Thursday, May 28, 2015

Microsoft Co-Founder Discovers Last Resting Place Of Legendary Japanese Warship

More than 70 years after American forces sank it, the legendary Japanese battleship Musashi has been discovered resting on the seafloor at a depth of 3,280 feet (1KM) below the water’s surface.

The expedition, headed up by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, discovered the wreck of the Musashi off the coast of The Philippines.

Allen’s private yacht, the 414-foot-long (125 meters) M/Y Octopus located the wreck in the Sibuyan Sea earlier this month, but the team has declined to offer details regarding the ship’s exact location.

Mr. Allen is known to have been fascinated by the riddle of the lost battleship and has been searching for its final resting place for 8 years.

The Mushashi met its end during the Battle of Leyte Gulf in 1944, and it is thought that over a thousand men, almost half of the ships 2,399-strong crew compliment was killed during the sinking.

The Musashi is a well-known battleship of the era because it was considered to be one of the largest â€"and most technologically advanced- warships ever built at the time. The Musashi was 862 feet long and weighed in the region of 66,225 metric tonnes. However, despite her immense size and reliable eyewitness accounts of her sinking, the precise location of the wreck remained unknown for over 7 decades.

The Musashi’s sister ship, The Yamato, met its end in 1945. The wreck was lost until the 1980’s, when shipwreck hunters discovered her remains 180 miles southwest of Kyushu. The ship was split in two and was found at a depth of 1,120 feet (340 m).

Some underwater footage of the Musashi has been released to the public already. The footage reveals the catapult system once used to launch planes, a 15-ton anchor and the turret from a naval gun.

The ship took her name from the famous Japanese samurai, philosopher and artist Miyamoto Musashi. Musashi was known for his psychological approach to duelling, as well as his unorthodox fighting style. His ‘Book of Five Rings’ (Go Rin No Sho) is considered a classic text on the subject of conflicts and personal discipline.

Musashi made his first kill at just 13 and won his most famous bout by killing the renowned samurai Sasaki Kojiro on the island of Funajima (using a modified oar that he had taken from the boat that carried him to the island). He is the founder of the Niten Ichi-ryu (‘the school of the strategy of two heavens as one’ â€" loose translation) School of swordsmanship. Musashi partook in around sixty duels, many of then to the death. He retired undefeated and died in 1645, probably from cancer.

Returning to the present, a statement on Paul Allen’s website says that, by discovering the legendary battleship, his team hopes to “bring closure to the families of those lost”.

Mr. Allen has further pledged that he and his team plan to work closely with the Japanese government in order to ensure that the wreck of The Musashi is treated "respectfully and in accordance with Japanese traditions."

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