Imperial warship (Japanese Navy)

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Imperial warship (軍艦 Gunkan) was a group of categories of warships in Japanese Navy. The word Gunkan means simply "warships" literally. The category was first defined on 21 March 1898, and lasted until the end of Japanese Navy. Imperial warship was consist of major warships, the commander was simply referred as "Commanding officer" (艦長 Kancho), and usually assigned with rank of Captain. In warships other than Imperial warship such as Destroyer, the commander was referred as "Destroyer Commanding officer" (駆逐艦長 Kuchikancho) and so on, and appointed by lower rank officer. Only the Imperial warships were allowed to be decorated with the Seal of Imperial House of Japan (Chrysanthemum Flower Seal) on her bow. When the ship was downgraded from the Imperial warship, the seal was usually removed (except for the ship which made distinguished contribution in war).


21 Mar 1898

22 Jun 1900

12 Dec 1905

28 Aug 1912

1 Apr 1920

1 Dec 1924

2 Mar 1927

22 Mar 1929

30 May 1931

31 May 1934

1 Jul 1942

1 Oct 1944 (final)