In 1274 Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan landed a large expeditionary force on the island of Kyushu, but was driven off by Japanese warriors. In 1281, he made another attempt, but with a much larger force, combining 40,000 troops from North China and 100,000 troops from South China. The two huge invasion fleets converged off Kyushu. Japanese religious leaders prayed for deliverance as the invasion fleet approached. A huge typhoon hit the coast, sinking many of the Mongol boats, half were killed or perished. Those who survived fled back to the Chinese mainland.The grateful Japanese called this particular typhoon KAMIKAZE, or DIVINE WIND.

In blossom today, then scattered;
Life is so like a delicate flower.
How can one expect the fragrance to last forever?
Admiral Takajiro Onishi, Father of the Kamikaze

WWII - A desperate time when humans found new and more terrible ways of killing each other. Out of this desperation came the Japanese suicide bomber. To the Kamikaze, bomb and bomber were one and the same. Called into power by Emperor Hirohito and creatively offered the rank of "God", 2,500 men were to spend their last terrifying moments as human artillery streaking towards their target encased in airplanes, mini - subs, and bomb loaded speed boats. These "Knights of the Divine Wind", so horrifyingly accurate in their attacks, took the lives of over 7,000 Allied servicemen during the reign of the first initiated, and there were still another 4,500 Japanese men being prepared for Knighthood. The fear of their human weapons became a critical factor in the U.S. decision to avoid an invasion of the Japanese mainland , and drop the Atomic bomb. The tactics of the Kamikaze continue to haunt the world to this day.

Index - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8 - Part 9
Part 10 - Part 11 - Part 12 - Photos A - Photos B - Photos C

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