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Japanese cruiser Chihaya
IJN despatch vessel CHIHAYA in 1906.jpg
Chihaya in 1906 at Maizuru
Career (Imperial Japanese Navy) Naval Ensign of Japan.svg
Name: Chihaya
Ordered: 1896 Fiscal Year
Builder: Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan
Laid down: 7 May 1898
Launched: 26 May 1900
Completed: 9 September 1901
Struck: 1 September 1929
Fate: Scrapped 25 July 1939
General characteristics
Type: unprotected cruiser
Displacement: 1,238 long tons (1,258 t)
Length: 83.19 m (272.9 ft)
Beam: 9.63 m (31.6 ft)
Draft: 3.35 metres (11.0 ft)
Propulsion: 2-shaft reciprocating VTE, 6,000 ihp (4,500 kW), 8 locomotive boilers, 344 tons coal
Speed: 21 knots (24 mph; 39 km/h)
Complement: 125
Armament: • 2 × QF 4.7 inch Gun Mk I–IVs
• 8 × QF 3 pounder Hotchkiss guns
• 2 × 18 in (460 mm) torpedo tubes

Chihaya (千早?) was an unprotected cruiser of the Imperial Japanese Navy. The name Chihaya comes from Chihaya Castle, near Osaka, the site of one of the battles of the Genkō War of 1333. Chihaya was used by the Imperial Japanese Navy primarily as an aviso (dispatch boat) for scouting, reconnaissance and delivery of his priority messages.


Chihaya was based on previous designs for dispatch vessels made by the French military advisor Emile Bertin, and was built in Japan by the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal. Due to its small size it is sometimes classified as a corvette or gunboat.


Similar in design to Yaeyama and Miyako, Chihaya had a steel hull, and retained a full barque rigging with two masts for auxiliary sail propulsion in addition to her steam engine. Miyako was armed with two QF 4.7 inch Gun Mk I–IVs guns and eight QF 3 pounder Hotchkiss guns. In addition, she carried two torpedoes, mounted on the deck.[1]

Service record

On the afternoon of 18 June 1901 while still on trials before formal commissioning, Chiyaha collided off Tateyama, Chiba with the destroyer Akebono, which was on a torpedo training exercise. Both vessels suffered from minor damage.

During the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, Chiyaha participated in the naval Battle of Port Arthur and subsequent blockade of that port. She was subsequently at the Battle of the Yellow Sea and the Battle of Tsushima. As this latter battle, Chiyaha commanded a squadron of destroyers which sank the Russian battleship Knyaz Suvorov and repair ships Kamchatka. On 26 August 1912, Chiyaha was re-classified as a first-class gunboat.

During the First World War, Chiyaha was assigned to patrols of former German Micronesia, which has been occupied by Japan during the early stages of the war.

From 1918 to 1923, Chiyaha was assigned to provide support for the Japanese Siberian Intervention in support of the White Movement armies against the Bolshevik Red Army by making patrols of the eastern coast of Russia. From May to October 1928, Chiyaha was converted at the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal to be a training vessel, and was removed from the navy list on 1 September 1928. She was subsequently transferred to the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy, where she served as a training hulk until 25 July 1939. Her hulk was still afloat at Etajima at the end of World War II, when she was scrapped.


  • Chesneau, Roger (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1860–1905.. Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-133-5. 
  • Evans, David C.; Peattie, Mark R. (1997). Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0870211927. 
  • Howarth, Stephen (1983). The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun: The Drama of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1895-1945. Atheneum. ISBN 0689114028. 
  • Jentsura, Hansgeorg (1976). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 087021893X. 
  • Roberts, John (ed). (1983). 'Warships of the world from 1860 to 1905 - Volume 2: United States, Japan and Russia. Bernard & Graefe Verlag, Koblenz. ISBN 3763754032. 
  • Roksund, Arne (2007). "The Jeune École: The Strategy of the Weak". In Hobson, Rolf; Kristiansen, Tom. Navies in Northern Waters 1721-2000. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978-0-415-40774-8. 
  • Schencking, J. Charles (2005). Making Waves: Politics, Propaganda, And The Emergence Of The Imperial Japanese Navy, 1868-1922. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0804749779. 

External links


  1. Chesneau, Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1860–1905, p. 235.

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