2007-04-08

You say Ya-may-to,

And I say 大和 (やまと=ya-mah-to).

Yesterday was the 62nd anniversary of the sinking of the world's largest battleship, the Yamato. She and her sister ships (Musashi and Shinano) were the largest, heaviest battleships ever constructed, weighing 72,802 tons at full load. She carried nine 460mm guns, the largest guns ever fitted to any warship. A big heads up to my buddy BigBob, who may want to research this further by heading to the Wiki entry.

But lets trace a bit of history, starting with:

CRUISER YAMATO
(巡洋艦大和 1885-1935)
was one of three vessels which, at the time, constituted the largest group of cruisers in the Japanese Navy. Yamato was composite-built, with iron framing and a wooden hull with recessed gunports forward to allow for head-on firing.
STATUS: sunk by a typhoon in 1935.








Then along came NAVAL BATTLESHIP YAMATO (戦艦大和 1941-1945),
built in secrecy, the Yamato class battleships were the pinnacle of battleship design, with air conditioning, elevators, rail car transport system, secret reinforced hull plating, counter flooding compartments and countless other features that made it the pride of the Japanese Navy.

Length: 256 m Crew: 2,750 Armament (1941): 9-460mm guns in 3 triple turrets; 12-155mm guns in 4 triple turrets; 12-12.7mm guns in 6 twin turrets; 24-25 mm AA guns; 8-13mm AA guns. Speed: 27 knots Endurance: 11,500km at 16 knots Armour: 600mm on front of turrets, 409mm side armour, 198mm armoured deck.



STATUS: sunk by American bombs on April 7th, 1945.







SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO (宇宙戦艦ヤマト 1973-1984)
A story about a boy and a girl who find love, 148,000 light years from home, in the heart of the enemy. Protecting them, Space Battleship Yamato - A continuing spirit of battleship Yamato・ this animated story energized the hearts of a generation, becoming one of Japans best loved sagas.
STATUS: sunk in the waters of Aquarius.

SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO in 2520 2520年の宇宙戦艦ヤマト 1994-1996
Producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki wanting to revive the saga after a ten year hiatus, incorporated the help of futurist Syd Mead (Blade Runner, 2010, etc.) to help conceptualize the new Space Battleship.
STATUS: sunk by bankruptcy.

GREAT SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO
大ヤマト 2001-2002
Another attempt to bring back the Space battleship by Leiji Matsumoto. This time with some backing and corporate sponsorship, the Great Yamato started off as manga episodes in Gotta Magazine. Set hundreds of years in the future, it was restrained by a 20th century old fashioned copyright lawsuit.
STATUS: sunk by copyright judgement.






These next pictures were taken of a model kit that I won during UFO Catcher session. I managed to get two for about 10 bucks.
Space Battleship Yamato
(宇宙戦艦ヤマト, Uchu Senkan Yamato) is a Japanese science fiction anime series and the name of its eponymous space craft. It is also known to English-speaking audiences as Star Blazers.







The model now proudly sits in the corner of my bathtub. I usually shower, so I haven't had a chance to give it a test-run for buoyancy. I'll let you know...






Finally, here is the theme song sung in Japanese by Isao Sasaki:

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