The Kamikaze Mindset

Albert Axell recalls the era of the Japanese Kamikaze pilots.

To die voluntarily in the prime of life is unnatural. The very thought of death is unbearable for any person who is sound of mind. Given that Japan’s Kamikaze pilots were sound of mind, why then did these young pilots, perhaps as many as 7,000, willingly choose to kill themselves near the close of a war long past winning? It is a question that is all the more pressing as we commemorate the destruction of the World Trade Center a year ago, at the hands of men – admittedly coming from a very different culture – who were prepared to act in a similar manner to devastating effect.

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