At 1:27 of this clip from Pearl Harbor (2001), Japanese bombers are flying over teenagers somewhere in Hawaii playing baseball.

The Japanese machine gunner then gestures his arms vertically, but why? He doesn't appear to be waving as a greeting.

Japanese bomber

1 Answer 1


He's clearly gesturing for them to take cover

Essentially, the waving of the arms is meant to imply "get down"...out of harms way from the attack that is forthcoming.

I suspect that this is intended to show that the attack was aimed at military targets and that even Japanese airmen/military weren't above showing some humanity.

  • That is what I had always assumed and thanks to the nature of the Stack, this is the first confirmation I have had that shares my seeing the best in people even in the most unfortunate of circumstances. Despite the many atrocities committed by the Axis forces in all theatres, it cannot be denied that many Japanese fought with only the most honourable of intentions something that is wonderfully shown in this great moment from what is at heart, a really well made film. Apr 15, 2019 at 9:19
  • @StephenFrancis But this movie has been alleged to contain historical inaccuracies?
    – user13434
    Apr 15, 2019 at 23:11

You must log in to answer this question.