Network Books


Battleship Yamato, by Jan Morris

Battleship Yamato, by Jan Morris


Hardback – 135 x 195 mm – 122 pages

50 illustrations

The battleship Yamato, of the Imperial Japanese Navy, was the most powerful warship of World War II and represented the climax, as it were, of the Japanese warrior traditions of the samurai - the ideals of honour, discipline, and self-sacrifice that had immemorially ennobled the Japanese national consciousness. Stoically poised for battle in the spring of 1945 - when even Japan's last desperate technique of arms, the kamikaze, was running short - Yamato arose as the last magnificent arrow in the imperial quiver of Emperor Hirohito. 

Here, Jan Morris not only tells the dramatic story of the magnificent ship itself - from secret wartime launch to futile sacrifice at Okinawa - but, more fundamentally, interprets the ship as an allegorical figure of war itself, in its splendour and its squalor, its heroism and its waste. Drawing on rich naval history and rhapsodic metaphors from international music and art, Battleship Yamato is a work of grand ironic elegy.

Click here to see Jan Morris's interview about the book.

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