Why would the Japanese, a people who have given the
world such exquisitely beautiful gifts such as Bonsai, wonderful
pottery and artwork, are the pioneers of wonderfully minimalistic design
for the gorgeous presentation of their cuisine with sushi and sashimi,
and have in postwar years offered gems of engineering design in the most
skilfully designed cars and motorcycles .....put so much junk on the
conning tower of a submarine!
It almost looks like a Paris rooftop, doesn't it
! But, there you go....
These guys have really been "caught
napping", as we see them scramble for cover on the approach of a B24
bomber "out of the sun".
Actually, all that 'junk' is probably going to
become their downfall; the big Japanese I-boats were notoriously slow
divers - partly because of the huge conning towers they sported.
(Although, not much worse than their American counterparts, it has to be
said). And, as is evidenced in this painting, they suffered badly from the
lack of radar, which only equipped a very few Japanese boats towards the
end of WWII. What we see instead are those remarkable
"ear-trumpets" that seemed to adorn every ship in the Imperial
Japanese Navy. And that's precisely what they were! Sound detectors
- "poor man's radar".... and not always too effective!
When I was painting this piece, I was struck very
much by this. I was also struck by the fact that this conning tower
started to look almost as large as the promenade deck on Titanic!
(...and we all know what happened to her! .....actually, Titanic
was probably the quicker diver...!)
Looking a bit closer.... 2 parts of the
painting in detail.
I was also quite pleased with the officer figure.
Even though I didn't really intend him to, he seems to come across as a
rather nasty little man. Not the sort of character you would like to
work under perhaps, ... but then, with a couple of bottles of sake under his belt, who knows?..
It's quite possible he could have been the life and soul of the party
! Regardless, no one is listening to him!..these fellows
are "out of here" ...fast !