|||

Number 9 Dream

While I knew that Japan was driven to such desperation during World War II that they resorted to Kamikaze, I had no idea that a similar suicide unit existed for navy as well. The unit was called Kai Ten’ and basically used torpedos modified to accomodate human drivers’ who would ram them into the enemy ship.

I came across a fictional autobiographical account of a Kai Ten driver’ in David Mitchell’s Number 9 Dream. Each paragraph of that account sent a chill down my spine. And to think that someone lived through it…

Wikipedia has more if you have the stomach for it.

As an aside, the Kanji for Kai Ten (the phrase roughly means the turn toward heaven’) is 回天. While I am not sure I can explain 回, it’s quite easy to logically explain the origin of 天. The Kanji for big (huge, enormous) is 大. It is simplification of drawing of a man with his arms outstretched. (How big? This 大” Big). Add a bar or roof’ on top of it and you get Kanji for big-roof’ or (figuratively speaking) sky though it’s used more in the sense of heaven’.

Up next iPad vs Kindle vs Wood pulp This passage I came across recently in Yeats Is Dead, struck a chord: “I think books are wonderful”, the woman said, evidently bent on Ladakh in April - Day 4 - Snowfall in Leh
Latest posts Spring Snow Spring A visit to the Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid A day in Pisa The bathroom drain 2018: My year in music Pictures from a foggy day in Amsterdam London Redux London Autumn Light A personal history of video games A very warm July Day Calendar as a plot device The tiled façades of Porto Two Hong Kong trips seventeen years apart 2017: My year in music Man and machine The photos in the corridor Spoke too soon? Summer is over Zippers My top three favourite movies Summer 2017 in Amsterdam… Appreciating Trees Seville - Day 2 Rainbow over Brouwersgracht Phone cameras and depth of field Seville - Day 1 Spring Blue skies and teapots Kaleidoscopic Dutch houses