Japanese Naval Academy 海軍工作学校

In my last post I translated Kaigun Kousaku Gakkou (海軍工作学校) as ‘Navy Engineer Academy.’ I think that is probably incorrect. I am no expert, but here is what I have learned about this academy from Japanese sources. If there are any errors here, please let me know.

There were three main IJN academies in Japan, the IJN Academy (Kaigunhei Gakkou 海軍兵学校), the IJN Technical Academy (Kaigun Kikan Gakkou 海軍機関学校), and the IJN Accounting Academy (Kaigun Keiri Gakkou 海軍経理学校). These all had different curricula, but the graduates of the IJN Technical Academy could go on for further training at the Kaigun Kousaku Gakkou. (Kousaku is a term that can be translated as handicraft, craft, construction, etc. A kind of building and repair work is implied in the term, so I rendered it as ‘engineer’ in this context.)

At the Kaigun Kousaku Gakkou students studied damage control, billeting, fortification, and airplane mechanics, among a variety of other skills. Basically, then, this academy was for graduates who needed to hone their skills for whatever reason, but I think this study was also necessary to become an officer.

There were only two Kaigun Kousaku Gakkou. The first was established on April 1, 1941 in Kurihama, which is a port in the eastern part of Yokosuka City (Kanagawa Prefecture). On June 1, 1944 the academy was separated into two academies. The fortification and airplane mechanic skills were taught at the Kaigun Kousaku Gakkou in Numatsu City (Shizuoka Prefecture) while the original school handled the rest of the curriculum. The name of this school changed to Yokosuka Kaigun Kousaku Gakkou to distinguish it from the newer Numatsu Kaigun Kousaku Gakkou.

The Yokosuka school was officially closed on October 15, 1945 while the Numatsu school closed a bit earlier on July 15, 1945.


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