By Akira Yoshimura, Retsu Kaiho, Michael Gregson
Akira Yoshimura originally wrote Zero Fighter for the Japanese market, which is actually an interesting perspective for North American audiences to experience. For example, we are generally not aware of the success of the Zero fighter or of its significance in Japanese minds. Both the superiority of the aircraft in the early stages of the Pacific War and the great stature of Jiro Horikoshi as an aircraft designer (he is to Japan what the designer of the Spitfire is to the U.K.) will come as a revelation to most readers here. Also completely unknown to most North American readers is the story of the transport section at the Nagoya Aircraft Works. This information is woven nicely into the book, and has a great deal to say about the startling quality of Japanese wartime industry: rigid in many ways, while producing a plane of brilliant originality. The book is a moving picture of the patience of the Japanese in the face of adversity, but perhaps most important, Zero Fighter is Japanese. It is not often that a Japanese book is encountered here that divulges intimate knowledge about such a fascinating subject. There is significant value in this as we enter an era in which the Japanese and American people must share and respect the other's cultural point of view.