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Yoshida Mitsuru’s 1946 “The End of the Battleship Yamato”

Christopher Smith


In April of 1945 Yoshida Mitsuru (1923-1979)1 was an ensign in the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) assigned to the battleship IJN Yamato. He took part in Yamato’s final sortie against American forces in Okinawa and was one of the few crewmembers to survive the ship’s sinking. After the war he penned a stirring account of the legendary ship’s final days, first published in 1949 in the magazine Salon (Saron). The serialized chapters were collected in a book titled Gunkan Yamato (Warship Yamato). In 1952, after occupation censorship had been lifted, the text was republished as Senkan Yamato no saigo (The End of the Battleship Yamato).

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