Displayed here is a large oil tanker, called the Nisseki Maru. The Nisseki Maru was the world's largest tanker at the time of its completion in 1971 with a length of 347 meters, which is longer than the height of Tokyo Tower. It could carry 450,000 kiloliters or 2,830,000 barrels of crude oil at a time.
Using the Nisseki Maru as an example, the life of a ship is explained.
Undergoing the process of designing, keel laying, launching, completion, de-commissioning, and dismantling, the life of a ship closely resembles that of a human being. Built to carry crude oil from the Persian Gulf, the Nisseki Maru traveled between the Middle East and Japan 84 times, carried approximately 30 million tons of crude oil, and traveled the equivalent of 55 circumnavigations of the globe. She was retired in 1985 and dismantled in Hakodate after 14 years of service.
The latest ship attracting considerable attention at the moment is the Techno Superliner. This is an advanced high-speed cargo boat developed jointly by major Japanese shipbuilders. Two prototypes called the Hayate and the Hisho were manufactured, and have proven their high performance through many tests.
Another advanced ship, which has successfully completed testing as the first superconducting electromagnetic propulsion ship, is called the Yamato 1. A superconducting electromagnetic propulsion ship is equipped with a brand new propulsion system that, applying Fleming's Left-hand Rule, requires no screw propellers. It has drawn public attention because of expectations that it represents the future of shipping.
Now, please go down the stairs to the exhibit hall in the basement.
Here in the basement exhibit hall, the ocean development corner presents the atmosphere of the deep sea.
The oceans cover 70% of the earth's surface. Therefore, we should seriously address the issue of how to make the best use of this vast resource for humanity, while implementing every preventive measure against damage our oceans.
Here, numerous images of future ocean development are presented through dioramas. Also on display is a large model depicting the internal structure of the Manned Research Submersible Vessel Shinkai 2000, designed for investigation of the seabed. Equipped with a three-person pressure sphere, with a thickness of 30 millimeters and a diameter of 2.8 meters, the Shinkai 2000 can descend to a depth of 2,000 meters and conduct underwater research for up to 8 hours.
Now, please take the stairs to the next exhibit hall on the 2nd floor.
The exhibit hall on the 2nd floor displays different types of ships and explains their role.
Surrounded on all sides by oceans and not blessed with natural resources, Japan relies heavily on the importation of raw materials and energy resources, such as crude oil, and the exportation of processed products made with these materials. Ninety-nine percent of the trade in these products and resources depends on ships to provide a safe, cost effective means of transportation. Consequently, Japan, whose survival depends on ships, has also become the world's leading shipping nation.
This large model is a container ship representing modern freighters and its exclusive dock. You can see the internal structure and the process of loading containers. Following the suggested route, you will find several more models of modern freighters with highly specialized roles, such as that of an oil tanker. These versatile ships support our lives by ensuring safe, secure transportation every day.
Tour boats for sightseeing or charters are called passenger cruise ships. Passenger liners that used to connect countries have disappeared because of jet airliners, and modern cruise ships equipped with swimming pools, restaurants, live theater, and even movie theaters have taken their place.
This elegant, white ship is a luxury passenger cruise ship, the Asuka, representing Japan. Although the Asuka is well known for its annual round-the-world cruise, it also makes short one-or two-day cruises, making calls at various ports within the country. If the occasion arises, be sure to come aboard this beautiful ship!
For Japan, which relies heavily on ships for transportation, it is essential to maintain good ports that link land and sea transportation. Depending on their purpose, there are various kinds of ports for trade, industry, or fishing, which are equipped with such facilities as wharfs, piers, routes, breakwaters, and cranes to accommodate their unique role. In this exhibit, the Port of Tokyo is used to explain the role of ports and working ships in a port.
The Port of Tokyo, where the Museum of Maritime Science is located, is an old port with a history dating back more than 500 years to the time when Dokan Ota built Edo Castle and opened port of Edo. The port was been improved since the time of the Tokugawa Shogunate of the Edo Period to the Meiji Period, but it was only after the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923, when people realized the importance of the Port, that it took shape as a full-scale modern port. In 1941, it was opened as an international trading port, fulfilling a long-sought goal. The Port of Tokyo now plays an important role not only as one of the world's finest international ports, but also as a distribution center for the Tokyo metropolitan area.
Since ancient times, marine products such as fish, shellfish, and prawns have always been a favorite of the Japanese. To catch these ocean delicacies, it is essential to have specialized fishing boats. In this exhibit, fisheries are introduced by category: inshore fishery, offshore fishery, deep-sea fishery, and whaling. Stern trawling for krill and mother ship-type drift net fishing for salmon and trout fishing are reproduced with a diorama.
Recently, however, in addition to catching fish, aquaculture and fish farming have become increasingly popular, and fisheries research on the relationship between the environment of the oceans and rivers and fish growth is gaining in importance.
Surrounded by the sea, Japan faces many maritime issues involving crimes, accidents and pollution. This corner introduces the Japan Coast Guard, which plays an active part in marine salvage and the prevention and investigation of crimes at sea. Established in 1948, the Japan Coast Guard divides the sea into 11 regions and works to maintain maritime order by implementing regulatory measures against crimes, ensures the safety of sea traffic by providing lighthouses and maritime charts, carries out rescue operations, and promotes the preservation of the marine environment. A number of ships and airplanes displayed here, including the patrol boat Yashima, are assigned to 11 regional coast guard units, which work day and night to ensure maritime security.
This corner introduces the old Japanese Navy, that was established in 1870 and dissolved after World War II. Many warships are on display, including those that served in the Russo-Japanese War, such as the battleship Shikishima and the flagship of the combined fleet, the Mikasa, as well as warships from World War II, such as the battleship Mutsu, the battle cruiser Myoko, and the destroyer Yubari.
The shipbuilding technology for these warships formed the basis of the naval engineering that earned for Japan its reputation as the world's leading shipbuilding nation.
The Yamato, which was built in Japan by the old Japanese Navy, has left its mark on history as the largest battleship ever built.
This huge gray warship was equipped with 3 main turrets with 3 cannons each. The Yamato was built in absolute secrecy and was considered an unsinkable ship.
It symbolized the dominant principle at the time, of building large ships with big guns. Completed in 1941, the warship was fitted with 9 major cannons with a diameter of 46 cm each. However, in April 1945 on her way to Okinawa, the Yamato, along with 3,000 of her crew, was sunk south of Kyushu by planes from an American aircraft carriers, after a short life of less than four years.
The Maritime Security Force, which was the predecessor of today's Maritime Self-Defense Force, was born in 1952. Its mandate was to maintain maritime peace and the security of Japan. After 50 years, it now has 120 naval vessels and 200 aircraft in active operations, and is engaged day and night in ensuring the security and safety of traffic in the sea around Japan.
This corner introduces the Maritime Self-Defense Forces.
Exhibits include the Kongo, the first escort ship mounted with the latest Aegis air-defense system, and the Haruna, the first helicopter-loaded escort ship to be built for the Maritime Self-Defense Forces. There is also a corner introducing submarines.
Life by the sea and marine sports ・・・. sounds nice, doesn't it. The sea is the mother of all creatures living on the earth and gives us unlimited peace of mind.Many opportunities are available through which we can enjoy the ocean, such as engaging in marine recreation involving yachts, motorboats, and diving.
This nice ship painted red and white is an actual twin-seat “F-3000 tandem powerboat.” It has been used for a variety of events and led the opening parade for a powerboat race.
Now, let's go upstairs to the 3rd floor.
The exhibit hall on the 3rd floor features traditional Japanese wooden ships.
Let me first explain about the riverboats.
This beautiful shallow flat-bottomed boat, lacquered in black with the deckhouse roofed with layers of cypress bark, is called a Kawagozabune. Feudal military leaders, such as daimyo, traveled by kawagozabune in the Edo Period. carries no sails, and is propelled by oars and poles. Taking a closer look, you will see that the boat has a room with pictures of the natural beauty of the four seasons drawn on its sliding doors.
Following the kawagozabune are other types of riverboats. Based on the scroll depicting riverboats in the Kanto region, called Funakagami, these reproductions include the yakatabune a luxury houseboat, for river boating, the larger types, takasebune and hiratabune; and chokibune or water taxi. There was even a "bath boat" that was something like a mobile public bath!