Japanese cruiser Yaeyama

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Career Japanese Navy Ensign
Name: Yaeyama
Ordered: 1885 Fiscal Year
Builder: Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan
Laid down: June 1887
Launched: March 1889
Completed: 15 March 1890
Fate: Scrapped 1 April 1911
General characteristics
Type: Protected cruiser
Displacement: 1,584 long tons (1,609 t)
Length: 96.9 m (317 ft 11 in) w/l
Beam: 10.5 m (34 ft 5 in)
Draught: 4 m (13 ft 1 in)
Propulsion: 2-shaft, 6 boilers (8 after 1902), 5,630 hp (4,200 kW), 350 tons coal
Speed: 20.75 knots (23.88 mph; 38.43 km/h)
Complement: 200
Armament: • 3 × 120 mm (4.7 in) guns
• 8 × 47 mm (1.9 in) quick-firing guns
• 2 × 450 mm (18 in) torpedo tubes

IJN Yaeyama (八重山 通報艦 Yaeyama tsūhōkan?) was a protected cruiser of the Imperial Japanese Navy. The name Yaeyama comes from the Yaeyama Islands, the southernmost of the three island groups making up current Okinawa prefecture.


Yaeyama was designed under the supervision of French military advisor Emile Bertin, and built in Japan by the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal. With a small displacement, powerful engines, and a 20.75 knot speed, the lightly armed and lightly armored Yaeyama was often used for scout and dispatch duties. It was a good example of the Jeune Ecole philosophy of naval warfare advocated by Bertin, and due to its small size it is sometimes classified as a corvette or gunboat. The IJN itself rated the Yaeyama as a tsūhōkan, meaning dispatch boat or aviso.

Service record

Yaeyama was active in the First Sino-Japanese War, protecting troop transports to Korea, and covering the landing of Japanese forces at Port Arthur.

It later assisted in escorting transports for Japanese ground forces to mainland China during the Boxer Rebellion.

Although removed from active service on 21 March 1898, Yaeyama was recalled to duty during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, and participated in the naval Battle of Port Arthur and subsequent blockade of that port. Despite its small size and obsolescence, it was also present at the Battle of the Yellow Sea and the final decisive Battle of Tsushima, where its high speed made it useful to carrying sensitive orders and messages between ships and from ship to shore.

The advent of wireless communication made the use of dispatch vessels obsolete, and Yaeyama was scrapped on 1 April 1911.


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ja:八重山 (通報艦)