind,” her short, imaginative account of three months in the life of a youth training to be a Kamikaze pilot. It describes what its author calls a Shakespearean “twist of fate”: The young man is let off a suicide mission at the last minute because the news reaches his air base that his entire family has been annihilated in Hiroshima.

Kamikaze, the generic name for “special attack corps,” was like today’s “suicide bombers”: a product of asymmetrical warfare. By the third year of the Pacific War, Japan had lost much of the wherewithal to fight the United States. Vice Adm. Takijiro Onishi, upon his arrival in Luzon, in the fall of 1944, famously asked his men to ram their Zero fighters carrying 250-kg bombs into enemy carriers, because he found so few planes at his disposal. He wanted to increase the hit ratio.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW