(TOKIWA beached at Ominato, 1945)

Minelayer IJN TOKIWA:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2007-2011 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp:
Revision 1

January 1898:
Newcastle upon Tyne, Elswick, England. Laid down as an armored cruiser at Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co., Ltd's shipyard.

5 April 1898:
Captain (later Admiral) Dewa Shigeto (5) is appointed Chief Bringing Officer and travels to Great Britain.

6 July 1898:

3 October 1898:
Captain Dewa (5) is appointed Commanding Officer.

18 October 1898:

18 May 1899:
Completed. Rated a first-class cruiser and registered in the Sasebo Naval District.

16 July 1899:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Captain (later Rear Admiral) Nakayama Nagaaki (6) assumes command.

11 August 1900:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Tanji Hiroo (5) assumes command.

23 January 1901:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Nashiba Tokioki assumes command.

5 July 1901:
An unknown officer assumes command.

6 October 1902:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Nomoto Tsunaakira (7) assumes command.

19 January 1904:
Captain (later Admiral) Yoshimatsu, Motaro (7) assumes command.

8 February 1904: The Russo-Japanese War:
Without waiting for a declaration of war, Japan opens hostilities with a surprise attack on the main Russian fleet base at Port Arthur (Lushun), Manchuria.

14 August 1904: The Battle off Ulsan:
The Russian command orders Rear Admiral Nikolai Essen to depart Vladivostok with his cruisers and rendezvous with the main Russian Port Arthur Squadron in the Sea of Japan. However, the fleet had not been sighted by the following morning. As the Russian squadron approached Pusan, Korea Admiral Yessen orders his squadron back to Vladivostok. During the night, Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kamimura Hikonjo’s (4) fleet of armored cruisers TOKIWA, IWATE, AZUMA and IZUMO and protected cruisers NANIWA and TAKACHINO pass close to the Essen’s squadron, but on opposite courses. Neither is aware of the other.

14 August 1904:
At dawn, soon after Admiral Essen starts back to Vladivostok, the four Japanese armored cruisers are sighted. At 0520, the fleets had closed to 8,500 yards, and the Japanese ships open fire. Russian armored cruiser RURIK, subjected to heavy bombardment loses most of her officers. The Japanese take some hits, but the Russians sheer away. Strangely, Admiral Kamimura holds his course during the Russian turn, and when he turns, it is to a new course that lengthens the range. The Russian cruisers try to cover RURIK, but at 0830, Admiral Essen orders RURIK scuttled and heads back to Vladivostok. Kamimura’s cruisers chase them, but at 1115, after less than three hours pursuit, Admiral Kamimura the chase, turns back to Pusan.

26 May 1905:
In October 1904, Russian Admiral Zinovi P. Rozhdestvenski’s Baltic fleet departed on an epic eight-month journey to the Far East. Rear Admiral Nikolai Nebogatov's Third Pacific Squadron joins Rozhdestvenski's fleet in May 1905. Today, the 45-ship Russian fleet is sighted entering Japanese waters.

27 May 1905:
The Combined Fleet under Admiral Togo sorties from Chinhae, Korea to engage the Russians.

27-28 May 1905: The Battle of Tsushima:
In a running gun battle off Okinoshima, Admiral (later Fleet Admiral) the Marquis, Togo Heihachiro's fleet of battleships, cruisers and smaller ships battle Rozhdestvenski. Thirty-four Russian vessels are sunk, scuttled or captured. Only two Russian destroyers and a light cruiser reach Vladivostock, Siberia. Six other smaller ships reach neutral ports and are interned. 4,830 Russian officers and men are KIA and 5,917 captured. Togo loses three torpedo boats nd several capital ships including TOKIWA are damaged.

14 June 1905:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Imai Kanemasa (7) assumes command.

12 December 1905:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Wada Kensuke (8) assumes command.

22 November 1906:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Fujimoto Hideshiro (11) assumes command.

31 July 1908:
An unknown officer is posted CO. Captain Fujimoto is reassigned to the Kure Navy Yard.

28 August 1908:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Yamagata Bunzo (11) assumes command.

1 October 1909:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Yoda Mitsuji (12) assumes command.

1 December 1909:
An unknown officer is posted CO. Captain Yoda is posted CO of SHIKISHIMA.

Refitted with coal-fired Belleview boilers.

9 April 1910:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Tsukiyama Kiyotomo (11) assumes command.

1 December 1910:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Mizumachi Hajime (14) assumes command.

16 January 1911:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Takagi, Shichitaro (15) assumes command.

30 April 1912:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Ogasawara Naganari (14) assumes command.

1 December 1912:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Shima Takeshi (15) assumes command.

1 December 1913:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Kataoka Eitaro (15) assumes command.

1 December 1914:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Yoshida Takeshi (17) assumes command.

17 August -31 October 1914:
TOKIWA, assigned to the Second Fleet's 4th Squadron, participates in the blockade of the German port of Tsingtao (now Qingdao).

9 November 1914:
Reassigned to the First Fleet. Conducts patrols against the German Navy under the Anglo-Japanese Alliance.

1 February 1915:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Sakamoto Noritoshi (20) assumes command.

3 August 1915:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Shiraishi Naosuke (17) assumes command.

15 July 1916:
Captain (later Admiral) Taniguchi Naomi (19) assumes command.

5 April 1917:
TOKIWA and YAKUMO depart Yokosuka for North America, Hawaii and the South Seas islands on a training cruise with the cadets of the 44th class of Etajima.

17 August 1917:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

15 September 1917:
An unknown officer is posted CO. Captain Taniguchi is posted CO of HARUNA.

10 October 1917:
Captain (later Admiral) Morimoto Yoshihiro (22) assumes command.

10 September 1918:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Komatsu Naomoto (25) assumes command.

1 March 1919:
TOKIWA and AZUMA depart Yokosuka for South Asia and Australia on a training cruise with the 46th class.

26 July 1919:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

8 August 1919:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Matsumura Kikuo (23) assumes command.

24 November 1919:
TOKIWA and AZUMA depart Yokosuka for Southeast Asia, Suez and the Mediterranean on a training cruise with the 47th class.

20 May 1920:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

12 August 1920:
An unknown officer is posted CO. Captain Matsumura is posted CO of HIEI.

15 June 1921:
An unknown officer assumes command.

30 September 1921:
Rerated a first-class coast defense ship.

30 September 1922:
Sasebo Navy Yard. TOKIWA begins conversion to a minelayer. Her 200mm twin mount gun turrets and 150mm secondary batteries are landed. Mine launching tracks are fitted topside and on her mid-deck. TOKIWA has the capacity to carry over 500 mines.

1 March 1923:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Shiraishi Nobunari (26) assumes command of TOKIWA and additional duty as CO of IZUMO.

1 May 1923:
Captain Shiraishi is relieved of additional duty as CO of IZUMO.

1 December 1923:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Wada Kenkichi (29) assumes command.

March 1924:
Sasebo. Completes conversion.

1 November 1924:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Ikeda Tanin (30) assumes command.

1 December 1925:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Tokuda Inosuke (30) assumes command.

20 May 1926:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Ichikizaki Keiichi (31) assumes command.

1 November 1926:
Captain Ichikizaki assumes additional duty as CO of NATORI.

1 December 1926:
Captain Ichikizaki is relieved of duty as CO of NATORI.

1 August 1927:
Saeki Bay, Kyushu. At 0939, during deactivation of No. 5 charged mines, one accidently explodes triggering the explosion of others and causes substantial damage to TOKIWA's stern. Thirty-five crewmen are killed and 65 are severely injured. Battleship NAGATO, anchored nearby, and several other vessels send over their firefighting teams to quell the raging fires. TOKIWA is placed on the Reserve List.

September 1927:
Undergoes repairs, probably at Sasebo,

1 December 1927:
An unknown officer assumes command.

10 December 1928:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Kitaoka Haruo (34) (former staff, Sasebo Naval District) is posted CO.

1 November 1929:
An unknown officer is posted CO. Captain Kitaoka is later posted CO of KIRISHIMA.

1 December 1930:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Miki Taichi (35) (current CO of NATORI) is posted CO as an additional duty.

10 December 1930:
An unknown officer is posted CO. Captain Miki resumes full-time command of NATORI.

1 December 1932:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Takasu Sanjiro (37) (former ComSubDiv 8) is posted CO.

15 November 1933:
An unknown officer is posted CO. Captain Takasu is posted CO of IZUMO.

15 November 1934:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Katahara Tsunejiro (37) (former CO of SHIRETOKO) is posted CO.

2 March 1936:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Aoyagi Muneshige (37) (former CO of MAMIYA) is posted CO. Captain Katahara is later posted CO of KINUGASA MARU.

1 December 1936:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Kubo Kyuji (38)(former CO of YAEYAMA) is posted CO. Captain Aoyagi is posted CO of HAGURO.

Reboilered with eight Kanpon boilers. Returned to active duty.

1 June 1931:
Rerated a coast defense ship.

18 September 1931: The "Mukden Incident":
Liutiaohu, about 25 miles from Mukden (now Shenyang), the capital of Manchuria. Japanese soldiers detonate an explosive on the Japanese-owned Southern Manchurian Railway. Chinese soldiers retaliate with gunfire. The Japanese Kwantung Army reinforces their troops and settles the conflict. The Japanese continue N to Mukden, attack the city and win control the next day. The “Mukden Incident” is the beginning of the Pacific War.

20-28 January 1932: -The "First Shanghai Incident":
In protest over the Mukden Incident, in the preceeding weeks, the Chinese boycott the import and sale of Japanese goods. The Japanese retaliate by burning factories and shops. The Japanese Consul-General demands that Shanghai’s Mayor Wu T'ieh-ch'eng dissolve all anti-Japanese organizations, pay compensation and end anti-Japanese agitation. Although Mayor Wu gives in before the deadline, the IJN's Shanghai Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) of about 2,500 troops is dispatched to evict two divisions of the Chinese 19th Route Army from Shanghai.

January 1932-17 May 1933:
In response to the Shanghai Incident, TOKIWA departs Japan with the First Fleet and engages in a protracted "security mission" to North China.

1 December 1937:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Sugimoto Michio (41) assumes command.

21 February 1938:
Captain Sugimoto assumes additional duty as CO of IRO.

15 April 1938:

1 September 1938:
An unknown officer assumes command.

15 November 1939:
The Fourth Fleet is established. TOKIWA is assigned to the 18th Squadron.

15 November 1940:
TOKIWA is in the Fourth Fleet with Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Shima Kiyohide's (39)(former CO of OI) Mine Division 19 with minelayer OKINOSHIMA.

11 August 1941:
Truk. TOKIWA is in Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Inouye Shigeyoshi's (37) Fourth Fleet in Rear Admiral Shima's Mine Division 19 with transport MOGAMIGAWA MARU, minelayer OKINOSHIMA and auxiliary minelayers TENYO MARU and TOKIWA.

29 November 1941: Operation "Gi":
Departs Truk at 1300 with the Gilbert Islands Invasion Force that includes minelayers OKINOSHIMA (F), TSUGARU and TENYO MARU carrying the 51st Guards Unit escorted by DesDiv 29/Section 1's ASANAGI and YUNAGI. The CHITOSE Naval Air Group is assigned to provide air cover.

2 December 1941:
TOKIWA receives the signal "Niitakayama nobore (Climb Mt. Niitaka) 1208" from the Combined Fleet. This signifies that X-Day hostilities will commence on 8 December (Japan time).

26 December 1941:
TOKIWA is assigned to Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Inoue Shigeyoshi's Fourth Fleet in Rear Admiral Shima's Mine Division 19 with, minelayers OKINOSHIMA and MOGAMIGAWA MARU and auxiliary minelayers TENYO MARU.

20 January 1942: Operation "R" - The Invasions of Rabaul, New Britain and Kavieng, New Ireland:
TOKIWA and Mine Division 19's TSUGARU and OKINOSHIMA and auxiliary minelayers MOGAMIGAWA and TENYO MARUs participate in the invasion of Rabaul with DesRon 6's YUBARI, DesDiv 30's MUTSUKI, MOCHIZUKI, YAYOI, DesDiv 29's OITE, ASANAGI, and YUNAGI and auxiliary seaplane tender KIYOKAWA MARU.

23 January 1942:
The invasion forces swiftly overcome light Australian opposition and occupy both Rabaul and Kavieng.

1 February 1942:
Kwajalein. SBDs (VB-6 and VS-6) and TBDs (VT-6) from ENTERPRISE damage minelayer TOKIWA, light cruiser KATORI, submarine I-23, submarine depot ship YASUKUNI MARU, oiler TOA MARU and several other ships.The planes sink transport BORDEAUX MARU.

February 1942:
Returns to Sasebo for repairs. 3-7 March 1942: Truk. Repair ship URAKAMI MARU provides additional repairs for TOKIWA.

14 July 1942:
Reassigned to Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Inoue Shigeyoshi's (37) Fourth Fleet based at Truk.

16 August 1942:
Two companies of the Marines' 2nd Raider Battalion under Lt Col (later Brigadier General-Ret) Evans F. Carlson, USMC are transported on USS NAUTILUS (SS-168) and ARGONAUT (SS-166) from Pearl Harbor to raid Makin Atoll, Gilbert Islands as a diversion for the recent invasion of Guadalcanal. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's son, Maj James Roosevelt, USMCR, is Carlson's XO.

17 August 1942:
By 0500, 211 Marines land by 19 rubber boats. Fighting soon breaks out, but the Marines succeed in advancing. NAUTILUS’ 6-inch guns open fire on Japanese positions ashore and also sink a small transport and a patrol boat. By noon, Japanese aircraft arrive and force the subs to submerge. The planes bomb and strafe the Marines. Two large Kawanishi H6K Mavis flying boats land in the lagoon and discharge reinforcements. By 1900, about 100 of Carlson’s men withdraw back to the submarines.

18 August 1942:
In the morning, Major Roosevelt leads four boats out to the submarines. After dark, four more rubber boats follow. Thirty Marines do not make it back and are assumed KIA. The two submarines depart for Pearl Harbor. [1]

19 August 1942:
TOKIWA departs Truk for Makin carrying troops with three subchasers and DAIDO MARU.

21 August 1942:
At 1015, arrives at Makin Island, Gilberts. The Japanese landing force captures nine Marines left behind for dead. Later, the Marines are transferred to Kwajalein, Marshall Islands where Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Koso (40), Commander 6th Base Force, orders all the POWs beheaded. [2]

1 May 1943:
Reassigned to the 52nd Base Force, Ominato Naval District.

26 May 1943:
At 1700, TOKIWA departs Truk by the north channel for Yokosuka in convoy 4526 consisting of fleet oiler NOTORO and repair ship HAKKAI MARU escorted by kaibokan OKI and initially minesweeper W-8. Enroute, the ships are joined by aircraft transport MOGAMIGAWA MARU.

3 June 1943:
In the late afternoon, LtCdr Nicholas J. Nicholas' (USNA ’32) USS SALMON (SS-182) attacks the convoy. He fires seven torpedoes and claims hits on HAKKAI and MOGAMIGAWA MARUs, but in reality his attacks are unsuccessful.

5 June 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

20 January 1944:
Reassigned to the 18th Escort Squadron, 7th Fleet.

19-20 June 1944:
Off Okinawa. The 18th Escort Squadron consisting of TOKIWA (F), armed merchant cruiser SAIGON MARU, small minelayer TAKASHIMA, auxiliary minelayers KOEI and SHINKO MARUs lays 1,650 mines. Torpedo boat TOMOZURU, subchaser CH-58 and patrol boat KAII provide escort.

27 February 1945:
S of Yaku Shima, Japan. TOKIWA and auxiliary minelayer KOEI MARU lay about 1,000 mines. Kaibokan CD-22, CD-29 and CD-68 provide escort. [3]

5 April 1945:
Reassigned directly to the 7th Fleet.

10 April 1945:
Reassigned to the General Escort Command.

14 April 1945:
78 miles off Hesaki, Kyushu. TOKIWA strikes a mine and is damaged.

April 1945:
Undergoes repairs at an undetermined location.

3 June 1945:
1 mile off Bakuchizaki, Japan. Mines laid by USAAF 20th Bomber Command's B-29 "Super Fortressses" damage TOKIWA.

9 August 1945:
Ominato. Task Force 38's carrier aircraft attack and severely damage TOKIWA by a direct bomb hit and four near misses at 41-20N, 141-60E. The old warship floods and has to be beached.

15 August 1945:The End of Hostilities:
Rerated a Fourth Class Reserve warship.

30 November 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

5 April 1947:
Ominato, Honshu. Raised and refloated.

August-October 1947:
Towed to Hakodate, Hokaido and scrapped.

Authors' Notes:
[1] In 1999, the remains of the 21 Marines KIA in the Makin Raid are discovered, identified, and recovered for proper military burials.

[2] Postwar, Abe is tried as a war criminal, convicted and hanged.

[3] It has been suggested that the loss of USS KETE (SS-369) may have been caused by her striking a mine about 20 March 1945 in the field laid by TOKIWA and KOEI MARU, but this is speculative.

Thanks go to Matt Jones for the additional CO info in Rev 1.

Photo credit goes to Gilbert Casse of France.

- Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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