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Students re-creating battleship Yamato using virtual reality

Courtesy of Hiroshima Prefectural Fukuyama Technical High School

A virtual reality image shows a view of the battleship Yamato’s superstructure from the main battery.

The Yomiuri ShimbunHIROSHIMA — High school students in Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, are using virtual reality (VR) technology to reconstruct the Yamato, a World War II-era Imperial Japanese Navy battleship.

Seventy-two years after the battleship sank on April 7, 1945, students at Hiroshima Prefectural Fukuyama Technical High School are striving to complete a VR rendering of the Yamato, which was built in Kure in the prefecture, by this summer.

The students, who received advice from a former crew member of the battleship, said they want to show the reality of war through the images.

The eight students who are working on the project belong to the school’s computer science club. The club previously created computer-generated imagery of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, also known as the Atomic Bomb Dome, before the bombing.

Through the project to reproduce the Yamato, they hope to gain an understanding of how the technology to build the battleship played a role in the nation’s postwar industry.

Using archival documents and other resources stored at the Kure Maritime Museum, also known as the Yamato Museum, in Kure, the students have been working since December last year to produce the images of the Yamato before it set out on its final mission.

Virtual reality goggles with motion sensors will enable the images to move in accordance with the user’s movements, allowing them to experience the sensation of walking on the deck of the battleship. Meanwhile, a controller will allow the user to virtually walk on the bridge of the Yamato, move the main battery, fire a gun and look up at an enemy plane nose-diving from the sky.Speech

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