The "Great Buddha" Takes a Trip
Some misdeeds perpetrated by minemen on Yokosuka have been anonymously reported. Several of these playful folks (some of whom may have participated in the "Great Train Robbery," above) were patrons of the Club Yamato. This distinctive bar had a large brass Buddha ensconced outside the entrance. With a definite lack of reverence, several Azuma sailors absconded with the relic and placed it in the back seat of a taxi, covering it with items of clothing that helped disguise its appearance. At the main gate, shortly before midnight, the Marine sentries were confounded by a long line of returning sailors, especially since the carrier Yorktown was in port. The Buddha had no trouble gaining entry to the base. The next morning, the religious relic reposed on the second floor of the barracks, at the foot of the landing to the PO dorms on the third floor. Many sailors passing by would mockingly bow to the brass image. Shortly after noon on Tuesday, it was reported that a squad of Marines, together with an angry bar owner, ascended the barracks ladder to retrieve the purloined relic. Several sailors, who happened to be in the barracks, were conscripted to remove the 200-pond object and transport it to a waiting truck. Thus, the religious observances that had become hilarious, but brief observance, came to an abrupt halt.
--Derick S. Hartshorn
Derick S. Hartshorn -