Monday, July 31, 2023

Kanko Maru


The Kanko Maru was Japan's first modern warship. Following the forced opening of Japan by Perry's Black Ships the Shogunate realized they needed to modernize their defenses and asked their friends the Dutch for help. In 1855 they gave them one of their steamships operating in the Dutch East Indies. It was built in 1853 and was a three-masted schooner with an auxiliary steam engine powering side paddles.

It was scrapped in 1879 but a faithful replica was built from the original plans in 1987. She operated as a tourist boat out of Huis Ten Bosch, the Holland-themed amusement park near Sasebo, Nagasaki. Now she operates out of different ports around Japan. She has a displacement of 400 tons and is 66 meters in length. The original carried 6 cannons.

She was tied up in Nagasaki on the day I visited as part of my walk around Kyushu on the Kyushu Pilgrimage. The previous post was on the nearby  Dragon Promenade.

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