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Japanese book Ima tokkoutai no shi o kangaeru (Thinking now about death of special attack force members) by Atsushi Shirai (2002)

Japanese Books

During the American occupation of Japan between 1945 and 1952, censors rarely allowed publication of books related to Japan's special attack forces and other subjects considered to be militaristic propaganda. For example, Yoshida Mitsuru's account of the Yamato's suicide mission in April 1945, Requiem for Battleship Yamato, did not get published in full until the end of the occupation after being suppressed in 1946 and 1948 by censors (Dower 1999, 415-6). Since the end of the American occupation and continuing until today, many Japanese books have been published about the Kamikaze Corps and other Special Attack Corps units.

The books cover a wide variety of subjects, including numerous personal narratives of special attack force members who survived the war. Also, many Japanese books with writings of Special Attack Corps members have been published. Many books cover the experiences of just the Japanese Navy or Army, since they had distinct operations and traditions. Chiran Air Base and the kamikaze pilots who made sorties from there are topics of several popular books published since the 1980s. The Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots and three popular movies from 1993 to 2001 about Chiran Air Base special attack pilots have generated great interest in this air base used by the Army for sorties of Special Attack Corps pilots during the Battle of Okinawa.

One of the best Japanese reference books on all types of special attack corps is Tokubetsu Kōgekitai (Special Attack Corps) by the Tokkotai Senbotsusha Irei Heiwa Kinen Kyoukai (Tokkotai Commemoration Peace Memorial Association). This 395-page book published in 1990 has three main sections: (1) general history of each type of special attack corps, (2) names, units, and dates of death for all who died in Navy and Army special attack corps, and (3) photos and information about monuments and museums throughout the country.

All ages in Japan read manga (comics), and several manga include stories about special attack forces that carried out suicide attacks near the end of the war.

Several children's books, some for elementary school students, cover the topic of special attack corps.

Below are links to completed reviews of other Japanese books:

Sources Cited

Dower, John W. 1999. Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. New York: W.W. Norton.

Tokkōtai Senbotsusha Irei Heiwa Kinen Kyōkai (Tokkōtai Commemoration Peace Memorial Association). 1990. Tokubetsu Kōgekitai (Special Attack Corps). Tōkyō: Tokkōtai Senbotsusha Irei Heiwa Kinen Kyōkai.