History 52' 90'


From October 1944 to August 1945, nearly 4,000 pilots and aircrews flew to their death, crashing their planes into American vessels. Who were the kamikazes? Why did they commit to this deadly mission?


During the Pacific War, as the country was heading towards defeat and as the US Navy was approaching the mainland, Japanese military leaders launched a suicide bombing tactic assigned to a new special unit. Quickly, the kamikazes became a key element of Japan’s defense strategy. But rather than being motivated by an excessive patriotism, they were above all the victims of a powerful instrumentalization.


This documentary highlights the personal side of history, through unprecedented accounts of former soldiers and that of the victims’ relatives. Enhanced by haunting archives and experts’ interviews, it reveals the mechanisms of the Kamikaze mission.   

Réalisation: Takayuki Oshima

Production: ZED, NHK, NEP & Amatelas for ARTE France

Delivery: Spring 2025

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