I first heard about Yamato immediately when I learned to read at the age of 5. I used to think it was simply the biggest and best battleship ever built. Not just best in some individual characteristic but the best in everything! It wasn't only the massive guns but Yamato also had the biggest hull, thickest armor, biggest engine, longest range and biggest crew compared to any other ship of that time. Little I knew then that so many others shared the passion and excitement towards this incredible ship. As little I knew that Yamato hardly ever fired it's highly feared guns and its impact in the whole war was close to nothing.
My recent trip to Tokyo brought me back all the memories when I saw the movie
Otokotachi no Yamato. It was a well done flick and made me want to do something as well to respect the memory of almost three thousand men who went down with the ship on the 7th April 1945. I've tried to gather as much information as possible including all the battles that Yamato participated and a decent if not complete image gallery including every photo that is remaining from Yamato (excluding the wreck photos). The photos are hard to find since most of them were systemitaclly destroyed, therefore let me know if you see somewhere a photograph that is not yet published here.
There are some things such as survival stories and Task Force 58 reports that are still missing, therefore I might be updating the site if new relevant information comes up.
The purpose of this site is not to over-romanticize any battle or the least the insanity of war in general, whether Japan's or anybody elses part in it. It's a guesture of respect towards something I used to admire at the age of 5 and still do at the age of 31. Without a doubt, Yamato is the most powerful and among the most beautiful and most ill-fated ships in the world history. After all, with its final suicide mission, Yamato became the ultimate kamikaze.
It also should be pointed out that this site relays heavily on information on other sites such as Combinedfleet and Wikipedia. I won't take any responsibility for potenatial errors that my data might contain.
21st April 2006,
Michele Heikkila [ blog ],