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Kamikaze: A Japanese Pilot's Own Spectacular Story of the Infamous Suicide Squadrons
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Kamikaze: A Japanese Pilot's Own Spectacular Story of the Infamous Suicide Squadrons

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  113 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Originally published in 1957, this enduring classic—the first-ever English publication cowritten by a Japanese suicide pilot—remains a touching and insightful look into the world of the kamikaze. This edition, now completely revised, reflects the valuable insight and perspective gained by the author since the time of the book’s initial publication. From the age of 15, Y
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Hardcover, 255 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Turtleback Books (first published April 12th 1982)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 228)
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David
Sep 15, 2013 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: big-red-circle
I'm fairly confident that I've just read "Kamikaze: A Japanese Pilot's Own Spectacular Story of the Famous Suicide Squadrons". My friend bought me a 1950s pulp from an airshow: the publisher is Ace Books, the cover has a menacing "Jap" airman grinning fiercely beneath his pencil moustache, and the title (bizarrely) is "Honshu". But it's by Yasuo Kuwahara and Gordon T. Allred and is about Kuwahara's experiences training as a pilot and joining the kamikaze. A later publisher must have realised tha ...more
James Clark
Apr 21, 2014 James Clark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I actually found myself riveted to my chair all weekend reading this book unceasingly. I think it is one of the best personal accounts I have ever read. It is extremely well written - so well in fact, I was almost able to be there myself. The words are dynamic and deeply personal. The book is about one young Japanese man, aged 15, inducted into the Japanese Army Air Force in 1944 WWII. It details in a very personal way, the arduous and often bestial punishment he and other young Japanese men end ...more
Loredana Adriana
Jan 14, 2016 Loredana Adriana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
M-am încumetat să parcurg „Kamikaze. Povestea unui pilot japonez din Escadrilele Sinucigaşe”, scrisă de Yasuo Kuwahara în colaborare cu Gordon T. Allred, datorită fascinaţiei mele pentru cultura japoneză şi mai ales pentru spiritul de luptă japonez din cel de Al Doilea Război Mondial, sperând astfel să pot surprinde măcar o fărâmă din acea voinţă de fier care a dus la moartea atâtor piloţi sinucigaşi în numele Împăratului lor, pentru onoare şi împlinirea datoriei faţă de patrie. Însă nimic nu m- ...more
Aubrey Ortiz
Apr 11, 2013 Aubrey Ortiz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Harrison
Sep 23, 2013 Harrison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Kamikaze" by Gordon Allred and Yasuo Kuwahara is a spectacular story about honor, loyalty, and death in the eyes of a Kamikaze suicide pilot. Kuwahara was only sixteen when he learned to appreciate life and how easily it can be taken away. It was his dream to one day fly as a fighter pilot for his country. After a long road of challenges that pushed him to his limits, he becomes a pilot. However, this isn't the theme of the story. He protects Kamikaze fighters (many of whom he has formed close ...more
Anna Kļaviņa
Well written story of growing up and fighting during WW2. Surprisingly it is not completely depressive book; Kuwahara-san was able to stay human despite harsh times and still had ability to have ray of hope and dream even in the darkest times.

It is story of Yasuo Kuwahara who was pressed to join the army; he went thought harsh basic training to become a pilot, when he was chosen to fighter pilot training Yasuo was nearly driven to suicide by cruel hancho. But the worst was accepting that he and
...more
Iulian
Dec 16, 2015 Iulian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even though there are speculations that some events in the book might be fabricated its still an amazing story. To me it feels a bit fake. Being published in 1957 at a time where the public was thirsty for war stories just adds to my skepticism.
Katie Wahlquist
Jul 09, 2015 Katie Wahlquist rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read many books about WWII, but not many from the Japanese perspective. Super interesting.
Matthew Pearson
Dec 28, 2013 Matthew Pearson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this every decade or so, and it is an INCREDIBLE read. I grew up in Japan for a number of years. The approach to life and death and suffering by the Japanese is so incredibly different than what we take for granted. The graphic portrayal of how they slipped into these last weapons of the war in such a stylized, civilized manner is so truly frightening and at once human.
Mares
Oct 21, 2015 Mares rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book that highlights the crazy thing that WWII was. Some boys taken from school and turned over night into competent soldiers. Some experiences and horror stories that many of us won't live in their entire lifetimes. A truly awakening reading.
Julie
Aug 02, 2009 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Note: This was first published (in English) in 1957, and I have one of the really early paperback editions, not this newer one.

This was a fascinating look at the training regimen and experience of a kamikaze pilot written by someone who experience it. In fact, he had already received his orders to go on his suicide mission when Japan surrendered. It was a really interesting book.
Matt Pearson
If you want to understand Japan read this book. At once the touching story of a teen coming of age, and the horror of what the Japanese were doing to others and themselves. Brutality and tranquility. Beautifully written down to the tragedy and elation of not having to plunge into a battleship. This book needs to make it back into popular reading.
Joe
Jan 08, 2011 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some research has proven this story to be a fabrication (rather than autobiographical, as advertised): http://americanlegacymedia.com/Kamika... But still an interesting read, if one reads it as fiction.
Nathan Alexander
Gordon Allred is a brilliant author, and a great friend. Kamikaze does an amazing job portraying the life of Japan's suicide pilots during World War II.
David Scarbro
Jun 23, 2011 David Scarbro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
First person account of young Japanese pilot drafted near the end of WWII. Amazing story. Read via Nook, borrowed from Boston Public Library.
Billybobjoe
Jul 15, 2013 Billybobjoe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
What a wonderfully haunting story! If you are interested in history, specifically WWII or Japan, you should read this.
Frank
Jun 24, 2008 Frank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history buffs
An insight into the life and the mindset of the Japanese during WWII.
Apzmarshl
Sep 28, 2008 Apzmarshl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Harsh and painful to read at times. Great history.
Asphodel Parker
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Feb 08, 2016
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Diana
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Feb 12, 2016
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Feb 09, 2016
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Yasuo Kuwahara was only 15 in 1944 when he won first place at the Japanese National High School Glider contest. As Japan’s war outlook grew dimmer, Japanese military officers pressed Kuwahara into training as a fighter pilot for the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force. After the war he worked for the U.S. government, and later owned a successful photography business. He died suddenly in 1980.
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“Often we may even smile or laugh at adversity, but all people share the same passions. They are merely manifest differently according to one's culture and conditioning.” 3 likes
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