Wednesday, February 3, 2021


Exhibit A: 

"Dear mother

I trust that you are doing well. To be honest, I cannot say that the wish to die for the emperor is genuine, coming from my heart. However, it is decided for me that I die for the emperor. I shall not be afraid of the moment of my death. But I am afraid of how the fear of death will perturb my life.

Even for a short life, there are many memories. For someone who had a good life, it is very difficult to part with it. But I reached a point of no return. I must plunge into an enemy vessel. As the preparation for the takeoff nears, I feel a heavy pressure on me. I don’t think I can stare at death... I tried my best to escape in vain. So, now that I don’t have a choice, I must go valiantly

I will go with your photo firmly next to my heart."

                                                                                            - Hayashi Ichizo, March 1945.

The link to the FB post can be found here.

From a different perspective, consider: 

"Along with the rest of the force, Nevada shelled Japanese airfields, shore defenses, supply dumps, and troop concentrations. However, after the fire support ships retired for the night, dawn "came up like thunder" when seven kamikazes attacked the force while it was without air cover. One plane, though hit repeatedly by antiaircraft fire from the force, crashed onto the main deck of Nevada, next to turret No. 3. It killed 11 and wounded 49; it also knocked out both 14 in (360 mm) guns in that turret and three 20 mm anti-aircraft weapons. (emphasis mine)
The link to the Wikipedia article is here.


Hayashi succeeded in flying his plane into the American USS Nevada (BB-36) Battleship on March 25th 1945, killing 11 sailors and wounding 49.  


I normally don't link to either Facebook or Wikipedia.  The room for error is great and the tendency to miss the whole picture too often the rule rather than the exception. In these cases, however, the pertinent information is accurate, and I thought it was worth kicking around.  

The human story is a complicated one, and our tendency to want to boil it down to a bumper sticker, made all the easier in our modern Facebook and #Twitter generation, has been one of the banes for good relations between those made in God's image for time immemorial. 


  1. Yup. This shows out very clearly in wars, which we usually try to reduce to a single reason, like the people who say the Civil war "was really only about slavery". In fact, each person involved has his or her own reasons for what they do, and usually a whole set of reasons. It's that way for almost every choice we make, no matter how small. Think of what goes into deciding what to have for dinner! There's the question of what you and your family like, the cost, the time involved for preparation, the nutritional value, what is perishable and needs to be used, etc.

    1. Yes, the whole 'it's only about one reason' should always be a warning flag that you're dealing with someone with agendas far removed from seeking the truth.

    2. One minor, but interesting point, about the kamikaze program is that those who developed it and those commanders who implemented it never participated in the program themselves. There is little evidence to show that even the emperor approved of it.

    3. Admiral Matome Ugaki deserves more credit than that. In much the same way that the only really good thin about Hirohito was arguably that he was willing to be hanged, perhaps the only good thing about Matome Ugaki was that he did not consider himself too good to be a kamikaze. In either case, that is enough to respect the man as a man.

    4. Admiral Ugaki committed suicide AFTER the Japanese surrender was announced. Not exactly the same thing.


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