There are two very well-known ships which have the same name in Japan. One is Battleship Yamato which did existed in real during World War II (Ww2) and the other is Space Battleship Yamato which exists in imaginary world of animation. Their name “Yamato” is after the ancient Japanese Yamato Province (current Nara Prefecture area), which is understood the centre of politics in the ancient period and Japan was called as Yamato.
Battleship Yamato was the lead ship of the Yamato class battleships of Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during World War II (Ww2). It was built in Kure Naval Arsenal, Hiroshima Prefecture. IJN adapted ancient area names for their battleships and “Yamato” was chosen for her name.
Yamato was the heaviest and most powerfully armed battleships ever constructed, displacing 72,800 tonnes at full load, and armed with nine 46 cm (18.1 inch) main guns calibre which of each was capable of firing 1,360 kg (3,000 lb) shells over 42 km (26 mi).
The construction of Yamato was treated as the top secret. It was not known to Japanese nations as well as majority of military service did not know. Only some of Navy heard that the most powerful battleship was under construction but they never had the chance to see. In addition, because the construction started after Ww2 started, not many photograph of Yamato were taken.
Yamato was sunk in April 1945 during Operation Ten-Go without obtaining any opportunity to play an active part.
Because of her vessel size and weapons, because not many people saw the real Yamato, because of her sad destiny, Yamato has been treated as synonymous naval tragedy which attract many people’s imagination. In Japan, even people who are not interested in battleships or history have an experience to hear the name of battleship Yamato. It can also be found easily battleship fans all over world mentioned or discussed about Yamato on the internet.
The other Yamato is Space Battleship Yamato, which has been always one of the most popular animation series since it appeared in 1974 on TV for the first time. The series is also broadcasted in the United States as Star Blazers. The members who were involved with the production were affected by Ww2. Especially father of Reiji Matsumoto, who designed Space Battleship Yamato, was an Imperial Japanese Army test pilot. Reiji Matsumoto admitted war time during his childhood influenced his work significantly. You will be surprised to see the design of Space Battleship Yamato is quite similar with its Battleship Yamato. The most powerful weapon of Space Battleship Yamato “wave motion gun” reminded us 46 cm navy caliber of Battleship Yamato.
Space Battleship Yamato series were broadcasted on TV over and over again as well as movies were made. On 2012, a remake started as “Space Battleship Yamato 2199”. Not surprisingly, this remake also obtained its popularity. The new series were broadcasted on TV and two movies based on this new series were released on 2014. Where the original space battleship Yamato was conceptualized to be the same length as the original battleship at 263 m, the spaceship in the remake was enlarged to 333m. The remake also has some changes in the main story, new characters, a more modern tech design, and an animation style inspired by that of the original series. The recognisable intro music theme from the original series is the same but has been re-scored.
It is amazing these two Yamato attract so many people over the period. However, you can know why once you see their beautiful and gorgeous shape.
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