Tokyobling's Blog

The Battleship Yamato – Kure Yamato Museum

Posted in Places by tokyobling on July 10, 2014

In 1941 the heaviest battle ship ever constructed was completed at Kure Naval Yard near Hiroshima on the south coast of Japan, the Battleship Yamato (戦艦大和). Although it did not see much action until the very end of the war this ship has since become almost legendary both in Japan and abroad. The ship was sunk by American submarines and airplanes on the 7th of April 1945, only 290km from the coast of Kyushu as it was making its way towards the defense of Okinawa. It was a suicide mission and the 2500 sailors on the ship knew it as they left harbor for that final mission. Today the wreck still lies where it sunk, under 340m of water, broken in two parts.

At the Yamato Museum in Kure City, you can see a scale model (1/10) of the battleship. It is the main exhibit of the museum which is located just across the harbor from where Yamato was originally constructed, in the town of Kure (呉). If you are interested in naval history or war history, a visit to Kure is absolutely mandatory if you are in the Hiroshima area. The museum is incredibly detailed with lots of fascinating things on display, most of it in Japanese but when I was there I met a couple of English speaking volunteer guides.

An interesting detail next to the model of the Yamato is the battle ensign of the battleship Nagato, which was taken from The IJNS Nagato by a commander of the US Navy. in 2005 the daughter of the commander went with it on a Japanese antique appraisal TV show, “Nandemo Kanteidan” and found that the ensign was valued at 10 million yen (about 100 000 USD), the show’s host bought it and donated it to the Yamato Museum in 2006. The Nagato was the flagship of the Pearl Harbor raid.

If you are interested in the Yamato there was a movie about it made in 2005, “Otokotachi no Yamato“, which is quite interesting.

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2 Responses

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  1. romainboitier said, on July 10, 2014 at 11:19 am

    That’s what I call a model kit :).

    Like


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