Second expansion 1872-1880

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The new government in 1870 prepared an ambitious plan to create a navy with 200 ships organized into ten fleets but it was abandoned within a year due to lack of resources.The true was that Japan at the time was not a rich country. However, Japan also received the support from British to develop the navy. During the 1870s and 1880s, the Imperial Japanese Navy remained an essentially coastal defense force, although the Meiji government continued to modernize it. In 1870, an Imperial decree determined that Britain’s Royal Navy should be the model for development, instead of the Netherlands.In 1871, the ministry resolved to send 16 trainees abroad for training in naval sciences (14 to Great Britain, two to the United States), among which was Heihachirō Tōgō. A 34-member British naval mission visited Japan in 1873 for two years, headed by Commander Archibald Douglas. Later, Commander L.P. Willan was hired in 1879 to train naval cadets.

Douglas was born in Quebec City in pre-Confederation Canada in 1842 and was educated at the Quebec High School. He joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1856. He was selected to head the second British naval mission to Japan in 1873, and served as a foreign advisor to the fledgling Imperial Japanese Navy until 1875. He was based at the Imperial Japanese Navy Academy, then located at Tsukiji in Tokyo, where he trained a class of 30 officers. During his tenure, his advice was called upon for the Taiwan Expedition of 1874, the first major overseas deployment for the Japanese navy. In his stay in Japan, he also spent time introducing the sport of soccer to Japanese naval cadets.

The first Japanese interventions abroad using navy were in 1874 in Taiwan and in 1875-76 in Korea. By 1874, the Taiwan expedition was the first foray abroad of the new Imperial Japanese Navy and Army after the Mudan Incident of 1871, however the navy served largely as a transport force.Various interventions in the Korean peninsula continued in 1875–1876, starting with the Ganghwa Island incident provoked by the Japanese gunboat Un’yō, leading to the dispatch of a large force of the Imperial Japanese Navy. As a result, the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1876 was signed, marking the official opening of Korea to foreign trade, and Japan’s first example of Western-style interventionism and adoption of “unequal treaties” tactics. In 1878, by first time the Japanese cruiser Seiki sailed to Europe with an entirely Japanese crew.

The Unyo warship

The Unyo warship

The Warship Un’yō was ordered in Britain by the Chōshū Domain in 1868 and built in Scotland by A. Hall & Co., Aberdeen. When she was turned over to the Domain in February 1870 her name was Un’yō Maru. On July 25, 1871, she was transferred to the Meiji government to be part of the newly formed Imperial Japanese Navy, as the Un’yō. The warship un’yō was one of the ships dispatched to Kyūshū in 1874 during the Saga Rebellion. In May 1875, she carried diplomats to Busan in Korea in an attempt by the Japanese government to open diplomatic relations with the Joseon dynasty government. When there were problems in these negotiations, the Japanese government again dispatched Un’yō in September 1875 under the command of Inoue Yoshika to estimulate a military response, in what was later termed the Ganghwa Island incident. This eventually led to the Treaty of Ganghwa, which opened the Korean Peninsula to Japanese trade. In 1876, Un’yō was assigned to assist in the suppression of the Hagi Rebellion, another uprising of disaffected former samurai. Un’yō was severely damaged when she ran aground off the coast of the Kii Peninsula, and was scrapped the following year.

Soldiers from the Un'yō attacking the Yeongjong castle on a Korean island.

Soldiers from the Un’yō attacking the Yeongjong castle on a Korean island.

In 1875, the warship Un’yō, under the command of Inoue Yoshika, was sent to survey coastal waters without Korean permission. On September 20, the ship reached Ganghwa Island, which had been the scenario of violent confrontations between Korean forces and foreigners ( French expedition 1866 and an american expedition 1871) in the previous years. The memories of these disputes were very fresh, and it was clear that the Korean garrison would shoot at any approaching foreign ship. Nonetheless, Commander Inoue ordered a small boat launched – allegedly in search of drinkable water. The Korean forts opened fire. The Un’yō brought its superior firepower to bear and silenced the Korean guns, then sent a landing force ashore to fight the Koreans on land. The Japanese ended their attack and withdrew back to Japan. The number of casualties is not well-known. After the incident, the Imperial Japanese Navy forced a blockage and requested an official apology from the Korean government. After several conversations, it was decided to dispatch the Kuroda mission. The signing of the Treaty of Ganghwa was done on February 27, 1876. This treaty finally opened the Korean Peninsula not only to Japanese but also to foreign commerce.

▽ Imperial Japanese Navy – Nihon Kaigun


organization of the imperial japanese navy

Nihon Kaigun organization
The structure and history of the
Imperial Japanese Navy



aircraft carriers of the imperial japanese navy

Aircraft Carriers
The battle and light aircraft carriers
of the Imperial Japanese Navy



battleships of the Imperial Japanese Navy

The Battleships and Battlecruisers of
the Imperial Japanese Navy



heavy cruisers of the imperial japanese navy

Heavy Cruisers
The heavy cruisers of the
Imperial Japanese Navy



light cruisers of the imperial japanese navy

Light Cruisers
The light cruisers
of the Imperial Japanese Navy



destroyers of the imperial japanese navy

The destroyers squadrons of the
Imperial Japanese Navy



submarines of the imperial japanese navy

The submarines fleet
of the Imperial Japanese Navy



auxiliary ships of the imperial japanese navy

Auxiliary Ships
The training, hospital, and other
auxiliary ships in the IJN



timeline of the japanese imperial navy warships

The TimeLine of ships
The design and operations
timeline records of the IJN warships



japanese land-based air groups

Naval Air Groups
The Land-Based Japanese
Navy Air-Groups



Japanese navy landing forces

Naval Landing Forces 1928-1945
Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces (SNLF),
Landing Forces (SNLF) 海軍特別陸戦隊



japanese secret weapons and technologies

Secret Weapons of the IJN
The secret weapons and teachnologies
of the Imperial Japanese Navy



strategic plans and doctrines of the IJN

Strategic Plans of the IJN
The strategic doctrines and
plans of the IJN

▽ Simulations & Wargames

▽ World War II: Pacific Theater


war in the pacific: admiral edition computer game

War in the Pacific: Admiral Edition
A computer-based simulation of
the entire Pacific War with incredible detail.



Empire of the sun_2nd edition boardgame wargame

The Empire of the Sun (2nd Ed.)
An strategy boardgame for the
Pacific War with solitaire playability.



pacific war boardgame

Pacific War
A fantastic monster game for the
Pacific War with many scenarios.



pacific war 2nd edition boardgame

Pacific War (2nd Ed.)
The 2nd Edition of the masterpiece
Pacific War game is coming soon!

▽Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF)


organization of the JMSDF

The organization of the JMSDF
The units and structure of
the Modern Japanese Navy (JMSDF)



districts of the jmsdf

The Regional District Forces
The locations and bases of the
five regional districts of the JMSDF



DDH helicopter destroyers of the jmsdf

Helicopter Destroyers DDH
The modern helicopter destroyers
of the Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force



DDG Guided missile destroyer of the JMSDF

Guided Missile destroyers DDG
The advanced guided missile destroyers
of the Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force



DD destroyers of the JMSDF

Destroyers DD
The destroyers of the
Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force



Landing Tank ships of the jmsdf

Tank Landing Ships LST
The tank lading ships of the
Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force



submarines of the jmsdf

Submarines SS
The submarine fleet of the
Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force



auxiliary ships of the jmsdf

Support and Auxiliary ships
Patrol and other support ships of the
Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force



aviation and helicopter units of the jmsdf

The aviation of the JMSDF
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force aircrafts
and helicopter fleet



naval landing forces of the jmsdf

Naval landing forces of the JMSDF
The naval forces for landings
of the JMSDF



new weapons of the jmsdf

Future projects of the JMSDF
New coming units and future
developments of the JMSDF



strategy of the jmsdf

The strategy of the JMSDF
The current doctrine and
strategy of the JMSDF



strategy of the jmsdf

News & manoeuvres
News and military
exercises of the JMSDF

▽ Simulations & Wargames

▽ World War II: European Theater


unconditional surrender

Unconditional Surrender
A boardgame with innovative mechanics
for the entire World War II in European Front.



supreme commander

The Supreme commander
A strategic game at corps/army level
for the World war II in Europe.




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