448 pages. 61 B/W Photos Independent scholar Sheftall, American by birth and education but a longtime resident in Japan, adds a well-written study of the Japanese suicide warriors to the World War II literature. In the autumn of 1944, Japan was running out of soldiers, supplies, and occupied territory and was facing the conquest of Japan itself. In a last effort to discourage attack and invasion, the high command sent out the kamikaze. These suicide warriors were to be human incarnations of the Divine Wind that legendarily had saved the home islands from invasion in centuries past. Sheftall's outstanding account of this policy's design, training, and execution includes interviews with the families of dead pilots and, harder to reach, pilots who survived the missions. 'Blossoms in the Wind' assesses the emotional turmoil suffered by Japanese kamikaze warriors, who were prevented by the end of the Pacific War from making their sacrifice. The book offers an interesting study in light of suicide bombings by Islamic fanatics in the contemporary world.