Support Aeon

‘I support Aeon because I support the spreading of wisdom.’

Tanner F, USA, Friend of Aeon

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

Give now

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.

Give now

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

Get Aeon straight
to your inbox
Join our newsletter
Aeon is not-for-profit
and free for everyone
Make a donation
Essay/
Neuroscience
The theory of mind myth

Even experts can’t predict violence or suicide. Surely we’re kidding ourselves that we can see inside the minds of others

Robert Burton

Essay/
Social Psychology
In extremis

As Hannah Arendt argued, there is one common thread which connects individuals drawn to all kinds of extremist ideologies

Nabeelah Jaffer