Meiji Maru
Japanese EnsignJapan
Namesake: Emperor Meiji
Builder: Robert Napier and Sons
Completed: 1873
Status: Museum ship
General characteristics

Meiji Maru (明治丸) is a Japanese sailing ship that serves as a museum ship in Tokyo. It is displayed at the Etchujima Campus of the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology.[1]


The ship was constructed for the Japanese government in Govan (now part of Glasgow, Scotland) in 1873 by Robert Napier and Sons.[2] She was built as a lighthouse tender as a two-masted ship.

Lighthouse ship

The Meiji Maru was used for the Japanese government's lighthouse service.

Imperial voyages

The Emperor Meiji sailed on the ship in 1876, from Aomori to Hakodate, and Hakodate to Yokohama. The ship contains a decorated cabin for the sole use of the emperor. In Japan the third Monday in July is Marine Day, which originally commemorated the emperor's arrival in Yokohama at the end of his journey on the ship.[3]

Tokyo Nautical School

In 1897 it was transferred to the Tokyo Nautical School for use as a moored training ship. Tokyo Nautical School later became part of the Tokyo University of Maritime Science and Technology.


In 1898 she was re-rigged as a full rigged ship by the Shomei Shipbuilding Company in Shinagawa.[4]

Museum ship

In 1964 it was moved to the Tokyo University of Mercantile Marine to be preserved as a memorial.

In 1988 an eight-year restoration was completed.

Notes and references

  1. ^ Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology website The Meiji Maru Retrieved 11 November 2015
  2. ^ University of Glasgow website International Archives - East Asia - Japan Retrieved 11 November 2015
  3. ^ Marine Day Fair 10 July 2015 Japan Times Retrieved 12 November 2015
  4. ^ Sailing Ships - Meiji Maru Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 12 November 2015

Coordinates: 35°40′03″N 139°47′25″E / 35.6674°N 139.7903°E / 35.6674; 139.7903