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Japanese corvette Kaimon
Japanese armed sloop Kaimon
Japanese armed sloop Kaimon 1886-1887
Name: Kaimon
Ordered: 1877 Fiscal Year
Builder: Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan
Laid down: 1 September 1877
Launched: 28 August 1882
Commissioned: 13 March 1884
Struck: 21 May 1905
Fate: Mined off Port Arthur 5 July 1904
General characteristics
Displacement: 1,358 long tons (1,380 t)
Length: 64.68 m (212 ft 2 in)
Beam: 10.9 m (35 ft 9 in)
Draft: 5.2 m (17 ft 1 in)
Propulsion: Horizontally-mounted reciprocating engine, 1,267 hp (945 kW)
4 boilers
1 shaft
Sail plan: bark-rigged sloop
Speed: 12 knots (14 mph; 22 km/h)
Range: 256 tons coal
Complement: 210
Armament: • 1 × 170 mm (6.7 in) Krupp breech-loading guns
• 6 × 120 mm (4.7 in) guns
• 1 × 80 mm (3.1 in) gun
• 4 × 25 mm (1 in) quadruple Nordenfelt guns
• 1 × 11.5 mm (0.45 in) quadruple Nordenfelt guns

Kaimon (海門?) was a sail-and-steam corvette of the early Imperial Japanese Navy. The name Kaimon translates to "sea gate". The ship was named for Mount Kaimon, though written with different kanji, located in Kagoshima prefecture.

History[edit | edit source]

Kaimon was a three-masted barque-rigged sloop-of-war with a coal-fired double expansion reciprocating steam engine with four boilers driving a single screw. It was laid down at the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal on 1 September 1877, launched on 28 August 1882 and commissioned on 13 March 1884. Its construction required over six years, due to numerous technical issues and problems with funding. During its launching ceremony, a flock of white doves (the traditional messengers of the war god Hachiman) was released, setting a precedent for all future launchings of Japanese warships.

With heightened tensions between Japan and the Korean Joseon dynasty after the assassination of several members of the Japanese embassy in Seoul during the Imo Incident, Kaimon was assigned to patrols off the Korean coast in the summer of 1882 in a show of force.

Kaimon saw combat service in the First Sino-Japanese War, at the landings of Japanese forces at Chemulpo in Korea, and subsequently at the Battle of Yalu River (1894). It also served with the Japanese task force that supported the invasion of Taiwan in 1895. On 21 March 1898, Kaimon was re-designated as a third-class gunboat, and was used for coastal survey and patrol duties.

During the Russo-Japanese War, Kaimon was assigned to patrol duties between the Korean Peninsula and Tsushima Strait. It struck a naval mine and sunk on 5 July 1904, off Port Arthur (38°50′N 121°50′E / 38.833°N 121.833°E / 38.833; 121.833Coordinates: 38°50′N 121°50′E / 38.833°N 121.833°E / 38.833; 121.833), with the loss of its captain and 22 crewmen. It was struck from the navy list on 21 May 1905.

References[edit | edit source]

  • Corbett, Sir Julian. Maritime Operations In The Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905. (1994) Originally classified, and in two volumes, ISBN 1-55750-129-7
  • 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. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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