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Mizuno Yoshito: IJN pilot selection by…voodoo?


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I don’t expect this post way down here to get much attention, but I was browsing through this book, about Yamamoto, and just read the weirdest tale, as the author discusses Yamamoto’s spirituality, and willingness to embrace things that were non-scientific.

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One section talks about a guy named Mizuno Yoshito, who was a palm reader, and into psyiognomy, (basically reading peoples faces to assess their qualifications)

    “Kuwabara [second in command of the Kasumigaura Aviation Corps], who by now was ready to clutch at any straw, agreed to meet the young man, and on the appointed day Mizuno Yoshita presented himself at the corps bearing Onishi’s letter of introduction.  It was lunchtime, and a stream of men in flying suits was arriving back from the airfield.  Kawabata suggested therefore, that after lunch he should summon the instructors—about a hundred and twenty in all—and have Mizuno apply his methods to them, classifying them into three grades according to their suitability or otherwise for flying. He promised also to have on hand a list of all the instructors with marks for each indicating his skill as revealed over a long period of time.

    Once they were assembled, Mizuno stared intently at each of the men in turn for five or six seconds, then assigned him an A, B, or C.  When Kuwabara and his aide compared these grades with the marks recorded on the list, they found to their astonishment that the grades and marks corresponded in eighty-three percent of all cases.  That afternoon the trainees were assembled and subjected to the same scrutiny;  the correspondence this time was eighty-seven percent.  Kuwabara and the others were astounded:  this young man utterly unconnected with the world of aircraft, had in the space of five or six seconds delivered judgements that corresponded with more than eighty percent of all cases to the conclusions that it had taken themselves months or even years to arrive at.  They had hoped for some “fun” but they found themselves obliged to take it seriously.” (pg 111)

So this subsequently was pushed up all the way to Yamamoto, who gave his blessing, and to make a long story short:

    “The navy made use of Mizumo’s methods in combination with the conventional written and physical examinations; thus the most promising candidate of all was one who go good marks in these two examinations and also an OK from Mizuno.  It was not entirely true, therefore to claim—as some quarters would claim during the war—that the Naval Air Corps was ruled by superstition.” (pg 114-15)

The books claims he ended up involved in on the qualifications of over 230,000 men during the entire war.
Has anyone ever heard of this guy?  It’s a fascinating story, but I come up completely empty to find any other reference to this guy -anywhere-.  

 

 

Edited by Sea Serpent
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New to me as well. A very bizarre creature. But I‘m not surprised at institutionalized superstition though. People do that everywhere.

From here:

https://j-aircraft.com/research/jimlansdale/phval/phval_part1.html

MIZUNO is said to have correctly forecasted the date of Japan’s surrender by the changes in the facial features of those officers Kamikaze bound.

 

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Never heard of this, very interesting.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

New to me as well. A very bizarre creature. But I‘m not surprised at institutionalized superstition though. People do that everywhere.

From here:

https://j-aircraft.com/research/jimlansdale/phval/phval_part1.html

MIZUNO is said to have correctly forecasted the date of Japan’s surrender by the changes in the facial features of those officers Kamikaze bound.

 

Perfect.  So he was for ‘real’, so to speak, in the IJN aviation institution.  And not only that, it’s a great read on the pilot!

Edited by Sea Serpent
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Posted (edited)

Not fit for flying duties of any kind, and very poor attitude:

mrt.jpeg

Aptly qualified for all realms of aviation.  Grade A +.  Recommended for additional command duties:

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Will make an excellent wingman, but lacks in leadership skills:

benedict_dirk_battlestar_galactica_60522

His methods are unsound:

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Edited by Sea Serpent
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On 6/29/2024 at 6:55 PM, Sea Serpent said:

Kuwabara and the others were astounded: this young man utterly unconnected with the world of aircraft, had in the space of five or six seconds delivered judgements that corresponded with more than eighty percent of all cases to the conclusions that it had taken themselves months or even years to arrive at.  

I bet he had a talent in "reading" people. Those who were at the top knew they were, and likely exuded confidence which Mizuno could "read" based on how they presented themselves.

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