Japanese cruiser Otowa

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...
Otowa in 1905
Otowa in 1905
Career Japanese Navy Ensign
Name: Otowa
Ordered: 1897 Fiscal Year
Builder: Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan
Laid down: 3 January 1903
Launched: 2 November 1903
Completed: 6 September 1904
Fate: Wrecked, 1 August 1917
General characteristics
Type: Protected cruiser
Displacement: 3,000 long tons (3,048 t)
Length: 98 m (321 ft 6 in) w/l
Beam: 12.62 m (41 ft 5 in)
Draft: 4.8 m (15 ft 9 in)
Propulsion: 2-shaft VTE reciprocating engines; 10 boilers; 10,000 hp (7,500 kW); 575 tons coal
Speed: 21 knots (24 mph; 39 km/h)
Complement: 280-312
Armament: • 2 × 152 mm (6 in) guns
• 6 × 120 mm (4.7 in) guns
• 6 × 12-pounder guns
Armor: Deck: 75 mm (3 in) (slope); 50 mm (2 in) (flat)
Gunshield: 37 mm (1 in)
Conning tower: 100 mm (4 in)

Otowa (音羽?) was a 3rd class protected cruiser of the Imperial Japanese Navy, designed and built by the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal in Japan. The name Otowa comes from a mountain in Kyoto, located behind Kiyomizu-dera. The waters from a waterfall at this temple were traditionally held to be a cure for all illnesses.


Authorized under the 2nd Naval Expansion Program of 1897, Otowa was originally intended to be the third vessel in the Niitaka-class cruiser series. However, due to budget constraints, Otowa was redesigned with 10 percent smaller displacement, and with considerably lighter weaponry. The ship was completed in less than 20 months; its rapid construction time set a new record for Japan.

Otowa was the first ship to be equipped with the Japanese-designed Kampon water-tube boiler which developed 227 psi compared to the 213 psi pressure of the previous Niclausse boilers in the Niitaka-class. The vertical triple expansion steam engines were identical to those of the Niitaka-class with a slight increase in power. It was intended that lack of armor and armament in Otowa be partially offset by higher speed, but in fact Otowa was only very slightly faster than the Niitaka-class cruisers.

Service record

Otowa was rushed into service in order to participated in the Russo-Japanese War, joining the Japanese fleet blockading Port Arthur, and later joining the 3rd squadron of the 2nd Fleet in the crucial Battle of Tsushima.

On 28 August 1912 it was re-designated as a 2nd class cruiser.

During World War I, Otowa fought at the Battle of Tsingtao, and was subsequently assigned to patrol the sea lanes between Singapore, Polynesia and the Philippines from its forward base at Manila Bay against the Imperial German Navy, as part of the Japanese contribution to the Allied side under the Anglo-Japanese Alliance.

During the mutiny of Indian troops against the British in Singapore in February 1915, Otowa was the first ship to respond to the British government's request for assistance.[1]

On 25 July 1917, when in route from Yokosuka to Sasebo, Otowa ran aground off Daiozaki, Shima peninsula, Mie prefecture (34°14′N 136°53′E / 34.233°N 136.883°E / 34.233; 136.883). Subsequent efforts to save the vessel failed, and it broke apart and sank on 10 August 1917.



  1. pg 611 - Spencer Tucker, Priscilla Mary Roberts. World War I: encyclopedia (when ed.). ABC-CLIO. pp. 1661. ISBN 1851094202. 
  • Evans, David. Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941. US Naval Institute Press (1979). ISBN 0870211927
  • Howarth, Stephen. The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun: The Drama of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1895-1945. Atheneum; (1983) ISBN 0689114028
  • Jane, Fred T. The Imperial Japanese Navy. Thacker, Spink & Co (1904) ASIN: B00085LCZ4
  • Jentsura, Hansgeorg. Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945. Naval Institute Press (1976). ISBN 087021893X
  • Schencking, J. Charles. Making Waves: Politics, Propaganda, And The Emergence Of The Imperial Japanese Navy, 1868-1922. Stanford University Press (2005). ISBN 0804749779

fr:Otowa ja:音羽 (防護巡洋艦) ru:Отова (бронепалубный крейсер)