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Kamikaze-class destroyer (1905)
IJN Ushio at Vladivostok Taisho 9.jpg
Japanese destroyer Ushio at Vladivostok 1920
Class overview
Operators: Naval Ensign of Japan.svg Imperial Japanese Navy
Preceded by: Harusame-class destroyer
Succeeded by: Umikaze-class destroyer
In commission: Aug 16, 1905 - Apr 1, 1928
Completed: 32
Active: 0
Lost: 2
Retired: 30
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 381 long tons (387 t) normal,
450 long tons (460 t)
Length: 69.2 m (227 ft) pp,
72 m (236 ft)
Beam: 6.57 m (21.6 ft)
Draught: 1.8 m (5.9 ft)
Propulsion: 2-shaft reciprocating, 4 coal-fired boilers, 6,000 ihp (4,500 kW)
Speed: 29 knots (54 km/h)
Range: 850 nmi (1,570 km) @ 11 kn (20 km/h)
Complement: 70

The Kamikaze-class destroyers (神風型駆逐艦 Kamikaze-gata kuchikukan?)(""divine wind"") was a class of 32 torpedo boat destroyers (TBDs) of the Imperial Japanese Navy. The Kamikaze-class of destroyers were the first destroyers to be mass-produced in Japan. The class is also sometimes referred to as the Asakaze class.[1] This class of destroyer should not be confused with the later Kamikaze-class destroyers built in 1922, which participated in the Pacific War.


The Kamikaze-class destroyers were part of the 1904 Imperial Japanese Navy Emergency Expansion Program created by the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War. Twenty-five vessels were ordered, and an additional four vessels were ordered in 1905, and three more in 1906, bringing the total to thirty-two ships. The Japanese governmental shipyards were overwhelmed with the volume of construction, and for the first time civilian shipyards were also assigned to produce warships.[2]


In terms of design, the Kamikaze-class ships were substantially identical to the previous Harusame class, in terms of hull design and external appearance, retaining the flush deck design with a distinctive "turtleback" forecastle inherited from the Ikazuchi class, as well as the four-smokestack profile. However, with operational experience gained in the Russo-Japanese War, the Kamikaze class employed shorter smokestacks with spark and glow arrestors to give the ships a more stealthy capability for night combat operations.

Internally, design and production issues still existed with the Japanese copies of the Yarrow water-tube boilers in the coal-fired triple expansion steam engines, which could produce only 6,000 shp; however, with the final three vessels (Uranami, Isonami, Ayanami), many problems had been resolved, and the engines modified to be run on heavy fuel oil as well as coal.

Armament was the similar in layout to the previous Harusame class, but with larger secondary guns; i.e. two QF 12 pounder mounted on bandstands on the forecastle and fantail, four additional short barrel 12 pounder guns (two sided abreast the conning tower, and two sited between the funnels, and two single tubes for 18-inch (460 mm) torpedoes.

Operational history[]

Only two Kamikaze-class vessels were completed in time to see combat service in the Russo-Japanese War.

Considered too small, unsuitable for heavy seas, and obsolete by the time of completion, the Kamikaze-class destroyers were quickly removed from front-line combat service after the end of the war, and were de-rated to third-class destroyers on August 28, 1912. Asatsuyu was wrecked off Nanao Bay on November 9, 1913.

However, despite the re-classification, all remaining vessels saw service in World War I. Shirotae was lost in combat on September 3, 1914 off Tsingtao (36°00′N 110°30′E / 36°N 110.5°E / 36; 110.5), while in combat against the German gunboat SMS Jaguar.[3] This was the first significant warship loss by Japan during World War I.[4]

The remaining surviving vessels were converted into minesweepers on December 1, 1924, however, most were retired and/or scrapped soon afterwards.[5]

List of ships[]

Kanji Name Builder Laid down Launched Completed Fate Name meaning
神風 Kamikaze Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan 1904-08-20 1905-07-15 1905-08-16 Minesweeper 1924-12-01
BU 1928-04-01
Divine wind
初霜 Hatsushimo Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan 1904-08-20 1905-05-13 1905-08-18 Minesweeper 1924-12-01
BU 1928-04-01
First frost (October)
弥生 Yayoi Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan 1904-08-20 1905-08-07 1905-09-23 Retired 1924-12-01
scuttled 1926-08-10
Month of born plants(March)
如月 Kisaragi Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan 1904-09-10 1905-09-06 1905-10-19 Minesweeper 1924-12-01
BU 1928-04-01
朝風 Asakaze Mitsubishi shipyards, Nagasaki, Japan 1904-12-30 1905-10-28 1906-04-01 Minesweeper 1924-12-01
struck 1928-04-01, scuttled 1929-08-01
Morning wind
白露 Shiratsuyu Mitsubishi shipyards, Nagasaki, Japan 1905-02-25 1906-02-12 1906-08-23 Reserves 1924-12-01
BU 1928-04-01
White dew
白雪 Shirayuki Mitsubishi shipyards, Nagasaki, Japan 1905-03-24 1906-05-19 1906-10-12 Reserves 1924-12-01
BU 1928-04-01
White snow
松風 Matsukaze Mitsubishi shipyards, Nagasaki, Japan 1905-09-25 1906-12-23 1907-03-15 Reserves 1924-12-01
BU 1928-04-01
Wind to pines in coast
春風 Harukaze Kawasaki Dockyards, Kobe, Japan 1905-02-16 1905-12-25 1906-05-14 Reserves 1924-12-01
BU 1928-04-01
Spring wind
時雨 Shigure Kawasaki Dockyards, Kobe, Japan 1905-06-03 1906-03-12 1906-07-11 Scrapped 1924-12-01 East Asian rainy season
朝露 Asatsuyu Osaka Iron Works, Osaka, Japan 1905-04-28 1906-04-02 1906-11-16 Wrecked at Nanao Bay 1913-11-09
struck 1914-04-15
Morning dew
疾風 Hayate Osaka Iron Works, Osaka, Japan 1905-09-25 1906-05-22 1907-06-13 BU 1924-12-01 Fresh breeze
追手 Oite Maizuru Naval Arsenal, Japan 1905-08-01 1906-01-10 1906-08-21 BU 1924-12-01 Pursuer(an army of the front)
夕凪 Yunagi Maizuru Naval Arsenal, Japan 1906-01-20 1906-08-22 1906-12-25 BU 1924-12-01 An evening calm
夕暮 Yugure Sasebo Naval Arsenal, Japan 1905-03-01 1905-11-17 1906-05-26 Minesweeper 1924-12-01
struck 1928-04-01, scuttled 1930-01-23
Evening (sunset)
夕立 Yudachi Sasebo Naval Arsenal, Japan 1905-03-20 1906-03-26 1906-07-16 Minesweeper 1924-12-01
BU 1928-04-01
A shower
三日月 Mikazuki Sasebo Naval Arsenal, Japan 1905-06-01 1906-05-26 1906-09-12 Minesweeper 1924-12-01
struck 1928-04-01, scuttled 1930-07-21
A sickle moon
野分 Nowaki Sasebo Naval Arsenal, Japan 1905-08-01 1906-07-25 1906-11-01 BU 1924-12-01 A gale between grass (autumn typhoon)
Ushio Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan 1905-04-12 1905-08-30 1905-10-01 Minesweeper 1924-12-01
BU 1928-04-01
A tide
子日 Nenohi Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan 1905-06-25 1905-08-30 1905-10-01 Minesweeper 1924-12-01
BU 1928-04-01
Pine of New Year's Day
Hibiki Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan 1905-09-28 1906-03-31 1906-09-06 Minesweeper 1924-12-01
BU 1928-04-01
An echo
白妙 Shirotae Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan 1905-03-24 1906-07-30 1907-01-21 Combat loss off Shantung Peninsula 1914-09-04
written off 1914-10-29
White cloth
初春 Hatsuharu Kawasaki Dockyards, Kobe, Japan 1905-11-11 1906-05-21 1907-03-01 Retired 1924-12-01
scuttled 1928-04-01
Early spring (New Year)
若葉 Wakaba Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan 1905-05-20 1906-11-25 1906-02-28 Minesweeper 1924-12-01
BU 1928-04-01
Young leaves
初雪 Hatsuyuki Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan 1905-09-11 1906-03-08 1906-05-17 Minesweeper 1924-12-01
BU 1928-04-01
The first snow of the year
卯月 Uzuki Kawasaki Dockyards, Kobe, Japan 1906-03-22 1906-09-20 1907-03-06 BU 1924-12-01 Month of Deutzia (April)
水無月 Minatsuki Mitsubishi shipyards, Nagasaki, Japan 1906-02-25 1906-11-05 1907-02-14 Minesweeper 1924-12-01, renamed W-10 1928-08-01
retired 1930-06-01, scuttled 1931-05-28
Month of the submerged rice field (June)
長月 Nagatsuki Uraga Dock Company, Japan 1905-10-28 1906-12-15 1907-07-31 Minesweeper 1924-12-01, renamed W-11 1928-08-01
retired 1930-06-01
Month of long night (September)
菊月 Kikutsuki Uraga Dock Company, Japan 1906-03-02 1907-04-10 1907-09-20 Minesweeper 1924-12-01, renamed W-12 1928-08-01
retired 1930-06-01
Month of chrysanthemum (September)
浦波 Uranami Maizuru Naval Arsenal, Japan 1907-05-01 1907-12-08 1908-10-02 Minesweeper 1924-12-01, renamed W-8 1928-08-01
utility vessel 1930-06-01
Wave in a inlet
磯波 Isonami Maizuru Naval Arsenal, Japan 1908-01-15 1908-11-21 1909-04-02 Minesweeper 1924-12-01, renamed W-7 1928-08-01
utility vessel 1930-06-01
Wave on a sea shore
綾波 Ayanami Maizuru Naval Arsenal, Japan 1908-05-15 1909-03-20 1909-06-26 Minesweeper 1924-12-01, renamed W-9 1928-08-01
utility vessel 1930-06-01
Cross wave

See also[]



  • Evans, David (1979). Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887–1941. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-192-7. 
  • Howarth, Stephen (1983). The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun: The Drama of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1895–1945. Atheneum. ISBN 0-689-11402-8. 
  • Lyon, David (2006). The First Destroyers. Mercury Books. ISBN 1-84560-010-X. 
  • Jentsura, Hansgeorg (1976). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869–1945. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-893-X. 

External links[]


  1. Jentsura, Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945
  2. Howarth, The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun
  3. [1] World War I Naval Combat
  5. Nishida, Imperial Japanese Navy

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