Thursday 5 December 2013


Three Japanese publications I just picked from the bookshop, one brand new, one a reprint and one released a few months ago.

Title: "Kanbaku Taicho no Senkan" (Battle lessons of a dive bomber unit commander)
Author: Abe Zenro
Published by: Kojinsha, August 2013 p/b, in print
Pages: 219, Size: 10X15cm
Abe-san graduated in 1937 from the Navy seaman school, then joined the dive bomber group of aircraft carrier "Soryu" in October 1940. In April 1941 he was assigned to "Akagi" as buntaicho (division officer) of the ship's dive bomber group. With "Akagi" he took part in the Pearl Harbor attack, in various operations in the seas of SE Asia, attacks against NW Australia and operations in the Indian Ocean. In April 1942 he participated in the Aleutian operations as buntaicho on "Junyo" and in July 1942 he was assigned to "Hiyo" where he took part in the Guadalcanal operations. In March 1944 he served as hikotaicho (group leader) with the 652Ku in the battle for the Mariana Islands during which he had to make an emergency landing in the island of Rota. In October 1944 he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and became CO of the Navy unit on Rota. In September 1945 he was transferred as POW at the US Marine camp on Guam. He was repatriated in November 1946.
I'm sure you will find of particular interest everything he has to say about his experiences in the book which is a paperback reprint in small size of the original first published in 1997.   
 Title: "Ginyoku Minami E Kita E" (Silver wings in the South and the North)
Author: Watanabe Yoji
Published by: Kojinsha, October 19, 2013 p/b, in print
Pages: 262, Size: 10X15cm, Photos: 90 b/w

A collection of particularly interesting short articles, written by the author, that appeared in various magazines.

Title: "Reisen Saigo no Shogen" (Last Zero-sen testimonies)
Author: Kodachi Naoki
Published by: Kojinsha, December 21, 2013 (!),  p/b, in print
Pages: 399, Size: 10X15cm, Photos: 140 b/w

Kodachi Naoki is the chairman of the "Zero Pilots' Association" of Tokyo and this book includes conversations he had with the following Zero pilots: Shiga Yoshio, Nakashima Mitsunori, Tanaka Mitsunori, Tanaka Kuniyoshi, Kurosawa Takeo, Sasakibara Masao, Miyazaki Isamu, Kato (Ito) Kiyoshi, Nakamura Yoshio, Yamada Ryoichi and Matsudaira Tadashi. 
None of the above books is recommended except to readers fluent in Japanese.

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