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Yamato (2005)
"Otoko-tachi no Yamato" (original title)

 -  War  -  17 December 2005 (Japan)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,426 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 6 critic

On April, 6th 2005, in Makurazi, Kagoshima, Makiko Uchida seeks a boat in the local fishing cooperative to take her to the latitude N30, longitude L128, where the largest, heaviest and most... See full summary »

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Title: Yamato (2005)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Takashi Sorimachi ...
Shohachi Moriwaki
...
Mamoru Uchida
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Taeko
Takahiro Fujimoto
Jun'ichi Haruta ...
Hisao Koike
Ryo Hashizume ...
Yoshiharu Kojima (as Ryô Hashizume)
Ryûzô Hayashi ...
Ryunosuke Kusaka
Hiroyuki Hirayama ...
Tamaki
Hirotarô Honda ...
Tetsuzo Furumura
Hisashi Igawa ...
The Chairman
Sôsuke Ikematsu ...
Atsushi
Kenji Kaneko ...
Machimura
Hiroshi Katsuno ...
Nobue Morishita
Kôsei
...
Katsumi Kamio (15 years old)
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Storyline

On April, 6th 2005, in Makurazi, Kagoshima, Makiko Uchida seeks a boat in the local fishing cooperative to take her to the latitude N30, longitude L128, where the largest, heaviest and most powerfully armed battleships ever constructed Yamato was sunk on April, 7th 1945; however, her request is denied. She meets by chance the captain Katsumi Kamio of the fishing vessel Asukamaru and discloses that she is the stepdaughter of Officer Nagoya Uchida and Kamio immediately accepts to take her in the risky journey. While traveling with Makiko and the fifteen year-old Atsuchi, Kamio recalls and discloses the story of Yamato and his close friends that served on board of the battleship until the final suicidal mission in Okinawa. When they reach the spot where Yamato was sunk, he considers that he finally reached the end of the Showa era. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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War

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Release Date:

17 December 2005 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Yamato  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Part of the foredeck and port side of the Yamato were reconstructed to full scale for the exterior scenes. As the Japan Building Standards Act interfered with re-creating the ship's entire superstructure, images of a one-tenth scale model of the Yamato at its namesake museum in Kure were used in post-production. See more »

Goofs

At least one attacking US plane in the film has the fat black and white "three stripe" pattern on the wings and body. While it is an authentic period detail visible on many old images, it wasn't used in the Pacific. Wrong side of the world! The high-visibility black-white pattern was used during the D-Day invasion to make it easier for Allied pilots and antiaircraft crews to avoid firing upon "friendly" aircraft. (The more discreet chevron mark on Coalition vehicles during Gulf War I had a similar purpose.) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Saving Petty Officer Ryuko
16 July 2007 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Leaving a trail of controversy in its insubstantial wake, Yamato turns out not to be the dangerous far right bit of revisionism excusing Japan's conduct in WW2 many Western pundits have claimed but instead a horribly clichéd attempt to fuse Titanic with Saving Private Ryan and ending up with something distinctly lukewarm instead. Yes, it ignores the realities of the dictatorship on the home front that drove Japan to disaster during its scenes ashore and doesn't seem to have more than a passing interest in historical context (it gives the days and dates but never the rationale behind them), but it does both acknowledge that the war was started by Japanese aggression (though the subtitles curiously date Pearl Harbor as 8th December 1941!) and that not everyone was driven by banzai patriotism (one character only joined up because his family needed the money). There's even some limited superficial discussion about the Bushido code's fallibility being that it prepares people for death where genuine chivalry prepares people for life and the possibility that the crew's pointless deaths will at least kick Japan out of its fatalistic stupidity if future generations learn from its mistakes. But for the most part it opts to take no real stand on anything, aiming to be all things to all demographics. Or, in this case, all clichés.

Obsolete before she was even built, in many ways the Yamato is a great metaphor for the impotent stupidity of the Japanese military regime who ordered the destruction of their navy and army from the safety of their bunkers, its unimpressive war record achieving nothing but the death of its crew. Set during the period that Japan was reduced to fighting a defensive war and losing heavily, there's not much in the way of mounting dread as it becomes more and more obvious that the ship's final sortie will be a pointless suicide mission because there's little hope of identifying with any of the cardboard characters among the experienced crew and raw cadets, so that when the inevitable disaster finally strikes you're more of a disinterested observer. For all the Saving Private Ryan camera-work, there's no sense of immediacy or personal involvement to the scenes: the audience is kept firmly outside the film. For the most part the special effects aren't quite up to snuff – not bad enough to be laughable, not good enough to be entirely convincing - and the film often seems horribly studio bound. Unlike Titanic there's never even any real sense of how the ship works or its basic geography, with the Yamato itself remaining an indifferent backdrop rather than a character in itself.

The crew's final shore leave offers a couple of effective vignettes and there are some interesting moments in the last half hour as Japan's defeat and subsequent survivor's guilt are touched upon (though this one gives The Return of the King a run for its money in the most endings stakes), but this is so over-reliant on tapping into local sentiment that it never develops any real resonance for foreign audiences. Horribly over-reliant on the usually excellent Joe Hisaishi's surprisingly derivative and ineffectually sentimental score (think Philippe Sarde's Tess without the power or emotion), in many ways it's like the Yamato itself: big, expensive, redundant and at the end of the day more notable for the way it sank than anything it ever did while it was afloat.


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