Claim to fame: The most powerfully armed battleship ever constructed.
Launched in 1940, the Yamato was a lead ship in the Imperial Japanese Navy during WW2. Outnumbered by the US fleet, Japan built the Yamato and her sister ship, the Musashi, as the heaviest and most powerfully armed battleships ever in order to even the odds. To this day, they hold their title, though no new battleships have been constructed for decades.
During Japan's last major naval operation in WW2, the Yamato and nine other warships were sent on a suicide run against Allied forces in Okinawa. Before she even reached her destination, the Yamato and five other Japanese warships were sunk by US carrier-borne aircraft.
The Yamato and Musashi served as symbols for the Japanese people - as long as they were able to fight, Japan could never fall. The cultural importance of these ships has led to them being memorialized extensively.