The mamorial to the 1036 young pilots known as Tokkotai or Kamikaze is located in Chiran, Kagoshima near the base where they took off from on their last mission.
It is certanely a memorial worth visiting since it is dignified, sombre and peaceful free from the rather infantile bravado characterizing most war-memorials in Europe and USA.
I shall visit it again in spring when the sakura is blooming.
In the official Chiran english brochure it is called:
Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots.
On their final day the pilots saluted "Good bye" towards Mt, Kaimon with the wings of their planes. Imagining their feelings for their country, their braveness and their desperate tears, we can not help but cry
Snow queen, president of W.C. Japan Times do not cry when her loyal pocket hyena Mr.Eric Prideaux writes about the subject in the series "witness to war".
Normally this staff writer writes about topics more fitting his personality and moral character, such as "casanovas for hire",Tokyo hosts, or mad cow disease but according to Snow queen's logic it is he who should tell the world about the kamikaze by luring some old man (Mr Shida) to give an interview. If I am not mistaking he even calls Tokkotai, throu the mouth of "several american pilots" .......... murder.
We have nothing to say to pocket hyena Prideaux.
To Snow queen this: I happen to have met a surviving Tokkotai very different from Mr Shida.
It was in Budapest where he was part a delegation for The Japan Kendo Federation visiting Europe. During dinner/party with good hungarian red wine the delegation and the hungarian hosts talked and discussed many things including the Pacific war, it's causes, implications, etc. He did not say much until somebody brought up the Kamikaze.
Suddenly he said "I was one".
It became completely quiet in the room.
What could one say? As I found out later his friends for decades, sitting there, didn't know. He never told them untill that night in Budapest.
I remember that he looked streight into my eyes when he said it.
Later I asked him about the war.
He said: Ano senso de Nihon ga ookina giseiwo harattaokagede Tonan-Asia wa jiyu ni natta.
When people who have been millimeters, milligrams or a few hours or days from certain death speak up, they tend to tell the truth.
by Gabor Fabricius
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