Maizuru Naval District (舞鶴鎮守府, Maizuru chinjufu) was one of four main administrative districts of the pre-war Imperial Japanese Navy. Its territory included the entire Sea of Japan coastline from northern Kyūshū to western Hokkaidō.

Emperor Hirohito visits Maizuru Naval District HQ, 1933
Emperor Hirohito visits Maizuru Naval District HQ, 1933

History

The strategic importance of the location of Maizuru and its potential for development into a military port for operations in the Sea of Japan towards Korea, Russia and even China was early recognized by the Imperial Japanese Navy. During the administrative re-organization of the Navy in 1889, Maizuru was designated as the headquarters of the Fourth Naval District (第四海軍区, dai-yon kaigunku), and its harbor was dredged, a breakwater constructed and docking facilities for warships were established.

With the First Sino-Japanese War, the port was fortified with the addition of heavy coastal artillery. However, the naval bases at Sasebo and Kure were geographically more convenient for the Navy during the war, and received the bulk of the Navy's attention and funding. Although naval repair facilities and shipyards Maizuru Naval Arsenal were opened in 1903, the mountainous terrain around Maizuru port proved an impediment to expansion, and the area languished as somewhat of a backwater. This continued even through the Russo-Japanese War, despite Maizuru's more convenient location to the center of that conflict. In the post-war period, with Korea in Japanese hands, and the threats from Russia and China very much diminished, there were discussions about closing the military port. Although Maizuru was one of the largest military shipyards in Japan (specializing in destroyer construction), the Washington Naval Treaty of 1923 also considerably reduced the demand for warship construction, and its facilities were largely mothballed until 1936.

With the Pacific War, Maizuru was reactivated as a recruiting, training, and logistical support district. It was also a base for one of the Japan's Special Naval Landing Forces, and a Naval Air Station. Maizuru was also the location of the Imperial Japanese Navy Engineering Academy.

The area today is occupied in part by facilities of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, which has preserved a portion of the original red brick gates and couple of buildings as commemorative museums.

List of commanders

Commanding Officers

No. Name Portrait Rank Term of Office
Start End
1 Tōgō Heihachirō
Vice Admiral 1 October 1901 19 October 1903
2 Hidaka Sōnojō
Vice Admiral

Admiral (after 7 August 1908)

19 October 1903 28 August 1908
3 Kataoka Shichirō
Vice Admiral

Admiral (after 1 December 1910)

28 August 1908 18 January 1911
4 Misu Sotarō
Vice Admiral 18 January 1911 25 September 1913
5 Yashiro Rokurō
Vice Admiral 25 September 1913 17 April 1914
6 Sakamoto Hajime
Vice Admiral 17 April 1914 13 December 1915
7 Nawa Matahachirō
Vice Admiral 13 December 1915 1 December 1917
8 Takarabe Takeshi
Vice Admiral 1 December 1917 1 December 1918
9 Nomaguchi Kaneo
Vice Admiral 1 December 1918 1 December 1919
10 Kuroi Teijirō Vice Admiral 1 December 1919 16 August 1920
11 Satō Tetsutarō
Vice Admiral 16 August 1920 1 December 1921
12 Oguri Kozaburō
Vice Admiral 1 December 1921 1 April 1923
13 Saitō Hanroku
Vice Admiral 1 April 1923 1 June 1923
14 Hyakutake Saburō
Vice Admiral 1 June 1923 4 October 1924
15 Nakazato Shigeji
Vice Admiral 4 October 1924 1 June 1925
16 Furukawa Shinzaburō
Vice Admiral 1 June 1925 10 December 1926
17 Ōtani Koshirō Vice Admiral 10 December 1926 16 May 1928
18 Iida Nobutarō
Vice Admiral 16 May 1928 10 December 1928
19 Tosu Tamaki Vice Admiral 10 December 1928 11 November 1929
20 Kiyokawa Junichi Vice Admiral 11 November 1929 1 December 1930
21 Suetsugu Nobumasa Vice Admiral 1 December 1930 1 December 1931
22 Ōminato Naotarō
Vice Admiral 1 December 1931 1 December 1932
23 Imamura Nobujirō
Vice Admiral 1 December 1932 15 September 1933
24 Hyakutake Gengo
Vice Admiral 15 September 1933 15 November 1934
25 Matsushita Hajime Vice Admiral 15 November 1934 2 December 1935
26 Shiozawa Kōichi
Vice Admiral 2 December 1935 1 December 1936
27 Nakamura Kamezaburō
Vice Admiral 1 December 1936 1 December 1937
28 Idemitsu Manbee
Vice Admiral 1 December 1937 15 November 1938
29 Katagiri Eikichi
Vice Admiral 15 November 1938 15 November 1939
30 Hara Gorō
Vice Admiral 15 November 1938 15 April 1940
31 Kobayashi Sōnosuke
Vice Admiral 15 April 1940 14 July 1942
32 Niimi Masaichi
Vice Admiral 14 July 1942 1 December 1943
33 Ōkawachi Denshichi
Vice Admiral 1 December 1943 1 April 1944
34 Makita Kakusaburō
Vice Admiral 1 April 1944 1 March 1945
35 Tayui Minoru
Vice Admiral 1 March 1945 30 November 1945

Chief of Staff

References