Japan’s Naval Academy: Historic Grandeur and Museum
The island of Etajima can be reached by a ten-minute ferry ride from the terminal in the port city of Kure, Japan. This is the site of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) First Service School and Officer Candidate School, until 1945 home to the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy. Among the buildings of principal architectural interest at this alma mater of World War II Japanese naval leadership are the 1893 Officer Candidate School and 1917 Ceremonial Hall. But the highlight of the visit is the Museum of Naval History.
Built in 1936 with donations from former graduates and various companies, and designed by premier architect Toshiro Yamashita, the museum was created to preserve naval history and traditions. Displays focus more on people than battles or technology, emphasizing notables such as Heihachiro Togo, the victor at Tsushima during the Russo-Japanese War; and Isoroku Yamamoto, architect of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.