Japanese cruiser Yoshino

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Yoshino in 1892
Yoshino in 1892
Career Japanese Navy Ensign
Name: Yoshino
Ordered: 1891 Fiscal Year
Builder: Armstrong Whitworth, Great Britain
Yard number: 596
Laid down: February 1892
Launched: 20 December 1892
Completed: 30 September 1893
Fate: Sunk after collision, 15 May 1904
General characteristics
Type: Protected cruiser
Displacement: 4,150 long tons (4,217 t)
Length: 109.72 m (360 ft 0 in) w/l
Beam: 14.17 m (46 ft 6 in)
Draft: 5.18 m (17 ft 0 in)
Propulsion: 2-shaft VTE reciprocating engines, 12 boilers, 15,000 hp (11,000 kW), 1000 tons coal
Speed: 23 knots (26 mph; 43 km/h)
Range: 9,000 nmi (17,000 km) at 10 kn (12 mph; 19 km/h)
Complement: 360
Armament: • 4 × 152 mm (6.0 in) quick-firing guns
• 8 × 120 mm (4.7 in) quick-firing guns
• 22 × 47 mm (1.9 in) quick-firing guns
• 5 × 360 mm (14.2 in) torpedo tubes
Armor: Deck: 115 mm (5 in) (slope), 45 mm (2 in) (flat)
Gun shield: 115 mm (5 in) (front)

Yoshino (吉野?) was a 2nd class protected cruiser of the Imperial Japanese Navy, designed and built by the Armstrong Whitworth shipyards in Elswick, in Great Britain. Yoshino is sometimes regarded as a sister ship to the Takasago, although the two vessels are of different classes. The name Yoshino comes from the Yoshino mountains, located in the southern portion of Nara prefecture.


Yoshino was an improved design of the Argentine Navy cruiser 25 de Mayo designed by Sir Philip Watts, who was also responsible for the design of the Izumi and the Naniwa-class cruisers. When commissioned, Yoshino was the largest ship in the Imperial Japanese Navy, and was also the fastest cruiser in the world.

Service record

Soon after being placed into service, Yoshino was assigned to patrol duties off of the coast of Korea. On 25 July 1894, Yoshino, Akitsushima and Naniwa, met two Chinese ships off the China coast. Although not yet at war, one of the Chinese ships (the Tsi-yuen headed straight for the Japanese ships in what appeared to be a torpedo attack. All three Japanese vessels opened fire, and shortly after, Tsi-yuen hauled down her colors and appeared to surrender, but she then managed to escape into the fog and safety.

After the formal declaration of hostilities, Yoshino continued to participate in the First Sino-Japanese War, including the Battle of the Yellow Sea on 17 September 1894. Yoshino was among the Japanese fleet units that took part in the invasion of Taiwan in 1895, and saw action on 13 October 1895 at the bombardment of the Chinese coastal forts at Takow (Kaohsiung). Future Admiral Yashiro Rokuro served on Yoshino during this campaign as a lieutenant.

With the start of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, Yoshino participated in the naval Battle of Port Arthur. However, soon after the start of the war, Yoshino collided with the Japanese armored cruiser Kasuga in dense fog. Kasuga's ram hit Yoshino's port side, and penetrated to the engine room; Yoshino turned turtle and sank in the Yellow Sea (38°07′N 122°33′E / 38.117°N 122.55°E / 38.117; 122.55) on 15 May 1904 with the loss of 319 lives. Only 19 of the crew managed to survive.

As a result of this accident, the Imperial Japanese Navy removed the rams from the bows of all its warships.

Other ships named Yoshino

The cruiser Yoshino should not be confused with the transport vessel Yoshino-maru of the Pacific War period.



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  • Evans, David. Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941. US Naval Institute Press (1979). ISBN 0870211927
  • Gardiner, Robert (editor) (2001) Steam, Steel and Shellfire, The Steam Warship 1815-1905, ISBN 0-7858-1413-2
  • Howarth, Stephen. The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun: The Drama of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1895-1945. Atheneum; (1983) ISBN 0689114028
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  • Schencking, J. Charles. Making Waves: Politics, Propaganda, And The Emergence Of The Imperial Japanese Navy, 1868-1922. Stanford University Press (2005). ISBN 0804749779

es:Yoshino (crucero) fr:Yoshino (croiseur) ja:吉野 (防護巡洋艦) pl:Yoshino ru:Ёсино (крейсер) zh:吉野號防護巡洋艦