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Kamikaze diaries- Review

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  1. Introduction
  2. The life of Sasaki Hachiro
  3. The life of Hayashi Tadao
  4. The life of Takushima Norimitsu
  5. The Matsunaga brothers Shigeo and Tatsuki
  6. The life of Hayashi Ichizo
  7. Conclusion: The story of the struggle of 7 student soldiers

The onset of 9/11 in America awoke comparisons of the suicide attacks to that of Pearl Harbor during World War II by so-called Japanese kamikaze bombers, however the attempted parallel as Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney puts it ?[represents] a deliberately distorted view ? of historical facts. The book Kamikaze Diaries: Reflections of Japanese Student Soldiers authored by Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney sheds light on the struggle of young Japanese soldiers in World War II who struggled to rationalize their ?inevitable' death, and an examination of how the effects of government propaganda aimed at instilling nationalist values in its citizenship faired

[...] Tadao increasingly criticized the military after being selected to be trained as a scout pilot, and his sense of patriotism that he had throughout higher school tends to disappear in face of the military's harsh stifling of the individual[16]. Although Tadao is able to see through government propaganda and the truth of Japan's ?liberating? mission in the rest of Asia he still resigns himself to the fact that he will inevitably die soon for Japan, as his death is being imposed by history as an agent of change[17]; the individual actor in historical determinism is powerless to affect his own fate. [...]

[...] Although opposed to the war and militaristic societies Sasaki remained patriotic, and the government's effort to rouse to population partially affected Sasaki although for different reasons. He welcomes the destruction of Japan in order to create a new non-capitalist world, but adopt Socrates' view of society: no one can be free from societal rules[6]. Sasaki's duty to Japan does not include duty in the Emperor's name. Combining Marxism and Romanticism Sasaki was at first able to justify his death for Japan in hopes a new world would be created through its defeat (it was a foregone conclusion by 1945 that Japan would probably lose, just a matter of time), but as time passed closer to his mission his ideological rationalization began to crumble. [...]

[...] Norimitsu in 1940 is unable to think of the state in front of the individual and thinks of patriotism as a sentiment for the stupid masses to adopt. The totalitarian regime that Japan was using simplified culture by expounding nationalism, which was counter to Norimitsu's idealistic thinking[26]. Upon joining the navy in 1943 Norimitsu begins to undergo significant changes. He begins to deliberately suppress his feelings for his love interest Yayeko in his letters in order to prepare himself and her for his inevitable death[27]. [...]

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