Hiroshima: Historical lathe to be displayed at Yamato Museum

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A giant lathe is installed at the Yamato Museum in Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, on Nov. 22.

KURE, Hiroshima — A huge lathe believed to have been used to cut the main gun of the Imperial Japanese Navy’s battleship Yamato was installed on the grounds of the Yamato Museum in Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, last month.

Weighing a whopping 160 tons, the about 16-meter-long lathe was donated to the museum by a company in Hyogo Prefecture.

On Nov. 22, a ship’s crane lifted the lathe onto the grounds of the museum, where visitors will be able to see the giant metal-shaping tool from March.

Imported from Germany in 1938, the device was originally installed at a factory in Kure and has now been returned to the city for the first time in 69 years.

The lathe is said to have been used to manufacture the Yamato’s main gun, which at the time was the world’s largest, with a 46-centimeter bore and a length of about 20 meters.

The lathe was handed over to Kobe Steel Ltd. in 1953 and was subsequently acquired by a machinery parts manufacturer in Akashi, Hyogo Prefecture, where it was used at a plant in Harima until 2013.

The museum plans to develop a new facility for the exhibit in preparation for its public unveiling next year.