From: Out in the Sticks of Rockingham County, North Caro
The elite training program fell apart very quickly.
Basically, if you were not in the training prior to the Pacific War, you did not get the whole thing.
American policy was to rotate stateside experienced pilots to training centers. The goal was to make average to above average pilots, and get the survival skills need for OJT to not be blocked by sudden death.
The Japanese system did not involve this rotation of combat veterans back to training bases, thus the experience these guys had died with them.
The reason was the Japanese had a limited war view; they expected a quick and sharp hammer blow by the elite to cut deep enough to make the US give up; essentially bowing to the 'obvious' superiortiy of the Japanese warrior.
Of course, the US view was not conruent with this. They viewed the war as unlimited, and thus they used time as a tool of war, not shock.
As someone else put it, the Japanese came in playing a game of Chess with the Americans. The Americans could put them in check mate, but the Japanes could not do the same. simply because it was impossible for Japan to conquer the US annd aslo impossible for them to blockade and starve the US, while Japan was vulnerable to both.
They depended on scaring the Americans away from the game.
Thing is, we did not play their game.
Read the following from the Naval Institute Press:
Kaigan: The rise of the Imperial Japanese Navy
and its companion volume:
Sunburst: The rise of Japanese Naval Aviation.