Mitsubishi Heavy Industries file photo (Haguro, 20 Oct 1928) [27854]

Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard

Type   196 Shipyard
Historical Name of Location   Nagasaki, Nagasaki, Japan
Coordinates   32.738997000, 129.856400000


ww2dbaseWorking with a group of Dutch engineers, the Tokugawa Shogunate of Japan created a foundry in Nagasaki, near the southwestern tip of the Japanese home islands, in 1860, with the eventual aim of domestic shipbuilding. In 1868, it was nationalized and was placed under control of the Nagasaki Prefectural Government. In 1879, the No. 1 Drydock was completed. In 1884, Yataro Iwasaki founded the firm Nagasaki Shipyard and Machinery Works. In 1887, Iwasaki purchased the entire Nagasaki facilities complex from the government. In 1903, it was renamed Mitsubishi Shipyard of Mitsubishi Goshi Kaisha. In 1896, the No. 2 Drydock was completed at Akunoura. In 1903, the No. 2 and No. 3 Building Berths were completed; by 1906, all 8 berths would be completed. In 1905, the No. 3 Drydock was completed at Iwasedo. In 1907, the facility completed Japan's first experimental tank for shipbuilding. In 1908, the main power station was completed; it was Japan's first power generating turbine. In 1912, the gantry crane was completed at the No. 1 Building Berth. In 1917, it was renamed Mitsubishi Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Limited. In 1934, it was renamed once again as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. In 1936, the gantry crane was completed at the No. 2 Building Berth. In 1937, the foundry was separated from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as the Nagasaki Steel Works of Mitsubishi Steel Manufacturing Company, Limited. In 1939, all 8 building berths would be equipped with gantry cranes.

ww2dbaseBy the late 1930s, the Mitsubishi conglomerate in its entirety had become the largest private firm in Japan, and its Nagasaki shipbuilding facility was a major shipbuilder for the Japanese Navy. The facility's most well known product was the battleship Musashi, which, alongside of sister Yamato, was the largest battleship ever built. Musashi was launched in utmost secrecy in Nov 1940, and was commissioned into service in Aug 1942. During the war, the Nagasaki facility also constructed special attack submarines and boats for suicide missions. Due to the industrial importance, the city of Nagasaki was attacked by convention bombs five times starting in Aug 1944. The fifth conventional raid, dated 1 Aug 1945, targeted, among others, the shipyard. The presence of the shipyard certainly factored intofoundrdy the decision for Nagasaki to be placed on the target list for atomic bombing.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, Mitsubishi was divided into three companies, and the Nagasaki facility became West Japan Heavy Industries, Limited. In 1952, it was renamed Mitsubishi Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Limited. In 1963, No. 1 Drydock was demolished after 84 years of operations in order to create space for the construction of new drydocks. In 1964, the three companies merged together once again, forming Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Limited, and the Nagasaki facility was renamed Nagasaki Shipyard and Engine Works. In 1965, two 300,000-ton dry docks were completed. It would continue to evolve, launching ships of various sizes, including several very large luxury cruise liners. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is still conducting shipbuilding and repairing operations at Nagasaki at the time of this writing.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall

Last Major Update: Sep 2018

Ships Constructed at Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard

Ship NameYard NoSlip/Drydock NoOrderedLaid DownLaunchedCommissioned
Kinai Maru
Soya16 Feb 1937
Kirishima17 Mar 19121 Dec 191319 Apr 1915
Hyuga16 May 191527 Jan 191730 Apr 1918
Kiso10 Aug 191810 Feb 192029 Jan 1921
Tama10 Aug 191810 Feb 192029 Jan 1921
Natori14 Dec 192016 Feb 192215 Sep 1922
Kamikaze15 Dec 192125 Sep 192219 Dec 1922
Sendai16 Feb 192230 Oct 192329 Apr 1924
Furutaka5 Dec 192225 Feb 192531 Mar 1926
Haguro16 Mar 192524 Mar 192825 Apr 1929
Asama Maru10 Sep 192730 Sep 192815 Sep 1929
Tatsuta Maru3 Dec 192712 Apr 192915 Mar 1930
Mikuma27 Oct 193131 May 193429 Aug 1935
Chikuma1 Oct 193519 Mar 193820 May 1939
Kaiyo5 Feb 19389 Dec 193823 Nov 1943
Musashi29 Mar 19381 Nov 19405 Aug 1942
Unyo75114 Dec 193831 Oct 193931 May 1942
Junyo20 Mar 193926 Jun 19413 May 1942
Taiyo6 Jan 194019 Sep 19402 Sep 1941
Awa Maru10 Jul 194124 Aug 19425 Mar 1943
Amagi1 Oct 194215 Oct 194310 Aug 1944

Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard Interactive Map


The launching of battlecruiser Kirishima at the Mitsubishi Naval Shipyard in Nagasaki, Japan, 1 Dec 1913Installation of 14-inch guns, No. 3 turret, Hyuga, 1917-1918Haguro under construction in Drydock No. 3 of the Mitsubishi shipyard in Nagasaki, Japan, 20 Oct 1928Haguro in the final stages of fitting out, off Mutusbishi
See all 9 photographs of Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard

Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard Timeline

7 Jul 1884 The firm Nagasaki Shipyard and Machinery Works was founded by Yataro Iwasaki in Nagasaki, Japan. The firm would operate the government-owned shipyard at Nagasaki; the firm would purchase the shipyard from the government three years later.
15 Dec 1921 The keel of Destroyer No. 1 was laid down by the Mitsubishi Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in Nagasaki, Japan.
18 Dec 1921 The 40,000-ton battleship Tosa was launched by Mitsubishi at Nagasaki, Japan. Intended to be one of the second pair of high-speed battleships under the 8-8 programme, she would be cancelled before completion by the Washington Treaty and eventually scuttled on 9 Feb 1925.
25 Sep 1922 Destroyer No. 1 was launched at the Mitsubishi shipyard in Nagasaki, Japan.
3 Dec 1927 The keel for ship numbered 451 was laid down at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding's yard at Nagakaki, Japan.
12 Apr 1929 Ship number 451 of Mitsubishi Shipbuilding's Nagasaki Yard in Japan was launched and named Tatsuta Maru.
29 Jul 1945 32 US A-26 aircraft attacked Nagasaki, Japan between 1000 and 1200 hours, dropping 51 tons of bombs and 6 tons of fragmentation bombs. The main target were the industrial facilities on the water. The ship fitting factory at the Mitsubishi shipyard was totally destroyed; several other industrial facilities nearby were also damaged. Merchant ship Sansui Maru No. 5 was sunk at its mooring at Akunoura. The attack also destroyed a 20-meter stretch of street car tracks, damaged the Nagasaki Teachers Training School, destroyed 43 homes, and damaged 113 homes. In total, 22 people were killed, 40 people were wounded, and 3 people were reported missing.
1 Aug 1945 24 B-24 and 26 B-25 bombers attacked Nagasaki, Japan, dropping 112 tons of bombs starting at about 1120 hours, in three waves. They mainly targeted the munitions factories and the Mitsubishi shipyard. In total, 169 people were killed, 215 people were wounded, 40 people were missing, 107 homes were destroyed, and 134 homes were damaged. The Mitsubishi shipyard, the Mitsubishi Steelworks, and the Nagasaki Medical College suffered heavy damage. The railroad tracks between Urakami and Nagayo were also damaged.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Cat says:
25 Sep 2018 05:28:28 PM

interesting. Still around today It seems
2. Kay McKenzie says:
10 Mar 2023 01:19:46 PM

My father in law was a Dutch Indonesian imprisoned 4 years by the Japanese in Nagasaki. He worked in the ship yard there under appalling conditions. He said he was working underground when the atom bomb was dropped. Do you have any information about that period.

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Modern Day Location
WW2-Era Place Name Nagasaki, Nagasaki, Japan
Lat/Long 32.7390, 129.8564
Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard Photo Gallery
The launching of battlecruiser Kirishima at the Mitsubishi Naval Shipyard in Nagasaki, Japan, 1 Dec 1913
See all 9 photographs of Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard

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