Kankō Maru

Kankō Maru

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Kankō Maru

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The was Japan's first steam warship. The ship was a 3-masted top sail schooner (Jackass-barque), with an auxiliary coal-fired steam engine turning a side paddlewheel. It was given to Japan by the Dutch.


Following the forced ending of Japan's national seclusion policy in 1854 by Commodore Matthew Perry of the United States, the Tokugawa shogunate turned to the Dutch, their sole Western trading partners in the previous 200 years, for the procurement of modern ships to counter the perceived threat posed by the West and its "black ships".Hendrik Caspar Romberg's account of the Sangoku-maru is a scant record of the brief attempt by the Tokugawa shogunate to create a sea-going vessel in the 1780s. The ship sank; and the tentative project was abandoned when the political climate in Edo shifted. See Timon Screech. (2006).

Janus Henricus Donker Curtius, head of the Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij in Japan facilitated the purchase. Since time was needed to import the ships, Donker Curtius asked for one of the warships of the Royal Netherlands Navy stationed in the Netherlands East Indies to be presented to the Japanese government.

The Dutch warship named , the name of an Indonesian volcano, was sent with Naval captain Gerhardus Fabius to introduce the Japanese to navigation techniques in 1854, and the ship was formally presented to the government of Shogun Tokugawa Iesada at Nagasaki in the name of the...
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