PRE 70'S
For many years after the war, it was hoped that the pride of the Japanese Navy would be at rest in one piece. Illustrations would consistantly depict the battleship, like the one here from a 1967 picture book, as a complete warship. Some how, still strong and ready to fight from the depths of the ocean.

Such was this spirited thought, that it bacame the inspiration to an animated saga in 1973 "Space Battleship Yamato". The old battleship was found and refirbished into a new, yet nearly identical space battleship. The thought of the Yamato, reincarnated into a new and powerful space battleship, captured the hearts of a new generation and carried on the spirit of "Yamato".

Interest in finding the sunken Battleship grew in the early 80's. A research team was sent to Washington D.C. to look at Naval archive records. There they found boxes of micro film with detailed reports from pilots to command, detailing the end of the Yamato. Though it was known where the Yamato sank, sonar could not find it initially, so thes reports were vital in helping to pin-point the ship.

Several attempts were made to locate the ship, in 1983, a research group piled on about half a dozen Battleship Yamato survivors and went looking for the wreck. There was no success. It wasn't until 1984, that a team partly sponsored by the producer of the "Space Battleship Yamato" series, found the wreck by sonar. They used a robot submersable with a camera to capture the first images.

Based on the video images from the robotic submersable, a drawing was concieved and used in the 1985 printing of Janusz Skulski's "Anotomy of a ship; Battleship Yamato". This was a more believable image of the wreck, the first since it sank forty years previous. .

Using the 1960's dive capsule "Pisces II", a short dive on the battleship revealed better results and pictures. This was the first dive that recovered items had been collected. Though better details were discovered, the exact positioning of the wreckage still wasn't correct. This painting reveals how they thought it was laid out. [PAINTING]

Another dive occured in 1990 lead by sponsorship from NHK television. This too used robotic submersables, though the images were clearer than before and more detail was revealed. Still, a prolonged, detailed dive down to the 365 meters (1095 feet) to make a first hand examination had yet to occur. .

After five successful missions on the wreck of the Titanic, and co-founder of the Titanic site with Bob Ballard, the Institute of France for Research and Exploration of the Sea (IFREMER) teamed up with Asahi television and lead a manned dive onto the Battleship Yamato.

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