History Happy Hour

Episode 78:  Japanese Kamikaze Rocket Pilots

Guest: Dan King, author of Blossoms From the Sky: Firsthand Accounts from Kamikaze Pilots Who Volunteered to Fly the Ohka Baka Bomb

Cover of Blossoms from the Sky

A unique and fascinating glimpse into the experiences of Kamikaze pilots. Host-historians Chris Anderson and Rick Beyer welcome back author Dan King, a fluent Japanese speaker who has interviewed more than 100 Japanese WWII veterans to gain insight into the war from their point of view. He’ll talk about his new book, Blossoms From the Sky: Firsthand Accounts from Kamikaze Pilots Who Volunteered to Fly the Ohka Baka Bomb. Dan had the extraordinary opportunity to sit down with men who trained to fly rocket planes into the American fleet. Why were they ready to give their lives, and how did they survive?


Dan King
Dan King earned a degree in Japanese language from Cal state University, then worked at a tech company in Japan for 10 years. During that time, he interviewed 103 Japanese veterans about their wartime experiences, and often had the opportunity to review scrapbooks, letters and diaries as well. He is the author of The Last Zero Fighter, A tomb Called Iwo Jima, and The Yalu River Boys, all bsed on those interviews. He has also worked as a technical / historical / language advisor on films and documentaries including: The Last Samurai, Windtalkers, Flags of Our Fathers and others. This is his second appearance on History Happy Hour.

updated: 8 months ago

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