Kamikaze Turned Priest Briefs US Marines

Paul Saneaki Nakamura is a retired Anglican Bishop. He’s also a veteran of Japan’s Imperial Navy, in which he trained to be a kamikaze in the closing days of World War II. Nakamura recently spoke to US Marines on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, about his experiences — both physical and spiritual:

The 87-year-old retired Anglican bishop grew up on Okinawa as militarism swept across Japan. Like many others, he became an ultra-nationalist who firmly believed in selfless devotion to his country. He worshipped the emperor as god; offering his life to the emperor was the ultimate virtue….

He survived the war — due to Japan’s failing resources, it seems — only to become destitute. After speaking with a priest, he would eventually become a priest himself.

After becoming a priest, he went on a missionary trip throughout Japan, urging people to come back to life through Jesus Christ.

When he looked back, he sees God’s hand in his life, he said.

“Possibly in some strange way that I could not understand, God had spared my life as He had a plan for my life.”

The full story is a fascinating read as you hear a war story from the “other side.”