|Kamikaze Diaries by Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney|
If you attended Ruth Ozeki’s talk on October 28, you may have heard her mention Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney. Ohnuki-Tierney wrote Kamikaze Diaries: Reflections of Japanese Student Soldiers and Kamikaze, Cherry Blossoms, and Nationalisms: The Militarization of Aesthetics in Japanese History, which Ozeki used for her research for A Tale for the Time Being. In her interview with NPR, Ozeki says in reference to Cherry Blossoms:
It was a collection, a study of the diaries of the kamikaze pilots who had been conscripted from Japan’s top universities. So these were the young, bright minds of Japan, and these men, these young men, were beautiful writers. And they wrote these just heartbreaking letters and diaries….Many of them did not want to participate in this at all but, you know, the situation was hopeless — there was no option for conscientious objection, for example — so they were forced into this, accompanied by an enormous amount of angst. And so I think the idea for those three characters came from this reading and studying that I was doing.
If you are interested in learning more about the experiences of the Japanese soldiers, Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney will be at the Central Library, 201 Mifflin St. on Tuesday, November 12 at 7:00 pm. Ohnuki-Tierney is the William F. Vilas Professor at the University of Wisconsin.
Lisa, Librarian at Madison Public Library – Central Library