The Japanese Kamikaze & the Suicide Terrorist

Creato Venerdì, 20 Aprile 2018 10:00
Ultima modifica il Venerdì, 20 Aprile 2018 10:01
Pubblicato Venerdì, 20 Aprile 2018 10:00
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The very word “kamikaze” has become a synonym for “suicide attack” in the daily language. Suicide attacks have occurred throughout history, often as part of a military campaign such as the Japanese Kamikaze pilots of World War II, and more recently as part of terrorist campaigns, such as the September 11 attacks. It has been  for several years that the media have defined suicide terrorists kamikaze; misunderstandings and mystifications behind the use of a term to indicate a suicidal terrorist, or a clearly misguided action. There are several reasons for this choice: first of all, the word kamikaze has entered the Western collective imagery after the Second World War. But there are other reasons why TV announcers now only talk about kamikaze to define fundamentalists who blow up among innocent people. One is the inability to find another synonym, perhaps the most correct one, the other is certainly to establish a connection between  those Japanese aviators who defended their homeland by hitting only war targets,  and terrorist assassins who bloody cities, bringing death among civilian women and children. The fundamentalist terrorists who, in recent years – and still today – explode on buses, squares, department stores, streets, airports and metros have nothing in common with the “god wind” (meaning the word kamikaze) who seventy years ago, sacrificed by hitting enemy military targets that threatened their nation and their families. It is several years that the media define suicide terrorists kamikaze; misunderstandings and mystifications behind the use of a term to indicate a suicidal terrorist, or a clearly misguided action. There are several reasons for this choice: first of all, the word kamikaze has entered the Western collective imagery after the Second World War, and everyone who committed suicide, or even disenchantment, even in a sports field, came and is defined kamikaze. But there are other reasons why TV announcers now only talk about kamikaze to define fundamentalists who are blown up among innocent people. One is the inability to find another synonym, perhaps the most correct one, the other is certainly to get closer to Japanese aviators who defend their homeland by hitting only war targets, terrorist assassins who bloody our cities, bringing death between women and civilian children. The fundamentalist terrorists who, in recent years – and still today – explode on buses, squares, department stores, streets, airports and metros have nothing in common with the “god wind” (meaning the word kamikaze) who seventy years ago, they sacrificed hitting enemy military targets that threatened their nation and their families. In common they only have the suicide and pride of their family and the gesture, although not all today share the family martyrdom. But the purpose was profoundly different. The way World War II was taught in school pretty much left us with the impression that kamikaze attacks were part of the standard strategy of the Japanese Imperial Army and Navy throughout the entire war. In fact, Kamikaze from the Empire of Japan attacked their enemy during World War II during the Pacific campaign in order to destroy warship in a more efficiency way compared to previous and conventional war tools. They were an innovation at that time because they were kamikaze aircraft meaning that pilots would attempt to crash their aircraft into enemies ships in a way that their attack would result in a “body attack”. What is peculiar about those aircraft kamikaze is the fact that even if a lot of accuracy was taken into account while constructing them, only 11% of them were successful. From the point of view of the Japanese Empire, those types of attacks were fully legitimate, thus, even if there were many lives and aircrafts that were destroyed, what was relevant was the final result, that is, the destruction of the enemy. Japanese military strategies has always been characterized by values such as: death, capture and shame. Not by chance, these values and especially loyalty and honour until death were typical of the Samurai era and Bushido Code. Prior to Second World War, Japan was characterized by the Shinto religion which implied devotion to the Emperor that at that time was seen as the descendant of the Sun. In order to be devoted to the Emperor, Japanese had to follow a strict code that besides devotion it included honour and obedience that led to around thousands of man to sacrify for him. However, believing that Muslim suicide bombers carried out the 9/11 attacks would be a misconception. The reason why the attacks in the U.S. happened is not only limited to religious reason as it has already been explained but also due to multiple variables that led to the terrorist attack: depression, economic crisis and unemployment. It seems clear that religious nationalism and the promise of paradise were the main reason why those individuals decided to blow themselves up, taking also into consideration the economic motives that were hidden behind such gesture that is monetary incentives to their families. Realizing that they were rapidly losing the war, Japanese leaders did not want to waste their remaining trained expert pilots, so they decided to train raw recruits for this task and gave them about thirty days or more of rough flight training in which they had to learn how to fly light planes carrying 200 pounds of logs meant to simulate bombs weighing over 500 pounds.

di Francesca De Simone