Completed in 1934 as cargo ship NICHIYO MARU, in 1940 she was renamed KUMAGAWA MARU and requisitioned that same year by the IJN. She served as an attack transport in the invasions of Dutch Borneo and Attu and Kiska in the Kuriles. In 1943, she completed conversion to a fleet tanker. In January 1945, KUMAGAWA MARU was sunk off Indochina by Task Force 38 aircraft.
Her sisters were MOGAMIGAWA, KOZUI, KOEI, KOSEI, KORYU, KOTOKU, SHINOGAWA and TENYO MARUs.