By Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney
Why did nearly 1000 hugely informed "student squaddies" volunteer to serve in Japan's tokkotai (kamikaze) operations close to the top of worldwide conflict II, even if Japan was once wasting the battle? during this interesting learn of the function of symbolism and aesthetics in totalitarian ideology, Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney indicates how the country manipulated the accepted jap image of the cherry blossom to persuade people who it used to be their honor to "die like attractive falling cherry petals" for the emperor. Drawing on diaries by no means earlier than released in English, Ohnuki-Tierney describes those younger men's agonies or even defiance opposed to the imperial ideology. Passionately dedicated to cosmopolitan highbrow traditions, the pilots observed the cherry blossom now not in militaristic phrases, yet as a logo of the painful good looks and unresolved ambiguities in their tragically short lives. utilizing Japan to illustrate, the writer breaks new floor within the figuring out of symbolic conversation, nationalism, and totalitarian ideologies and their execution.