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The Fleets

Toyo Kisen Kabushiki Kaisha / Toyo Kisen Kaisha / Oriental Steamship Company, Yokohama

Around 1896-1897 Toyo Kisen Kabushiki Kaisha (TKK) was founded with the aim to enter the transpacific trade and three ships were ordered in Great Britain.
The first of the new vessels the NIPPON MARU started the service from Yokohama to San Francisco in 1899, later followed by the AMERICA MARU and HONG KONG MARU.

Toyo Kisen Kabushiki Kaisha saw the first five years run smoothly until in 1902 Pacific Mail Steam Ship Co. introduced the steamers KOREA and SIBERIA which outclassed everything else in the Pacific Trade. About the same time the Russo Japanese War broke out and the ships of Toyo Kisen Kabushiki Kaisha were taken over for military purposes.
The AMERICA MARU was the first ship to return to the San Francisco run in October 1905.
Also in 1905 TKK established a South American service which continued after the amalgamation of TKK with Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and begins making regular voyages to South America. The first of these voyages arrives in Iquique in February of 1906

Meanwhile, Pacific Mail Steam Ship Co. had ordered two more even larger ships and TKK decided to built three modern ships of 13,000gt on a Japanese yard. The first vessel the TENYO MARU was ready to start her first voyage in 1908. When the last vessel the SHINYO MARU was completed, the AMERICA MARU was sold to Osaka Shosen K.K. (OSK).

In 1915 the PERSIA MARU (ex Coptic, ex Persia) was purchased from Pacific Mail Steam Ship Co.
TKK suffered on 1 April 1916 its first major loss as the CHIYU MARU struck a reef and had to be abandoned.
To replace the loss of the CHIYU MARU the KOREA and SIBERIA were purchased from Pacific Mail Steam Ship Co., they were reconditioned, refurbished and renamed KOREA MARU and SIBERIA MARU respectively.
In 1920 the Allied Council on surplus shipping assigned to Japan the former Cap Finisterre built for Hamburg Sud Amerika Linie, she was refitted and chartered to TKK and renamed TAIYO MARU.

Even with five good ships on the Transpacific Route, TKK suffered from severe competition in the early 1920s. The United States Shipping Board placed five new 14,000gt ships on the San Francisco - Manila run under the Pacific Mail Steam Ship Co. and five more from Seattle to the Orient.
Also, Canadian Pacific and the Dollar Steamship Company were stiff competitors and in 1926 negotiations were begun to amalgamate TKK with Nippon Yusen Kaisha backed by the Japanese Government and on 10 March 1926 TKK was taken over by Nippon Yusen Kaisha.

Many thanks to Henk Jungerius and Ted Finch for his assistance in collecting this data. The following list was extracted from various sources. This is not an all inclusive list but should only be used as a guide. If you would like to know more about a vessel, visit the Ship Descriptions (onsite) or Immigrant Ship web site.

  • Routes:
    • Hong Kong-Amoy-Shanghai-Nagasaki-Kobe-Yokohama-Honolulu-San Francisco
    • Yokohama-Iquigue-Valparaiso

Funnel & Flag:

Fleet:

Funnel Flag
Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
America Maru 1898 built by C.S. Swan & Hunter Ltd, Newcastle | 1911 sold to Osaka Shosen K.K.(OSK), 6th March 1944 torpedoed and sunk by USS NAUTILUS with the loss of 599 lives. 6,307
Anyo Maru 1913 built by Mitsubishi Dockyard & Engine Works, Nagasaki | 1926 to Nippon Yusen K.K.(NYK), 1943 sold to Nanyo Kaiun K.K., Tokyo, 1945 torpedoed and sunk by USS BARB. 9,534
Bokuyo Maru 1924 built by Asano Shipbuilding Co., Tsurimi | 1926 to Nippon Yusen K.K.(NYK), Jul.1939 caught fire and sank on voyage Valparaiso and Los Angeles to Yokohama. 8,619
Chiyo Maru 1908 built by Mitsubishi Dockyard & Engine Works, Nagasaki | 31st March 1916 stranded near Hong Kong and broke in two. 13,431
Ginyo Maru 1921 built by Asano Shipbuilding Co., Tsurimi | 1926 to Nippon Yusen K.K.(NYK), 16th December 1943 torpedoed and sunk by USS FLYING FISH. 8,613
Hongkong Maru 1898 built by Sir J. Laing, Sunderland | 1911 sold to Osaka Shosen K.K.(OSK), 1935 scrapped Japan 6,185
Korea Maru 1901 built by Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Newport News | ex- Korea, 1916 purchased from Pacific Mail Steam Ship Co., Seattle and renamed Korea Maru, 1926 to Nippon Yusen K.K.(NYK), 1930 laid up, 1934 scrapped. 11,810
Nippon Maru 1898 built by Sir J. Laing, Sunderland } 1920 Sold to Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores (CSAV), Chile renamed Renaico, 1926 served as a depot ship at Iquique, 1929 scrapped. 6,178
Persia Maru 1881 built by Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast | ex- Coptic built for White Star Line, Liverpool, 1883-1906 chartered to Occidental & Oriental SS Co., San Francisco, 1906 sold to Pacific Mail SS Co. renamed Persia, 1916 purchased renamed Persia Maru, 1925 scrapped. 4,356
Rakuyo Maru 1921 built by Mitsubishi Zosen Kaisha Ltd, Nagasaki | 1926 to Nippon Yusen K.K.(NYK), 12th September 1944 torpedoed and sunk by USS SEALION. 4,356
Shinyo Maru 1911 built by Mitsubishi Dockyard & Engine Works, Nagasaki | 1926 to Nippon Yusen K.K.(NYK), 1932 laid up, 1936 scrapped Japan. 13,039
Siberia Maru 1901 built by Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Newport News | ex- Siberia, 1916 purchased from Pacific Mail Steam Ship Co., Seattle and renamed Siberia Maru, 1926 to Nippon Yusen K.K.(NYK), 1930 laid up, 1934 scrapped. 11,785
Taiyo Maru 1911 built by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg | ex- Cap Finisterre built for Hamburg Sud Amerika Linie, 1919 US Navy transport, 1919 to The Shipping Controller, London, 1920 passed to Japanese Government as war reparations, managed by NYK, renamed Taiyo Maru, 1923 management passed to Toyo Kisen K.K., 1926 Nippon Yusen K.K. managers, 1929 purchased by NYK, 1942 torpedoed and sunk by USS GRENADIER. 14,457
Tenyo Maru 1908 built by Mitsubishi Dockyard & Engine Works, Nagasaki | 1926 to Nippon Yusen K.K.(NYK), 1930 laid up, 1933 scrapped Japan. 13,398

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