Japanese battleship Fuji
was the lead ship
Lead ship
The lead ship or class leader is the first of a series or class of ships all constructed according to the same general design. The term is applicable military ships and larger civilian craft.-Overview:...

 of the Fuji-class
Fuji class battleship
-External links:**...

 of early pre-dreadnought
Pre-dreadnought battleship is the general term for all of the types of sea-going battleships built between the mid-1890s and 1905. Pre-dreadnoughts replaced the ironclad warships of the 1870s and 1880s...

A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns. Battleships were larger, better armed and armored than cruisers and destroyers. As the largest armed ships in a fleet, battleships were used to attain command of the sea and represented the apex of a...

s of the Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1869 until 1947, when it was dissolved following Japan's constitutional renunciation of the use of force as a means of settling international disputes...

, and one of the six battleships (Shikishima
Japanese battleship Shikishima
|-External links:**...

, Yashima
Japanese battleship Yashima
|-External links:** The New York Times, June 2, 1905....

, Hatsuse
Japanese battleship Hatsuse
|-External links:**...

, Fuji, Asahi
Japanese battleship Asahi
|-External links:***...

, and Mikasa
Japanese battleship Mikasa
is a pre-Dreadnought battleship of the Imperial Japanese Navy, launched in Britain in 1900. She served as the flagship of Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō during the Battle of the Yellow Sea on 10 August 1904, and the Battle of Tsushima on 27 May 1905 during the Russo-Japanese War. The ship is preserved as...

) that formed the main Japanese battle line
Line of battle
In naval warfare, the line of battle is a tactic in which the ships of the fleet form a line end to end. A primitive form had been used by the Portuguese under Vasco Da Gama in 1502 near Malabar against a Muslim fleet.,Maarten Tromp used it in the Action of 18 September 1639 while its first use in...

 in the Russo-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
The Russo-Japanese War was "the first great war of the 20th century." It grew out of rival imperial ambitions of the Russian Empire and Japanese Empire over Manchuria and Korea...

 of 1904-1905. It was named after Japan's famed Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji
is the highest mountain in Japan at . An active stratovolcano that last erupted in 1707–08, Mount Fuji lies about south-west of Tokyo, and can be seen from there on a clear day. Mount Fuji's exceptionally symmetrical cone is a well-known symbol of Japan and it is frequently depicted in art and...



Fuji and her sister-ship Yashima were the first two battleships built for Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. As the Japanese were still incapable of building modern steel warships themselves, Fuji was ordered from the Thames Iron Works, London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 in 1894. The work was supervised by a team of over 240 engineers and naval officers from Japan, including by future Prime Ministers Saitō Makoto
Saito Makoto
Viscount was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy, two-time Governor-General of Korea from 1919 to 1927 and from 1929 to 1931, and the 30th Prime Minister of Japan from May 26, 1932 to July 8, 1934.-Early life:...

 (then a captain) and Katō Tomosaburō
Kato Tomosaburo
Viscount was a career officer in the Imperial Japanese Navy, cabinet minister, and Prime Minister of Japan from 12 June 1922 to 24 August 1923.-Biography:...

 (then a lieutenant).

After completion, Fuji participated in a Fleet Review marking the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Victoria before departing for Japan via the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...


Fuji arrived at Yokosuka
Yokosuka, Kanagawa
is a city located in Kanagawa, Japan. As of 2010, the city had an estimated population of 419,067 and a population density of 4,160 people per km². It covered an area of 100.62 km²...

 on 1897-10-31, too late for combat in the First Sino-Japanese War
First Sino-Japanese War
The First Sino-Japanese War was fought between Qing Dynasty China and Meiji Japan, primarily over control of Korea...

, and was designated as a 1st class battleship. During trials off of Kobe
, pronounced , is the fifth-largest city in Japan and is the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture on the southern side of the main island of Honshū, approximately west of Osaka...

 on 1898-11-19, it had the honor of hosting Emperor Meiji
Emperor Meiji
The or was the 122nd emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession, reigning from 3 February 1867 until his death...

Fuji helped form the core of the Japanese fleet during the Russo-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
The Russo-Japanese War was "the first great war of the 20th century." It grew out of rival imperial ambitions of the Russian Empire and Japanese Empire over Manchuria and Korea...

 of 1904-1905. She was hit twice during the bombardment of Port Arthur
Lüshunkou is a district in the municipality of Dalian, Liaoning province, China. Also called Lüshun City or Lüshun Port, it was formerly known as both Port Arthur and Ryojun....

 on 1904-02-09, and also when she again bombarded that port on 22 March, this time so severely that she was forced to return to Japan for repairs. On 1904-08-10, Fuji fought at the Battle of the Yellow Sea
Battle of the Yellow Sea
The Battle of the Yellow Sea was a major naval engagement of the Russo-Japanese War, fought on 10 August 1904. In the Russian Navy, it was referred to as the Battle of 10 August. The battle foiled an attempt by the Russian fleet at Port Arthur to break out and form up with counterparts from...

. In the Battle of Tsushima
Battle of Tsushima
The Battle of Tsushima , commonly known as the “Sea of Japan Naval Battle” in Japan and the “Battle of Tsushima Strait”, was the major naval battle fought between Russia and Japan during the Russo-Japanese War...

 on 1905-05-27 Fuji suffered 11 hits, but in return scored the fatal hit on the Russian battleship Borodino
Russian battleship Borodino
The Borodino was the class leader of the , and the second ship of her class to be completed. The ship was named after the 1812 Battle of Borodino. Borodino was lost at the Battle of Tsushima on 27 May 1905 due to explosions set off by a Japanese shell hitting a 6-inch magazine...

, causing that ship to explode with the loss of all but one of her crew of 830.
After the Russo-Japanese War ended, Fuji refitted by having her fighting tops removed and new boilers installed. Fuji was part of the Japanese escort for the American
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 Great White Fleet
Great White Fleet
The Great White Fleet was the popular nickname for the United States Navy battle fleet that completed a circumnavigation of the globe from 16 December 1907 to 22 February 1909 by order of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. It consisted of 16 battleships divided into two squadrons, along with...

 on the portion of its round-the-world voyage through Japanese waters. In 1910, her British-made main battery
Main battery
Generally used only in the terms of naval warfare, the main battery is the primary weapon around which a ship was designed. "Battery" is in itself a common term in the military science of artillery. For example, the United States Navy battleship USS Washington had a main battery of nine guns...

 was replaced with Japanese-made guns, and she was de-rated to a first-class Coastal defence ship
Coastal defence ship
Coastal defence ships were warships built for the purpose of coastal defence, mostly during the period from 1860 to 1920. They were small, often cruiser-sized warships that sacrificed speed and range for armour and armament...

. The development of the Dreadnought
The dreadnought was the predominant type of 20th-century battleship. The first of the kind, the Royal Navy's had such an impact when launched in 1906 that similar battleships built after her were referred to as "dreadnoughts", and earlier battleships became known as pre-dreadnoughts...

class battleships had made the Fuji obsolete, and she was assigned to training duties for gunners and seamen.

Far too obsolete for combat service in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Fuji spent the entire war at Kure
Kure, Hiroshima
is a city in Hiroshima prefecture, Japan.As of October 1, 2010, the city has an estimated population of 240,820 and a population density of 681 persons per km². The total area is 353.74 km².- History :...

 as a training vessel.

In 1922, Fuji was disarmed and stricken under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty
Washington Naval Treaty
The Washington Naval Treaty, also known as the Five-Power Treaty, was an attempt to cap and limit, and "prevent 'further' costly escalation" of the naval arms race that had begun after World War I between various International powers, each of which had significant naval fleets. The treaty was...

, but retained as an accommodation ship. Her propellers, main turrets, and all guns were removed, large wooden deckhouses were added to the superstructure, and flat drill platforms covered her main deck. Her hulk remained as a floating barracks
Barracks are specialised buildings for permanent military accommodation; the word may apply to separate housing blocks or to complete complexes. Their main object is to separate soldiers from the civilian population and reinforce discipline, training and esprit de corps. They were sometimes called...

 and training center at Yokosuka, for over two decades.

From 1944, the old hulk was also used as a development center and observation post to test the effectiveness of various camouflage
Camouflage is a method of concealment that allows an otherwise visible animal, military vehicle, or other object to remain unnoticed, by blending with its environment. Examples include a leopard's spotted coat, the battledress of a modern soldier and a leaf-mimic butterfly...

 schemes on 1-meter long models of Japanese aircraft carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

s. She was damaged in the United States Navy's
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 attack on Yokosuka
Attack on Yokosuka
The attack on Yokosuka was an air raid conducted by the United States Navy on 18 July 1945 during the Pacific War. The Japanese battleship Nagato was the raid's main target, though anti-aircraft positions and other warships at Yokosuka Naval Arsenal were also attacked. Other U.S. Navy and...

 on 18 July 1945, but remained afloat, and was broken up for scrap at Uraga Dock Company
Uraga Dock Company
was a major privately owned shipyard in Uraga, Japan, which built numerous warships for the Imperial Japanese Navy.-History:Uraga Dock Company was founded by Enomoto Takeaki in 1869. A shipyard had already existed in Uraga from the end of the Edo period...

in 1948.

External links

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