On 31 October the newest submarine for the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) was launched into the water for the first time during a festive ceremony in Kobe.

The submarine, named Kukoryu (Black Dragon), is said to be state-of-the art and was built at a cost of 53.4 billion yen (US$540M) by Kawasaki Heavy Industries. It seems no cost was spared for the ceremony either which had streamers, balloons, and a bunch of other cool stuff I never got at my 10th birthday party and am still seeing a therapist to come to terms with…

I bet they had a magician there too.

Adorned with several rising sun flags in both the regular national design and controversial war flag still used by the JMSDF, the Kukoryu sat on the slipway waiting to be launched.

Then workers knocked out several blocks holding it in place and the 84-meter-long submarine quickly yet smoothly slid backwards into the ocean. The JMSDF’s sixth submarine will remain docked in that area while the finishing touches are done on its interior.

Japanese netizens were surprised by the event saying, “that was more than I imagined” and “cool… I wish I could have seen that.” Then there was another group of people who seemed to have found something erotic about the whole thing.

Perhaps because of the way the naval flag covered the nose of the vessel, commenters likened it to a “booby” or thanks to the wet spot made from the christening, it appeared as a condom over a giant – you get the idea. Other viewers saw a striking similarity to the popular brand of tools to aid self-pleasuring called Tenga.

The name Kokuryu belongs to a mythical dragon that is said to protect the North in Japanese mythology as well as Chinese where its known as heilong. When all the work is completed, the submarine will be dispatched to either Yokosuka Base in Kanagawa Prefecture or Kure Base in Hiroshima Prefecture in March of next year.

Source: CRI Online (Chinese), MSN Sankei News via Himajin Sokuho (Japanese)
Video: YouTube – Hideta2007

▼ A video of the launch