Become a
Friend of Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or make a one-off donation

The last kamikaze

8 minutes

‘The order could come at any moment’: two kamikaze pilots tell their story

‘Dying was the ultimate fulfillment of our duty.’ 

Takehiko Ena and Hisao Horiyama, respectively just 20 and 21 when they were drafted into the Japanese air force during the waning days of the Second World War, are two of the last living kamikaze pilots. One of several units known as ‘special attack units’ deployed by the Japanese military for suicide missions, kamikazes (translated as ‘divine wind’) were infamously sent to inflict as much damage on Allied warships as possible – and, as a consequence, kill themselves in the process. In The Last Kamikaze, the two would-be suicide pilots discuss how allegiance to their country, families and Emperor compelled them to accept their missions, and the two men, now in their 90s, recall their mixed feelings when they ultimately escaped with their lives shortly before Japan’s surrender.

Director: Irene C Herrera

Video/Music

What happens when rock stardom doesn’t quite work out?

10 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Cognition & Intelligence

For millennia, we’d never seen anything like film cuts. How do we process them so easily?

7 minutes

Video/Demography & Migration

On the US-Mexico border, loved ones on both sides can see each other but cannot touch

12 minutes

Idea/Consciousness & Altered States

Our illusory sense of agency has a deeply important social purpose

Chris Frith

Essay/Neuroscience

Where pain lives

Fixing chronic back pain is possible only when patients understand how much it is produced by the brain, not the spine

Cathryn Jakobson Ramin

Video/Childhood & Adolescence

What to make of a Riot Grrrl? A snapshot of feminism and high school in the 1990s

18 minutes

Essay/Human Evolution

Imagination is ancient

Our imaginative life today has access to the pre-linguistic, ancestral mind: rich in imagery, emotions and associations

Stephen T Asma

Idea/Psychiatry & Psychotherapy

The history of brainwashing is a red flag for techno-therapy

David Saunders

Video/Cognition & Intelligence

Why can concave surfaces look convex when viewed from overhead (and vice versa)?

4 minutes