Kamikaze diaries: reflections of Japanese student soldiers

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Author: D.P. Martinez
Date: Sept. 2007
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Document Type: Book review
Length: 825 words
Lexile Measure: 1360L

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OHNUKI-TIERNEY, EMIKO. Kamikaze diaries: reflections of Japanese student soldiers. xviii, 227 pp., illus., bibliogr. London, Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press, 2006. [pounds sterling]16.00 (cloth)

Kamikaze diaries is the second of Prof. Ohnuki-Tierney's books on this topic. The first, Kamikaze, cherry blossoms and nationalisms (2002), is the necessary backdrop to this book since it grapples with the question of the nation-state, its symbols, and the question of patriotism. This book is an extension of some of the diary extracts she presented in the first, with the addition of new diarists, seven young men in total: Sasaki Hachiro, Hayashi Tadao, Takushima Norimitsu, Matsunaga Shigeo, Matsunaga Tatsuki, Hayashi Ichizo, and Nakao Takenori. These seven were part of the tokkotai (Special Attack Force), as it was known within Japan, or the kamikaze. They also represented part of Japan's intellectual elite, in many cases drafted straight from university. As Ohnuki-Tierney notes, by virtue of their education, these young men left reams of writing--letters, essays, and diaries--a contrast to the young boy pilots also drafted into the tokkotai, whose education had not been so extensive.

Prof. Ohnuki-Tierney has two purposes in publishing these diaries in extended extracts along with her commentary. The first is an explicit attempt to counter the USA's equating of...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A169596445