Kamikaze Diaries: Reflections of Japanese Student Soldiers, by Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney, offers a look into the circumstances behind several of the Japanese Kamikaze pilots during WWII.
Ichizo Hayashi, a devout Christian, also happened to be one of these pilots, and flew his final mission with the Bible and SÃ¸ren Kierkegaard’s "The Sickness Unto Death" in his cockpit.
An excerpt from his diary states:
How fortunate I am that I believe in God, whom my mother believes in. My mind is at ease when I think that God takes care of everything. God would not make my mother or myself sad. I am sure God will bestow happiness upon us. Even [though] I will die I dream of our lives togetherâ€¦I know my country is beautifulâ€¦My earnest hope is that our country will overcome this crisis and prosper. I can’t bear the thought of our nation being stampeded by the dirty enemy. I must avenge [it] with my own life.
I haven’t read this book yet, but it is certainly one I plan an picking up…once class is over of course!
Some further background - and my source for this post - can be found at: http://www.martinrothonline.com/