I thought this article interesting on kamikazes during WWII. It also pretty much parallels my thoughts on what type of young man may have trained to be one.
While countless atrocities were committed, I strongly believe that especially in the latter stages of the war, say late 1943-on, not all Japanese soldiers and sailors were crazed devils. Professional military personnel had been whittled away by the thousands by that time. Replacements were replacements: they were drafted like millions of our boys: grocery clerks, farmhands, carpenters, etc., but not as well trained as our military were.
I do feel that these young Japanese soldiers and sailors were much like our boys under the stress of combat. They griped about the monotonous chow (or absence thereof) like Old Man Jack. The heat and humidity in the harsh jungle environments wore them down just like ours – likely worse due to lack of supplies – and took its toll on morale.
I stress again I am not condoning the inhuman acts. I just wish to present a possibly different view on our Japanese adversaries during WWII… that they were not all willing to commit suicide and die on behalf of their Emperor. Yes, they hated the enemy with all their might and would lay down their lives for their buddies just like ours… but all of them DID want to go home.
They just knew they couldn’t.