A Kamikaze Pilot Who Survived
A news report about Toru Mizukawa, an 89-year-old man who was one of the few “kamikaze” pilots who survived the Pacific War:
As Japan’s situation became desperate, Mizukawa and his classmates at Ritsumeikan University were drafted into the Imperial armed forces. Mizukawa became a member of the Himeji Naval Air Group, a unit that would send 63 pilots on one-way “special attack” missions between April 6 and May 4,1945 (during the Battle of Okinawa).
Mizukawa and the other pilots knew that Japan wasn’t winning the war, but they were prepared to die for their country. He would wake up each day, wondering if his name would be called for participation in the next suicide mission. Luckily for Mizukawa, that day never came. The squadron ran out of airplanes before it ran out of pilots.
Every year, Mizukawa visits the graves of his dead comrades. Although he knows that he didn’t do anything wrong, he feels guilty about having survived when so many others went off and died.