Asian studies in Lithuania
Original language: English
Translated from: English
Authors: Harrington, Joseph D., Yokota, Yutaka
Translated by: Stanaitytė-Karsokienė, Aušra
Full translated source bibliographical description:

Yutaka Yokota, Joseph D.Harrington. Kamikaze Submarine. Leisure Books, 1962

ISBN: 978-9955-26-544-3
Published in: Vilnius
Published on: 2016
Publisher: Briedis

Yutaka Yokota (born in 1926) – is someone who survived incredible Japanese imperial navy experiment which is turning people into live torpedoes. ,,Kamikaze submarine” is about a historical witness Yutaka Yokota who became a Kaiten pilot. Kaiten is a torpedo, which is piloted by a live person so every kaiten pilot came in peace with the idea of dying. This book is about kaiten pilots everyday life, their preparations  and wish to give up their lives for Japan.

The books is about a young and ambitious young man Yutaka who was serving in the Japanese military during world war 2. Yutaka always wanted to become a pilot so after couple times of trying he got into Japanese air forces training academy. One day during casual training day a military officer appeared and offered to become a secret weapon pilot which can turn the war around, but he warned that whoever volunteers must expect not to come back alive. Yutaka didn\’t think long and volunteered like another 1000 men. He was selected and become one of 100 selected volunteers out of his base to become a human torpedo.

The story perfectly reveals how young men of Japanese military were thinking while their whole life being taught fanaticism in a bushido code form. They thought they were descendants of samurais and death to them was  not a concern. This book is unique because of the way it tells the story which is very casual, Yutaka is training to pilot a kaiten, he has lot\’s of other pilot friends and is just generally happy which sounds insane considering that his and his friends lives are bound to cease in just a matter of couple months, but he was not interested in that, all he was focusing on was how to make the best of his death for the empire.

However a human live is not a machine and the author of the book mentions his weak moments when he doubted the usefulness of kaitens and the main human wish to live emerges. All in all the books describes the daily life of suiciders, their feelings and determination. All this look just incredible and makes you think how would you handle such pressure personally.

Initiators of the project: Japan foundation VDU