Kamikaze Pilots and Shinto

Who were the kamikaze pilots? What elements produced the warrior ideal of bushido?

  Bushido means the way of the warrior describing the life of samurai.  It came from the samurai moral code stressing frugality, loyalty, martial arts mastery, and honor unto death.  It was developed around what was written by Confucius and influenced by Zen Buddhism and Shinto and recognized that samurai lived pretty violent lives but through wisdom and calmness.  Under Bushido, the warrior was expected to live his life by this code:

    Benevolence – treat all others with tenderness and love.

    Courage – to fill oneself with brave, courageous energy.

    Honesty – display truth in all words and actions.

    Honor  – be honorable in everything, and all will see honor in you.

    Loyalty- be faithful to the right action of the heart, you will do what you believe.

    Rectitude – doing what is right in all things

    Respect – let politeness govern all actions

                Kamikaze pilot were pilots that would attempt to crash their aircraft into enemy ships, planes are often filled with explosives, bombs, etc.   Trained in ancient Samarai principles, called “The Samarai Code,” Kamikaze pilots did what they did for their country, and moreso, for their Emperor, believing that their Japanese Emperor was a living god. They would scream out, “BANZAI !!” or “Long Live The Emperor!” as they pointed their aircraft toward their targets, knowing full well they would not survive the maneuver.


Matthews, Warren.  World Religions.  2010.  Wadsworth : Belmont.  Print.

Mythbusters.  “Kamikaze Pilots and War Myth”.  Web.  5 May 2013.

Sasaki, Mako. “Who became Kamikaze Pilots and how did they feel towards their Suicide Mission?”  The Concord Review.  1999.  Web.  5 May 2013.

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