bcbcbcMarking seventy years since Japan’s war in the Pacific and South-East Asia reached its climax, I’ve been exploring the lives and thought of Japanese civilians and pilots.

My essay in History Today tries to answer the question: ‘what were the wartime Japanese thinking?’ Did people really support the war? What did they think they were fighting for? How did they feel about the country’s leadership, as the Allies closed in around Japan’s home islands?

For Aeon Magazine, I’ve explored the links between the modern Japanese philosophy of ‘nothingness’ – with powerful links to Buddhism and to German thought – and the kamikaze attacks that were gathering pace seventy years ago this winter.

For BBC History Magazine, I’ve tried to get inside the minds of Japan’s student pilots, using my research on Japan’s psy sciences together with the wonderful work of Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney on kamikaze diaries.