Most influential book on Japan's kamikaze pilots
Although in recent years the Internet has grown rapidly in
popularity as an information source, books continue as the main source
of the history and writings of kamikaze pilots and other special attack force
members. Especially in English, relatively little information exists on the
Internet in comparison to many books published on the subject. Even though
much more Internet information exists in Japanese than English, much
information in published Japanese books cannot be found on the Internet. Also,
books about kamikaze continue to be published each year.
This web site section contains critical reviews of English-language books published on kamikaze since the
late 1950s. This section also
has a few reviews of Japanese books, including manga (comics) and children's
books. In the future, I plan to add reviews of other Japanese books on special
This section on Books has the following parts:
- Personal Narratives - Provide readers
with excellent insight into pilots' motivations, feelings, and opinions.
Section includes reviews of 6 books written by former members of Japan's
special attack forces.
- General - These books rely heavily on
other published sources. This part includes reviews of books that cover a
wide variety of topics related to special attack forces.
- Ship Histories - Accounts included in these books provide valuable sources of
firsthand accounts by Navy crewmen who experienced Japanese kamikaze.
- Fiction - Critical reviews of novels
about kamikaze or other special attack forces. These books have a wide variety of
perspectives and approaches.
- Related Topics - Books with topics related to Japan's special attack
forces. These books provide valuable background information even though they
deal with other topics.
- Comics - Leave readers with distorted
images of historical events and people. This part includes reviews of comic
books with stories about kamikaze pilots.
- Japanese - Overview of Japanese books
about special attack forces. Also includes manga (comics) and children's books.
- Lists - Various classifications of
English-language books on Japan's special attack forces.
Several books reviewed in this web site section have both Japanese and
English versions. The following books have been translated from Japanese to English:
Also, some books in English have been translated to Japanese:
The most important primary English-language source of kamikaze history is The
Divine Wind, a translation by Roger Pineau of the history written by two
Naval officers present during the formation of the first kamikaze corps in
October 1944 in the Philippines. This book by Rikihei Inoguchi and Tadashi
Nakajima, first published in Japanese in 1951, provides many insights into the
thinking of Japanese Naval leaders when they decided to initiate and promote
kamikaze attacks. The U.S. Naval Institute published the first English
translation in an article in 1953, and the full English-language book came out
in 1958. The Divine Wind has become the most influential book, quoted
frequently by other authors.