This article discussed a Kamikaze museum and film in Japan, and the different attitudes about each. Takanobu Kikunaga says Kamikazes weren’t about ‘Terror’ like 9/11 bombers, but personally I have a hard time seeing it that way.
To me, patriotism=religious fanatacism
In a lot of documentaries I’ve seen about WWII, a big part of the role of Kamikazes seems to be of the fear (i.e. terror aspect) of dealing with an adversary that willingly throws his own life away just to delay the inevitable end in the case of WWII. I don’t know exactly how US sailors felt, but if I were one I’d seriously wonder if the Japanese would be ever willing to surrender if they were reduced to crashing their planes into our ships when conventional bombing failed. So I have a hard time seeing how Kikunaga can insist they were ‘doing it for their families’ (wouldn’t their families rather have their sons alive and well?)
But perhaps I’m just being extremely ethno-centrist about this.