Requiem for Battleship Yamato

  • by Yoshida Mitsuru, Richard Minear (translator)
  • Narrated by Graeme Malcolm
  • 4 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Requiem for Battleship Yamato is Yoshida Mitsuru's story of his own experience as a junior naval officer aboard the fabled Japanese battleship as it set out on a last, desperate sortie in April 1945. Yoshida was on the bridge during Yamato's fatal encounter with American airplanes, and his eloquent, moving account of that battle makes a singular contribution to the literature of the Pacific war. The book has long been considered a classic in both Japan and the United States. As with most great battle stories, its ultimate concern is less bombs and bullets than human nature, less death than life.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Brutally Honest Account of Institutional Idiocy

If you could sum up Requiem for Battleship Yamato in three words, what would they be?

Tragic, honest, humane


Who was your favorite character and why?

The author in the glimpses you see of the person writing the book, not his self at the time. He's able to show how he had been wrapped up in the suicidal militaristic mindset of the soon-to-be defeated Japanese while not bogging it down into moral or psychological analysis. The book is an account of what people did, said, and felt--it does not waste time performing moral or psychological analysis--the facts are too valuable here.


Which character – as performed by Graeme Malcolm – was your favorite?

I'll never forget the incredible poignancy of the senior officers going down with the ship but stopping the junior officers from doing the same. Mitsuru's crisp bureaucratic (in the sense of an excellent ship's log) prose reports only the facts, but earlier discussion of the blindness of the Japanese Navy's senior ranks leaves the reader with the thought that they were going down with more than the ship.


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

It's something like a Japanese equivalent to With the Old Breed (and the brilliant movie, The Thin Red Line, although this, being set on a ship, has less interaction with nature and man's relationship to it). So I would work that into a tag line.


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- Austin Thompson

Gripping and factual story

the orator was very well versed, the story of the Yamato was very compelling and the fact that it was told by a survivor made it much more riveting. The use of personal memories and letters from crew members added such a insightful view of the Japanese sailor as to how they conducted themselves in battle and at rest was very telling of how and why they were so very brutal and aggressive towards lesser ranks and to prisoners. The brutality that they had to the lesser class structure on board ship, basically kept everyone in a state of fear and submission so that if they would have tried to be derelict in there duties at there post, they would be to fearful of the repercussions they would face from peers or officers.
l thoroughly enjoyed the book and will replay it again. I will also look for it in hardback edition to add to my collection.


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- Rescue_ranger

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-23-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios