In YE 28 the YSS Sakura, the first ship of the Sakura-class Light Gunship class, was commissioned under the command of Taisa Rufus Sydney and was later commanded by Taisa Ketsurui Hanako. In its relatively brief time in service, the YSS Sakura became a symbol of strength and power in a time of crisis and uncertainty, not only in the Army, but throughout the Empire. When the Sakura was destroyed in YE 29, Star Army Officer Kage Yaichiro (formerly of the Sakura's crew) started preparations to soften or even reverse the blow.
With the help of the 5th XF and the blessings of Taisho Ketsurui-Motoyoshi Katsuko, Yaichiro began preparations for a museum dedicated to the YSS Sakura. Yaichiro's reasoning was that having a Kyoto-based museum could inspire future generations of soldiers and officers if exposed to the Sakura's memory.
Looking like a large Japanese shrine, the exterior of the facility shows of Shinto and Buddhist influence, though the reasoning for the design has long since been forgotten. Nestled in a grove of Sakura trees which are always in bloom, and a uniform shade of pink, the facility is designed to be a sort of park. There is a large pond just before the entrance, with a very sturdy bridge, which permits children to feed the Koi the lake is populated with.
There is only one entrance to the facility, but it is large enough to accomodate a large crowd entering if needed. On the left side of the entrance is a Statue of Rufus Sydney, and on the right is a statue of Ketsurui Hanako. These figures are looking toward each other, and are roughly 1.5 times life-sized. The two Sakura commanders' statues are religiously maintained, and are made of highly polished marble.
The facility itself, while looking peaceful and serene on the outside, shows reminders of the conflict within. It is apparent once steping within that only one floor of the facility is actually above ground, the rest being underground and re-enforced against surface bombardment. A scale model of the Sakura is parked in the center of the main room under spotlights, and is always in pristine condition.
All around the Sakura model are various displays, including:
An audiovisual room is present which has seating for one hundred twenty, and is used to show historical data and documentaries relating to the Sakura. Most of the films have PG or PG-13 versions which are shown during the day, and more mature variants intended for older audiences during the night. This is because of the horrible nature of war footage…and the sexually open nature of the Empire's defenders. Current programs available for viewing:
The Sakura display model, while bearing the markings and registry of the original Sakura, is actually built from Durandium Alloy as well as framework and interfaces salvaged from previously destroyed vessels. In this way, the Sakura model is not only a monument to its famous first-born, but a testament to the entire class and its contribution to the Star Army.
The ships lacks any form of weaponry or advanced propulsion, only having basic thrusters permitting it to hover in place or move slowly, should it be used for a parade. The components in the Sakura are merely props and non-operational, though the displays cycle through modes showing normal readouts. However, when touched, the readouts change to a basic description of the station's function rather than actually changing anything. There are tours of the vessel three times a day, usually conducted by sprites who have served on Sakura class vessels used in the model's construction. One must be a registered Yamataian citizen or approved by the Empire to tour the ship.
The museum has a staff that includes a curator and a team of associates.
The Curator is a Star Army Officer with a rank of Shoi or higher who oversees day-to-day operation of the museum. The secondary function of the Curator is to be able to recruit new officers and soldiers into the Star Army of Yamatai if they approach with a desire to join after seeing the museum. (The Curator isn't allowed to ask people to join though, as it isn't the primary purpose of the museum…but they DO have the paperwork needed on file.)
Associates are generally sprites who have been saved from Sakura-class ships later used in the Sakura model, be it alive, or salvaged from the MEGAMI memory core. The Imperial Museum is generally considered a respectable assignment, if not a reward, for those sprites; permitting them to serve out the remainer of their obligatory service in the home world's capital city and educating the populace. These sprites also tend to live their own lives on their off-time, living much like normal civilians, perhaps one of the best rewards of all.