KAMIKAZE - The Prologue
During The Battle of the Philippine Sea (June, 1944), the Imperial Japanese Navy deployed six large aircraft-carriers, and three light carriers as the core of the 1st Carrier Mobile Fleet. They were to intercept the invading U.S. Task Force at Saipan. Without gaining any positive result, the Japanese Navy lost two large carriers, and one light carrier along with 350+ carrier aircraft. Thereafter, the Japanese forces concluded that they were not able to smash the U.S. Task Force by frontal or standard tactics. The result of loosing Saipan by "Gyokusai"(Banzai Charge) led to the resignation of PM Tojo Hideki. With these series of crisis situations, the Japanese arm forces had to adopt a new tactic - TOKKOU.
Photo (Right): Hit by anti-aircraft guns, a Japanese aircraft trailing frames and smoke attempted an unsuccessful attack on escort carrier USS Kalinin Bay (CVE 68) in June, 1944. Four months later, USS Kalinin Bay would hit and damaged by Kamikaze aircraft.
The chain of command of Tokkou strategy, and the problem of battle order:
If the senior command plans and performs Tokkou strategy, a commander's authority was needed to be clarified so training could be enhanced. However, the commander who ordered the Hitshi strategy would need to take responsibility. It was the matter of "winning or dying", if the operation was unsuccessful, and led to an useless death of subordinates, the commander had to take full responsibility - an admiral or a commander had to commit Hara-kiri (way of apologize) for a generalissimo. Without taken or preparing such responsibility of sending the subordinates to the "field of death", the order of Tokkou would not able to be given.
The way of commander to avoid the responsibility for Tokkou strategy had rely on their subordinates. By suggesting themselves with own initiative and to demonstrated a sacrificing spirit. The officers' and the soldiers of the front line would do anything to protect their country and family, they may even volunteer for suicide missions spontaneously. They would "gladly accept" the mission without any direct orders given by the commanders. Also, they would n' t bare the name "Cold-hearted Commander" who only send their men to die.
Does this really mean they don' t have to take responsibility for Tokkou ?
The term Kamikaze is an English pronunciation, when the U.S. captured the D1 Naval Code documents, there were six numbers  = 神風 (Shinpu). Because there were no Japanese pronunciation in the codes, the U.S. military translated the term directly.
神風特別攻撃隊 - Shinpu Tokubestu Kougeki-tai (Shinpu Special Attack Force or Shinpu Tokkou-tai)