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Tokkou senshi no ishi ni furete (Experiencing the last wishes of the special attack warriors)
by Reiko Gotoh
Tokyo Tosho Shuppan, 2005, 129 pages

While reading through a book about the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps, the author Reiko Gotoh became interested in the last writings of the young men who carried out suicide attacks to defend Japan near the end of WWII. In this book, her first attempt as an author, she tries to combine her life's story with the history and writings of the young men in Japan's tokkotai (special attack forces). However, she never successfully connects her experiences in the home and workforce to the kamikaze pilots.

Each of the five chapters begins with a short section about her life and then continues with a much longer section about some aspect of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps. She relates a few personal experiences such as raising two sons, moving frequently from place to place due to her husband's job, and teaching children a variety of subjects including English at her home. She describes her experiences in general terms with no dialogue, so a reader ends up getting little understanding of her motivations and her relations with her husband and two sons.

The first two chapters introduce last writings of members from the 10th Ko Class of the Yokaren (Naval Preparatory Flight Training Program) and the 14th Class of Naval Flight Reserve Students from which many kamikaze pilots died. The third chapter tells the stories of Rear Admiral Masafumi Arima, who carried out a suicide attack in the middle of October 1944 on an American carrier just prior to the formation of the first official kamikaze unit, and Goro Nonaka, the unconventional leader of the Betty bomber squadron that carried the first ohka rocket-powered glider bombs into battle on March 21, 1945, but got completely destroyed by American fighters. The fourth chapter, the book's most interesting one, tells about the mothers of the Shikishima Squadron, one of the four squadrons in the first official kamikaze unit, which attacked American ships in the Philippines on October 25, 1944. The last chapter describes the author's visits to three sites related to the Special Attack Corps: grave of Lieutenant Katshuhisa Ban, who died in a midget submarine attack in Sydney Harbor on May 31, 1942; Kaiten Memorial Museum on Otsushima Island in Yamaguchi Prefecture; and the Nagoya Kamikaze Special Attack Corps Kusanagi Unit Monument in Toyota City in Aichi Prefecture.

Although the author accurately and objectively tells the Kamikaze Corps' story and presents several moving last letters written by kamikaze pilots, the history and writings come directly from other sources with many long quotations. There is minimal commentary from the author, so the original sources listed in the bibliography will make much better reading.