Renshū Kantai en'yō kōkai no omoide (練習艦隊遠洋航海の思ひ出)
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The Training Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy, the Renshū Kantai 練習艦隊, operated from 1903-1940, with only a brief hiatus during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). Graduates of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy (Kaigun Heigakkō 海軍兵学校)—and from 1921 onward, graduates of the Naval Engineering Academy (Kaigun Kikan Gakkō 海軍機関学校) and the Naval Paymasters Academy (Kaigun Keiri Gakkō 海軍経理学校)—would spend several months in training deployment largely throughout the Pacific Ocean and beyond, with their near-annual cruises occasionally venturing as far as the Mediterranean Sea or the East Coast of the United States.
This 25-leaf scrapbook contains 100 photographs depicting the 1937 cruise under the command of Vice-Admiral Mineichi Koga. The photographs span locations throughout the cruise to which the two ships, Yakumo and Iwate traveled. A fuller account of the 1937 cruise is documented in a commemorative publication printed by Teikoku Kaigunsha in 1938, entitled Shōwa Jūninendo Renshū Kantai junkō kinen昭和十二年度練習艦隊巡航記念 ("Commemoration of the Cruise of the Shōwa 12  Training Fleet"). This "cruise book" provides portraits of the crew and its commanders, photographic records of the crew's graduation ceremony and their ship life and daily activities in and around their ports-of-call, a complete crewman manifest of both the Yakumo and Iwate and a color map of their itinerary.
The Yakumo and Iwate took a preliminary journey through East Asia from March 23 to May 6, 1937, departing from Etajima and traveling through the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea, making several stops in Korea and China. After a month's rest, the ships departed Yokosuka on June 7, 1937, traveled through Southeast Asia and across the Indian Ocean up through the Suez Canal. By June 30th the ships had entered the Mediterranean Sea, and traveled through the sea making stops at Turkey, Greece, Italy, France before returning around the north coast of Africa and making stops at Alexandria and Cairo in Egypt. The ships returned through the Suez Canal and back through Southeast Asia, taking a slightly more southern route on their way back to Yokosuka, where they landed on October 19, 1937.
A series of red ownership stamps on the inner back cover along with a postscript indicate that the owner was one [Mr.] Maeda 前田, a graduate of the Naval Engineering Academy and a second lieutenant in training (shōi kōhosei 少尉候補生). The cruise book for 1937 provides Maeda's full name of Norio Maeda and established that he was aboard the Yakumo.
Maeda later served on the warship Makinami as a chief engineer. He recounts his personal narrative of having survived the Battle of Tassafaronga on November 30, 1942 was published in the magazine Maru 丸 published by Ushio Shobo Kojinsha, and republished in Akizukigata kuchikukan 秋月型駆逐 (Ushio Shobo Kojinsha in 2015).
This scrapbook contains 100 photographs depicting the 1937 cruise under the command of Vice-Admiral Mineichi Koga.
The scrapbook itself appears to have been produced commercially for specific use by members of the Renshū Kantai. The cover's title has been debossed with a title in gold leaf and features other debossed decorative elements including an anchor and a chrysanthemum over the stylized image of the rising sun. The scrapbook contains an initial explanatory leaf extolling five directives of a soldier (seikun gokajō 聖訓五箇條). The leaves of the scrapbook proper are of a heavy black paper with leaves of thin translucent paper in between each to protect the contents of each page.
The photographs span locations throughout the cruise to which the two ships, Yakumo and Iwate traveled. Newspaper clippings from colonial newspapers and luggage labels from hotels are also inserted. One souvenir postcard depicting the geographic itinerary of the cruise is also pasted in. Many of the photographs are captioned with white ms. pencil. Some sections of text appear to have been erased intentionally. A portion of these redacted captions remain legible.
Several photographs pasted into in this scrapbook, as well as images from the newspaper clippings, are also reproduced in the corresponding cruise book Shōwa Jūninendo Renshū Kantai junkō kinen. The editorial relationship between these publications is not apparent.
On the inner back cover (upside down from the rest of the book), former owner Norio Maeda has listed his surname and rank, his own scrapbook title of Enko Kinen Shashincho, and the date Showa 12-nen 6-gatsu 6-nichi [June 6, 1937]. This was one day before the cruise's departure from Yokosuka, suggesting that this item was acquired by Maeda immediately before departing for Southeast Asia. Maeda was somewhat emphatic about his ownership of this book, having stamped this endpaper 33 times with his surname stamp (inkan) in red ink.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Michael Patrick Williams
- Finding Aid Date
- 2017 February 3
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.