Pearl Harbor

Crypticlife dabbles in Japanese history:

Surely, Vox, you’re aware that “kamikaze” means “winds of god”, and that the imperial Japanese regarded the Emperor as a divine figure?

While this argument by translation is superficially serious, the problem is that “kamikaze” was not a term of religious significance, it was a historical metaphor making poetic reference to the fortuitous and presumably divine winds of the mythical hurricanes that were credited with turning back the Mongol invasions of 1274 and 1281. Given the similarities of the technological superiority possessed by both the Mongols and Americans over the Japanese, the metaphor should not be difficult to grasp.

Moreover, the “divinity” with which the Emperor was regarded in Japan was similar to the way in which the 18th century Deists viewed their distant and disinterested God, even the Meiji Restoration of the late nineteenth century only transferred power from the Tokugawa shogunate to the Meiji oligarchs. The Showa emperor was nothing but the same figurehead that every god-emperor had been since the short-lived Kemmu restoration of 1336.