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Japanese corvette Yamato
Japanese corvette Yamato.jpg
Yamato at Kobe in 1889-1890
Name: Yamato
Ordered: 1882 Fiscal Year
Builder: Onohama Shipyards, Japan
Laid down: 23 November 1883
Launched: 1 May 1885
Commissioned: 16 November 1888
Struck: 1 April 1935
Fate: Sunk in Typhoon September 1945,
Raised and scrapped 1950
General characteristics
Class & type: Katsuragi-class corvette
Displacement: 1,476 long tons (1,500 t)
Length: 62.78 m (206 ft 0 in)
Beam: 10.7 m (35 ft 1 in)
Draft: 4.6 m (15 ft 1 in)
Propulsion: Horizontally-mounted reciprocating engine, 1,622 hp (1,210 kW)
6 boilers, shaft
Sail plan: Barque-rigged sloop
Speed: 13 knots (15 mph; 24 km/h)
Range: 145 tons coal
Complement: 231
Armament: • 2 × 170 mm (6.7 in) Krupp breech-loading guns
• 5 × 120 mm (4.7 in) guns
• 1 × 80 mm (3.1 in) gun
• 4 × 25 mm (0.98 in) quadruple Nordenfelt guns
• 2 × 380 mm (15 in) torpedo tubes

Yamato (大和 Yamato?) was the second vessel in the three ship Katsuragi-class of three wooden-hulled, sail-and-steam corvettes of the early Imperial Japanese Navy. It was named for Yamato province, the old name for Nara prefecture and the historical heartland of Japan. The name was used again for the very famous World War II battleship Yamato, commissioned in 1941.


Yamato was designed as an iron-ribbed, wooden-hulled, three-masted bark-rigged sloop-of-war with a coal-fired double expansion reciprocating steam engine with six boilers driving a single screw. Her basic design was based on experience gained in building the Kaimon and the Hiei-class sloops, but was already somewhat obsolescent in comparison to contemporary European warships when completed. However, unlike her sister ships Katsuragi and Musashi, Yamato was built by the Onohama Shipyards, near Kobe. Her first captain was future Fleet Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō.

Yamato saw combat service in the First Sino-Japanese War, patrolling between Korea, Dairen and Weihaiwei. She was also at the Battle of Yalu River (1894) in a reserve capacity in the Western Fleet. On 21 March 1898, Yamato was designated as a third-class gunboat, and was used for coastal survey and patrol duties.

During the Russo-Japanese War, Yamato served as a guard ship patrolling the Kanmon Straits between Honshū and Kyūshū. On 28 August 1912, she was reclassified as a second class coastal patrol vessel, and was assigned to coastal survey duties. On 1 April 1922, she was officially re-designated as a survey vessel, and her armament was replaced by two 8-inch guns. During the course of its surveys, Yamato discovered a seamount in the Sea of Japan, which was named after it.

On 1 April 1935, Yamato was retired from navy service and relocated to Uraga where she was used as a floating prison and training vessel for juvenile offenders until its retirement. She was swamped in a typhoon in September 1945 in Tokyo Bay. Her hulk was raised and scrapped in 1950.


  • Chesneau, Roger and Eugene M. Kolesnik (editors), All The World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905, Conway Maritime Press, 1979 reprinted 2002, ISBN 0-85177-133-5
  • Jentsura, Hansgeorg (1976). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869–1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-893-X. 

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