So Sad to Fall in Battle: An Account of War Based on General Tadamichi Kuribayashi’s Letters from Iwo Jima by Kumiko Kakehashi. The battle of Iwo Jima, from the Japanese commander’s perspective.
More importantly, not only does it cover the ‘at all cost’ strategy of the defense of the island, it gives the modern reader insight on the Japanese military system and militarized society. How does a man like Kuribayashi who was opposed to the war with the US not only led part of the war, but was willing to die for it. What type of society and culture creates such seemingly contradicting philosphy on its people. From the brutal treatment of the common Japanese solider and in turn their dehumanization of the enemy, to the officer’s sense of honor wihch binds their lives to their country – right or wrong. It’s a fascinating read.