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Naramoto Jinja Battleship Yamato Monument
Saijo City, Ehime Prefecture

Naramoto Jinja is a Shinto shrine in the home city of Yukio Seki. On this shrine's grounds are monuments to Yukio Seki and the other four men of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps Shikishima Squadron, which was led by Seki in the first kamikaze attacks on the Allied fleet on October 25, 1944, in Leyte Gulf in the Philippines. In addition, there are monuments to Battleship Yamato, which sank in a special (suicide) attack while on her way toward Okinawa on April 7, 1945, and Battleship Mikasa, which served as flagship of Admiral Togo during the Battle of the Yellow Sea in 1904, and the Battle of Tsushima in 1905 during the Russo-Japanese War. The shrine also has a small Kamikaze (Shinpu) Special Attack Museum.

The Battleship Yamato Monument has an artillery shell from the ship's large guns set atop a pedestal. The front plaque directly below the shell has engraved the following:

Greater East Asia War
Special Attack Officers and Men Remembrance Tower

The bottom plaque on the monument's front side gives the following technical information about Battleship Yamato:

Battleship Yamato's Main Guns and Shells

Type 94 46-cm 45-caliber guns with Type 91 armor piercing shells
Length: 1.95 meters
Weight: 1,470 kilograms
Bursting charge: 34 kilograms
Explosive charge: 330 kilograms
Initial velocity: 780 meters/second
Maximum range: 42,000 meters

Principal Facts About Battleship Yamato

Displacement: 64,000 tons
Main engine: 150,000 horsepower
Speed: 27 knots
Overall length: 256 meters
Width: 36.9 meters
Draught: 10.4 meters

The right side of the monument base has a plaque with the following words:

Record of Youth

Battleship Yamato led the Japanese Imperial Navy's remaining warships in the final stage of the Greater East Asia War in a tokko (special attack) sortie on April 7, 1945. West of Tokunoshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture, the world's largest unsinkable battleship shared the same fate with over 3,000 crewmen after repeated attacks by enemy submarines and air force Grumman fighters. This pedestal's towering shell from Yamato's main guns was a contribution to the spirit of war hero Commander Seki from Yukinao Kozu of Kure City. On the occasion of this donation, we remember the completion a year ago of the Tokko (Special Attack) Museum on this shrine grounds with the assistance of Minoru Genda and individuals from all over the country. As we consider this shell as the Greater East Asia War Special Attack Officers and Men War Dead Remembrance Shell and Tower, we hold a memorial service each year on August 15, the day to remember the end of the war, to give the spirits of these men peace and quiet around this shell. On the basis of consensus of Saijo Navy Association members, we launched this project to hold an event to remember and to convey to future generations the officers and men who died in battle for our country's eternal cause. We recall that association members supported various activities since the group's formation on May 27, 1973. At the completion of this monument, we engraved the names of members' units and ships based on naval records to make more of an impression of their service in memory of their youth in those days.

August 15, 1980

The monument pedestal's back has a plaque about the artillery shell:

This artillery shell was used for the main guns of Battleship Yamato, flagship of the Combined Fleet, during the Greater East Asia War. In those days it was a size without parallel in the world, and perhaps even in the future an artillery shell of such size will not come into this world. With a huge gun to launch this artillery shell, blasting powder to make it fly a long distance, and a control system to have it score a hit, this shell has a shape and material properties that can penetrate an armored deck. The culmination of arms technology attained by the former Navy is displayed in this one artillery shell. This shell, a great national treasure, was offered to the shrine by Yukinao Kozu, President of Chugoku Kayaku Co., Ltd., through the good offices of Kure Region Commandant Vice Admiral Hideo Katori. As we remember the imposing Japanese Navy in past times, we honor the great deeds of war hero Commander Seki who died for an eternal cause to protect the country of Japan, and we comfort these spirits.

Donation of artillery shell and plaques:
Yukinao Kozu (Naval Academy, 60th Class, Navy Lieutenant Commander), Chuo 1 Cho-me, Kure City

Donation of pedestal: Chuichi Ochi, Tsuitachi, Saijo City

The names of 42 members of the Saijo Navy Association along with their units or ships start on the last half of the plaque on the right side of the monument base and continue on another plaque on the base's left side.

The Battleship Mikasa Monument is next to the Battleship Yamato Monument at Naramoto Shrine. This monument has a style very similar to the Battleship Yamato Monument with an upright artillery shell on a base. Mikasa's shell had a length of 0.95 meters and a weight of 410 kilograms in comparison to 1.95 meters and 1,470 kilograms for Yamato's shell.


View of Naramoto Jinja. Battleship Yamato Monument with
larger artillery shell behind right vertical post of torii gate. Smaller
artillery shell of Battleship Mikasa Monument is further right.