Once pariahs in Japan, 'kamikaze survivors' are now honored for their spirit of sacrifice. They resent being lumped in with suicide bombers.
We visited the Fleet Air Arm museum a few years ago, and - much to my astonishment - the letters written by kamikaze pilots to their families before they set off on what was in almost every case their last flight were sincere, resigned, and desparately moving.
I would have thought that they would be fanatical ramblings but nothing could have been further from the truth. They weren't even particularly idealistic, often they were clear eyed about the inadequacies of their system, yet somehow their fatalism seemed, if anything, noble.
Nobility is a dangerous thing.
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
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