Winds of God: Portrait of Japanese Kamikaze Pilots

“The Winds of God” offers a portrait of the lives of Japanese Kamikaze pilots. Masayuki Imai, a Japanese actor and writer makes his directorial debut with this film.

Previously, a critically acclaimed play with international runs in New York, Los Angeles, London and Japan, Imai’s moving story is now a feature film. The taler revolves around two present day comedians, one Caucasian, the other half Japanese-half American, who have a motorcycle accident and are catapulted back in time to Japan the week before the bombing of Hiroshima . The two comedians have been reincarnated as Japanese pilots.

The movie examines the futile blind obedience of these kamikaze pilots while poignantly capturing their lost innocence, youthful ideals and the rich potential of their short lived lives. All this is juxtaposed against the nationalistic fervor and rigidity of the Japanese officers.

The depiction of World War ll combines gripping action scenes along with actual World War ll film footage giving it stark authenticity. Delving into the rationale behind the Kamikaze pilots’ actions and shifting ideas about patriotism, loyalty and idealism are subjects that have long fascinated director Masayuki Imai.

By opening this film on December 7, Imai helps us to remember and accept the past while sending a message about healing, forgiveness and tolerance to all those who have been affected and are still being affected by War. As he pays tribute to the present day friendship between America and Japan, he has given us greater understanding about the motivation behind the Kamikaze’s actions while showing us very vividly how ideas about patriotism, loyalty and idealism can easily shift.