Hotaru (Firefly) Monument
This web site on Kamikaze Images discusses the principal ways by which people
form opinions and images about kamikaze, including from books, films, museums,
Internet, and letters. This section covers a few other
forms by which Japanese people develop images about kamikaze.
Chiran served as the major Japanese Army sortie base
for kamikaze pilots during the Battle of Okinawa. Today, Chiran still remembers the deaths of these
young pilots by sponsoring a speech contest to
promote the importance of life and peace. More than half of the speeches mention
kamikaze pilots or other aspects of World War II. Many speeches make reference
to the wartime experiences of a speaker's family or relatives.
A yellow flower known as tokkobana
(kamikaze flower) grows wild in Kagoshima Prefecture, the location of many
former kamikaze sortie bases. Even though cherry blossoms symbolized kamikaze
pilots during the war, a 1998 television movie popularized the tale that
kamikaze pilots are the source of the huge field of tokkobana at the foot
of Mount Kaimon, the southernmost mountain of mainland Japan, because of the
yellow flowers they threw out of their planes on the way to Okinawa.
Several Japanese enka songs and other types of songs have been written about kamikaze pilots
and kaiten pilots. These
songs generally idealize the pilots and their actions. The following are
Japanese songs translated to English: