2 MARCH 1991, Page 24

Wind up

Sir: Ian Buruma (`What are we fighting for?' 2 February) was right on target. However, the mention of the word 'kami- kaze' itself also rekindles religious beliefs. Although 'kamikaze' alludes to suicide, the actual meaning, in Japanese, is 'divine wind' — lami' meaning God or divine and `kaze' wind.

This dates from the 14th century when a combined Chinese/Korean armada sailed to invade Japan. Near the shores of Japan this armada was destroyed by a typhoon named by the Japanese the 'kamikaze'.

The so-called 'kamikaze' pilots in the second world war also thought they were trying to save their country by riding the 'divine wind'.

P.S. Martin

Seoul, Korea