Makurazaki Battleship Yamato Monument
Makurazaki City, Kagoshima Prefecture
A monument dedicated to Battleship Yamato and the other five ships
that sank in a special (suicide) attack against the Allied fleet in early April
1945 is located on a hill in Hinokami Park overlooking the East China Sea in
Makurazaki City at the southern tip of the Satsuma Peninsula in Kagoshima
Prefecture. The monument was erected in 1995 on the 50th anniversary of the date
when American warplanes sank the six ships on their way toward Okinawa from
Next to the stairs up to the monument, two information boards show
photographs of Battleship Yamato and the other nine ships that were part
of the Second Fleet during the special attack mission to Okinawa.
The front left of the main monument has a bronze bas-relief plaque of
Battleship Yamato, and the front right has the following words (translated from
Monument for Repose of Souls Who Were Martyred
Dedicated to spirits from
Battleship Yamato and other ships
An engraved plaque to the right front of the main monument gives the
following history in English. A few grammatical corrections (e.g., changing
singular to plural) have been made to the text below. The Japanese version of
the monument history, which is about twice the length as the English version,
gives additional facts.
The world's largest battleship Yamato was started to be built from
1937 and took 4 years to complete at the Navy yard in Hiroshima . During
World War II, Yamato acted as a flagship for a combined fleet of a
cruiser and 8 destroyers. On a mission to Okinawa on April 7, 1945, the
fleet was sunk in a battle with enormous airplane attacks in the East China
Sea. About 200 kilometers from Makurazaki City, it went down together with
3,721 persons on board the ship .
By erecting here this 50th anniversary monument, we wish to offer our
sincere prayer to the many people who sacrificed their lives together with
Battleship Yamato and for the eternal peace and prosperity of the
people all over the world.
April 7, 1995
Peace Praying Observatory
Enterprise Voluntary Organization 
Formation of Okinawa Navy Special Attack Unit
No. 41 Unit (Fuyutsuki, Suzutsuki )
No. 17 Unit (Isokaze, Hamakaze &
No. 21 Unit (Asashimo, Kasumi &
The Japanese version of the monument history on the same plaque as the
English words above includes the following additional information:
- Battleship Yamato's keel was laid in 1937 and was completed in
1941 to become the world's largest battleship.
- Battleship Yamato was flagship for the Okinawa Surface Special
Attack Force that sortied from Tokuyama in Yamaguchi Prefecture.
- The 3,721 men who died came from 45 different Japanese prefectures.
- The sunken Battleship Yamato now lies at the sea bottom at a
depth of 340 meters.
- The ship fought for about two hours after meeting hundreds of enemy
- The cruiser Yahagi and the destroyers Isokaze, Hamakaze,
Asashimo, and Kasumi were sunk with Battleship Yamato.
Bronze bas-relief plaque of Battleship Yamato
Another plaque near the main monument provides the following information in
English regarding key facts related to Battleship Yamato. The plaque also
has the same information in Japanese.
Specifications of Battleship Yamato
Overall length - 263 meters
Standard displacement - 65,000 tons
Engine power - 153,553 HP
Maximum speed - 27.46 knots
Cruising range - 7,200 nautical miles
Main battery - 3 46cm triple turret
Sub battery - 4 15.5cm triple turret
Crew members - 3,000
Main battery specifications
Diameter - 46cm
Length - 195cm
Weight - 1450 kg
Maximum firing range - 42 kilometers
The Japanese version of the above plaque has the following additional
information related to Battleship Yamato:
November 4, 1937 - keel laid down (Kure Naval Arsenal)
August 8, 1940 - launched
December 16, 1941 - commissioned
April 6, 1945 - sortied from Tokuyama as flagship for Okinawa Surface
Special Attack Force
April 7, 1945 - sunk (at north latitude 30 degrees, 22 minutes and east
longitude 128 degrees, 04 minutes, about 200 kilometers west-southwest of
Another plaque near the main monument has the following words in English
translated from the longer Japanese version on the same plaque:
By erecting this 50th anniversary monument, besides the crews of
Battleship Yamato, there are about 4,000 ships still at the bottom of the
sea in the Pacific region with the souls of the dead not yet recovered. In
sympathizing with the anxiety of their families, we wish to make this an
observatory to offer our prayers to the spirits.
Also, we wish to pass on to the next generation the facts that the souls
of those who died still exist.
April 7, 1995
The wall to the left of the main monument has a map showing the locations
where Battleship Yamato and the other five ships sank on April 7, 1945.
The map has the following explanation:
This observation point was built in a place where one can view the sea
area where near the end of the Pacific War the Second Fleet with Battleship
Yamato as the flagship, on its way toward the decisive battle at
Okinawa, sank after fighting with American warplanes.
Battleship Yamato, flagship of the Second Fleet, sank 200
kilometers west-southwest from here to the sea bottom at a depth of about
340 meters. The map also shows where the cruiser Yahagi and the
destroyers Isokaze, Hamakaze,
The Search Association, made up primarily of the Battleship Yamato
Association, determined that this sea area was where Yamato sank
based on the first seabed probe in July 1980, the second probe in April
1981, and the third probe in May 1982. In August 1985, the Sea Grave Marker
Committee verified the location through an underwater survey carried out
by Britain's Pisces II submersible. Also in August 1999, TV Asahi
carried out an underwater survey by using two French submersibles and a
salvage team that previously had taken underwater photos of Titanic
and recovered part of that ship's body.
The wall to the left of the main monument also has an eyewitness account of
Yamato's sinking by a survivor of the cruiser Yahagi:
Battleship Yamato's End
I was a crewman of the cruiser Yahagi, which acted together with
Battleship Yamato. My ship sank before Yamato, and I was
covered with heavy oil. I grabbed a piece of floating wood and drifted about
25 nautical miles from Yamato. Suddenly the sound of a huge explosion
was heard, and when I turned toward it there was on the horizon a scarlet
pillar of fire going up high into the sky. After that there were several
explosions, and she sank. Even though I was some distance away, I felt the
water tremble on my body in the sea. Unfortunately with my line of sight
being low as I was on the sea's surface, I could not see the figure of the
ship. If people have seen the movie Otokotachi no Yamato (Men's
Yamato), they will be able to understand the fierce battle in which the
Okinawa Surface Special Attack Force engaged. After floating for five hours,
I was rescued by the destroyer Fuyutsuki.
Makurazaki Battleship Yamato Monument
with related monuments behind it
Next to the fence overlooking the water are four other stone monuments with a
red granite marker in the middle that shows the locations where Battleship
Yamato and the other five ships went down. The monument on the far right has
inscribed the following poem:
As we remember the Okinawa sea battle that sank spirits of the war dead
We erect Battleship Yamato Monument on the hill at Hinokami
From across the sea southwest of Makurazaki
War cries of the sea god or mourning of the sea's roar
The monument second from the right, which was erected in April 1999, has the
Heaven's vengeance is slow but sure
For their country without regard for their lives
These brave men died admirably like cherry blossoms
The monument second from the left was erected on April 7, 1998. The front has
Makurazaki with its quiet waves
Makurazaki with its shining lights
Return again to Makurazaki
Do this for bereaved families eagerly waiting
Crewmember of cruiser Yahagi
Fumio Noda (Kanoya City) and wife
The back of the monument second from the left has engraved the following
A Petty Officer's Murmurings
In April 1945, the 2nd Fleet Surface Special Attack Force men together
with their ships met their fate on the way to Okinawa. Many wounded officers
and sailors drifted toward Mount Kaimon and beaches of Makurazaki on the
mainland. Although they wanted to be with
their cherished families, it was fruitless since they went out again
with the ebbing tide and returned to the East China Sea.
Fifty years have passed since then. When the memorial boat came and I saw
the tears of families, two sea gulls flew around the boat as if they did not
know that they could rest their wings. I remember that moment of calm.
Now unexpectedly, through the kindness of the people of Makurazaki, we
have been given this peaceful place next to their spirits in view of Mount
Kaimon rising beautifully to the blue sky. Today also families can pray here
that these spirits may rest in peace forever and can gladly take a walk at
These many officers and sailors will fervently continue their defense so
that peace will last forever.
Hiroshi Morimoto, destroyer Asashimo crewmember
Younger sister Kinuko Morimoto (Hokkaido)
April 7, 1998
The monument on the far left has a metal anchor.
A memorial service is held each year on April 7 at Hinokami Park at the
Makurazaki Battleship Yamato Monument to remember those men who gave their lives
in the sinking of Battleship Yamato and the other five ships.
Stone lanterns lining path up to observation point
that has Makurazaki Battleship Yamato Monument
The path to Makurazaki Battleship Yamato Monument has stone lanterns
lining each side. The lanterns have inscribed dedications to individuals and to
groups such as the men who died aboard one of the individual ships.
1. The Japanese text for the monument indicates
Yamato was built at Kure Naval Arsenal in Hiroshima Prefecture.
2. This number includes dead from other ships that
sank. Exhibits at the Yamato Museum in Kure City indicate that 3,056 men aboard
Battleship Yamato lost their lives.
3. The name of the organization can also be
translated to English as Peace Memorial Observation Point Support Association.
4. The plaque actually gives the name of
Ryogetsu as the English name for the Japanese characters typically
pronounced as Suzutsuki. The name Suzutsuki has been used on this
since almost all authoritative sources on Battleship Yamato give such a