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Comment: 1974 NEL edition. book has usual age related tanning and marking. no inscriptions.
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Samurai Unknown Binding – 1969

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 190 pages
  • Publisher: New English Library (1969)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0006C3AUO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,500,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
ON the southernmost main Japanese island of Kyushu, the small city of Saga lies midway between two major centers which in recent years have become well known to thousands of Americans. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
We sometimes forget that layer upon layer of patently false propaganda was created by the U.S. Government during World War II for consuption by the American population. This book cuts through these layers to reveal men, fighter pilots, not unlike the Americans they faced in many ways. This book gives the reader an understanding of what life what like for Sakai and his fellow pilots and helps explain mistakes made by the Japanese high command concerning pilot training and aircraft development. Mistakes which may have shortened the war and certainly saved many American lives. Sakai, who grew up poor but of a Samurai family (hence the title "Samurai"), while revealing the failures of the Japanese high command also gives an insight into the "Bushido" ("Warrior's Way") which debunks many of the myths which have sprung up about it. Even after losing an eye, Sakai continued to fly in combat and was invited to join the Japanese Self-Defense Force following the war (he declined). I recommend this book to anyone who truly studies World War II or is interested in aerial combat.
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Format: Paperback
Saburo Sakai died in September 2000, but his memory will live on through this stirring and unforgettable account of his wartime exploits. Trained to an incredibly high degree by an unforgiving and perfectionist system which rejected more than half of the candidates who sought to become fighter pilots, Sakai and his comrades cut a swathe through the ill-prepared opposition facing them at the start of The Pacific War. Yet, the tide turned against Japan and most of its great pilots were lost in doomed battles. Sakai's story takes in both the epic sweep of this contest between nations in the vast arena of the Pacific and the more intimate, personal experiences which marked his life.
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By A Customer on 5 Dec. 2002
Format: Paperback
I have been reading first-hand memoirs of veterans of WWII and this particular book is a great and readable example. I bought the paperback in Singapore airport and read it easily on a flight to Sydney.
The author was a decorated Japanese fighter pilot in WWII and this memoir outlines his rigorous training regime, details various campaigns, and articulates his experience of air combat over the Pacific in great and sometimes grisly detail.
This book offers perspective on the Japanese martial spirit and is itself a rare story given the scant likelihood of survival of Japanese pilots by the end of the war. If you have read Geoffrey Wellum's recent book First Light or Richard Hillary's Last Enemy - both about the RAF, you should find Sasai's account of his battles in the Pacifica at the same time equally compelling.
Microsoft's Combat Sim 2 allows one to re-create, amongst other things, some of Sasai's missions detailed in this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first read this great book many years ago in the 1970's. I'd read many German Aviator accounts of the Second World War, but this was the first Japanese account that i'd read and it gave a much better idea of just why the very professional Japanese Airforce ran rampant over Asian and Pacific skies in their Zeros for so long. His dogfighting descriptions are wonderful and cover some very important historical events. Many of his opponents were brave too even though they were fighting with inferior aeroplanes for long periods early on in the war. Eventually the loss of so many experienced pilots (especially at Midway) and the increasing skill and better aeroplanes of the Allies took it's toll on the Japanes Airforce and they were fighting a losing battle from late 1942 onwards. A wonderful book. Buy it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had this as a paperback years ago and it was great to be able to read it again on Kindle. The main author's credit for the book should be Saburo Sakai, though, not Martin Caiden and it needs a huge - and I do mean huge - number of scanning errors correcting in the text. The book also claims to be an illustrated edition but there appear to be no photographs or other illustrations present. I stand by the 5 stars rating for the story but the presentation is pretty poor and I'd give it 1 or 2 stars tops for that. If amazon would like it corrected I'd happily do it for a small fee!
PS Amazon have now updated this book and a new copy has been downloaded. This must surely be an improved copy but I can't comment on any changes made as that would require reading the book again and it is too soon to do that.
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Format: Paperback
Saburo Sakai shot down 64 enemy airplanes during WWII and so he had been the best Japanese ace of the war.
He was born on 26th august 1916, he came from the countryside but from a family with samurai's heritage, on 1933 he joined the navy becoming a pilot, he began fighting against the Chinese on 1938, he partecipated to a lot of missions in the Pacific , ending the war flying against the american bombers.
The book is moving because it shows you the real soul and the real feelings of a Japanese pilot, as when he survived to his mission kamikaze.
For sure one of the best book of this genre.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A really interesting book that allows to feel the actual taste of what was a Samurai and a Zero fighter during the WWII. You can have a quick overview over the japanese pre-war imperial society too. And, reading between the lines, you can also understand the reason (at least one of the several ones) why the lose at Midway meant for Japan a defeat bigger than it actually appeared.
Just one complain: the printing quality is very bad, it looks like an old mimeograph, a sort of copy of a copy of a copy, not a modern and clean print. Quite annoying to read.
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