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History Former teacher: history of kamikaze no heroic story

thomas

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A former middle school teacher in Kagoshima has published a book challenging what he sees as the prevailing tendency to glorify Japanese suicide pilots in World War II. Taking issue with narratives that focus only on inspiring accounts of bravery, Kenji Yamamoto's book, loosely translated as "How to Teach Children about Kamikaze Attacks," draws heavily on testimonies from former suicide pilots who survived.

Yamamoto Kenji


Yamamoto, a 58-year-old Kagoshima native, has faced criticism for his views, but he is convinced that teaching children about "the shadows of history" will help them to think critically. After graduating from Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto , Yamamoto returned to Kagoshima, where he became a social studies teacher at a public school. In his fourth year, on a school trip to the Chiran Peace Museum for kamikaze pilots in Minamikyushu, Yamamoto says he was caught off guard when a museum guide said the kamikaze pilots "were all happy to head off to attack." [...] Yamamoto interviewed surviving former members of the kamikaze unit and the female students who cared for the men before they flew off to battle in the war's closing months. Yamamoto says that some of them attested that, with censorship in place, "there were no actual motives written in the wills" that the pilots left. [...] When he discussed with students the circumstances of wartime Japan during a special lesson opened to colleagues, he experienced a backlash from some teachers and education critics.




One place where kamikaze are glorified to this day is Yasukuni Shrine:

Kamikaze statue at Yasukuni Shrine
 

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What a poignant and long-overdue reexamination of a strangely popular belief...

Rose-colored glasses doom us to repeat our terrible history. While some kamikaze pilots may have been convinced that they were doing something heroic--surely, sacrificing oneself for the nation is considered honorable, especially given Japan's cultural and historical context--the act of sending men explicitly to die and inflict as much damage as possible is simply a pathetic act of cruelty and desperation by those giving the orders.

All wars are crimes, and all leaders presiding over wars are war criminals.
 
While some kamikaze pilots may have been convinced that they were doing something heroic--surely, sacrificing oneself for the nation is considered honorable, especially given Japan's cultural and historical context--the act of sending men explicitly to die and inflict as much damage as possible is simply a pathetic act of cruelty and desperation by those giving the orders.

Really no different from suicide bombers in that way. They have been convinced that they are playing the hero by people who will go no where near the danger or risk their own lives. 😢
 
Really no different from suicide bombers in that way. They have been convinced that they are playing the hero by people who will go no where near the danger or risk their own lives. 😢
Or they may feel they have no other choice. Like the prison to battlefield cannon fodder pipeline that the Wagner Group is running.
 
Really no different from suicide bombers in that way. They have been convinced that they are playing the hero by people who will go no where near the danger or risk their own lives. 😢
Exactly. My thoughts on kamikaze pilots shifted dramatically when I looked at the rise of suicide bombings, and asking myself: aside from distinguishing civilian from military targets, is there really much difference between the two? With few exceptions, as you say, young men being sent to their death by cowards, with promises of rewards beyond this life. Despicable business.

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This is Aitazaz Hassan Bangash. Know his name, for he's a REAL hero: Teen dies stopping suicide bomber at school in Pakistan | CNN
 
A former middle school teacher in Kagoshima has published a book challenging what he sees as the prevailing tendency to glorify Japanese suicide pilots in World War II. Taking issue with narratives that focus only on inspiring accounts of bravery, Kenji Yamamoto's book, loosely translated as "How to Teach Children about Kamikaze Attacks," draws heavily on testimonies from former suicide pilots who survived.








One place where kamikaze are glorified to this day is Yasukuni Shrine:

Kamikaze statue at Yasukuni Shrine


By the way, If you're interested in exploring other perspectives in history, consider examining examples like those found in The Great Gatsby https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-great-gatsby/, offering rich insights into different narratives.​
Yamamoto's perspective on teaching kids about the darker side of history is certainly thought-provoking. It adds depth to the narrative and encourages critical thinking. While he faces some pushback, fostering a nuanced understanding of historical events, like the kamikaze attacks, is essential. Sharing firsthand accounts from survivors brings a unique angle that challenges the glorification often associated with such stories.
 
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