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Wind of the Gods, Kamikaze

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Non-seasonal Topic
***** Category: Heaven


David Lanoue explains:

Literally, kamikaze refers to a "providential wind," the "wind of the gods." Long after Issa's time, the word was used to describe suicide planes packed with explosives that pilots flew into enemy ships.


Kamikaze 神風, the divine wind, is now another expression for the strong typhoons that come to hit Japan especially in autumn.

The expression was coined after a strong wind destroyed the Mongol fleet of Kublai Khan on its way to invade Japan in 1274 and again in 1281.

The Japanese think of the Gods of Wind and Thunder (fuujin, raijin 風神雷神 as their special patrons and there are many pieces of art depicting these two.
The god of wind carries a big bag and the god of thunder a set of drums.

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The use of KAMIKAZE for the suicidal attacks by Japanese airplains during WW II is now well known worldwide.

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- quote
Kamikaze, Cherry Blossoms, and Nationalisms:
The Militarization of Aesthetics in Japanese History

Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney

Cherry blossoms became the dominant symbol associated with kamikaze pilots from the beginning of their operations. Vice Admiral Ohnishi, who initiated the kamikaze attacks in the Philippines in October 1944, named several of the first units after cherry blossoms, such as the Yamazakura-tai or Mountain Cherry Blossoms Corps.
- source : edu/kamikaze


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.

Read more here
© Japanese_Kamikaze/

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Worldwide use

Things found on the way


. Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 .

kamikaze ya hatake no inaho soyogu nari

divine wind!
rice heads in the field

kamikaze ya abu ga oshieru yama no michi

divine wind--
the horsefly leads
on the mountain road

kamikaze ya hatake no ine no go roku shaku

divine wind--
the rice in the field
five, six feet tall

Tr. David Lanoue

. 神風や飯を掘出す秋の山
kamikaze ya meshi o horidasu aki no yama .

and Iizuna Gongen


i've written the same
kamikaze haiku of
bye, twelve hundred times....

half-veiled crescent, you alone
aren't part of this mockery.

© Michael Helsem 2003.


tokkoo no tachishi ichiwan yakoochuu

the bay from where
Kamikaze planes departed -
phosphorescent plankton

Tr. Fay Aoyagi

Ginbayashi Haruo 銀林晴生


my ancestors' spirits

- Shared by Zaya Nergui, Mongolia -
Haiku Culture Magazine, 2013

The Mongol invasions of Japan of 1274 and 1281 were major military invasions and conquests undertaken by Kublai Khan to take the Japanese islands after the capitulation of Goryeo (Korea). Despite their ultimate failure, the invasion attempts are of macrohistorical importance, because they set a limit on Mongol expansion, and rank as nation-defining events in Japanese history.

The Japanese were successful, who were helped by the Mongols losing up to 75% of their troops and supplies both times on the ocean because of huge storms. The invasions are referred to in many works of fiction, and are the earliest events for which the word kamikaze, or "divine wind", is widely used. In addition, with the exception of the Occupation of Japan at the end of World War II, these failed invasion attempts are the closest Japan has come to being invaded within the last 1500 years.
source : history.cultural-china.com

Related words

***** God of Thunder, raijin 雷神

***** Typhoon, Hurricane Japan

***** War and Peace (sensoo to heiwa)  


. Japanese Legends - 伝説 民話 昔話 – ABC-List .

. Shizuoka 静岡県 .
熱海市 Atami city
If someone goes to the mountain on the day of the festival for Yamanokami, he will be blown away by kamikaze 神風 a divine storm.

08 to explore



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