Senri Nagasue, a former Japanese Navy kamikaze pilot, kept up with
changing information technology. He personally created web pages on Aozora no hateni (To the blue sky's end),
his huge website with many stories related to the Kamikaze Corps. Since his
retirement from the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force, he has written four books
related to the Kamikaze Corps and another book on his Air Self-Defense Force
experiences. He took an IT course in 2001 at the age of 74, when he got the idea
to publish CD versions of two of his books.
Nagasue's purpose in writing books and creating this web site was to provide
unique insights into the Kamikaze Corps' history. The stories in his books and
web site come from firsthand war experiences, accounts from others with whom he
served in the Japanese Navy, and interviews of several families of kamikaze
pilots who died in the war. Many stories on the web site have been excerpted
directly from his books. Nagasue's web site generally includes individual
episodes rather than a general history of kamikaze operations. Also, his web
site focuses almost entirely on the Navy Kamikaze Corps, even though the Army
carried out about a third of the suicide attacks during the war.
One section of the site contains 18 stories related to the families of
kamikaze pilots who died in the war, and another section has 15 web pages of
reminiscences of his classmates in the Yokaren (Japanese Naval Preparatory Flight Training
Program). Other sections cover Nagasue's experiences with the Naval Air Corps at
bases around Japan, including Kagoshima, Yatabe, Hyakurihara, and
Ōi. Some of
the information in these sections does not deal specifically with kamikaze. Another site section
contains a list of those who died in kamikaze attacks. Nagasue also has several
web pages related to the mystery of the final kamikaze attack led by Vice
Admiral Matome Ugaki.
Although this site has easy-to-follow navigation to get to its wealth of
information, some design features will cause distractions for visitors. Moving
images of planes can be distracting on a few pages, and full-screen background
photos on some contents pages can make reading difficult. Several pages also
have accompanying World War II music, but this can be easily stopped by putting
the sound volume on mute.
In an effort to extend his reach to English speakers, Nagasue has developed
an English section for his web site. Although he has limited English
capabilities, he tried to create English pages with translation software. Since
his Japanese sentences can be complex and since his material often includes
specialized words related to aviation and the Imperial Japanese Navy,
translation software often leads to incomprehensible results. Therefore, I have
tried to assist Nagasue in some of the translations of his section on Sadness
of Bereaved Families.