the kamikaze manual

notes from a suicide manual: the Japanese kamikaze pilot’s manual, now published in English for the first time. Extracts at the Guardian, but here’s some to go on with:

Taking off: Breathe deeply three times. Say in your mind: Yah (field), Kyu (ball), Joh (all right) as you breathe deeply. Proceed straight ahead on the airstrip. Otherwise you may damage the landing gears. ….

At the very moment of impact: do your best. Every deity and the spirits of your dead comrades are watching you intently. Just before the collision it is essential that you do not shut your eyes for a moment so as not to miss the target. Many have crashed into the targets with wide-open eyes. They will tell you what fun they had.

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