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160306-0009 - Battleship Mikasa


Tokyo Showa 1920s Unknown

Japan Times editor Kimpei Shiba (芝均平, 1903–1996) with a photo of the Imperial Japanese Navy battleship Mikasa, 1929 (Showa 4).

The Mikasa served as the flagship of Admiral Heihachiro Togo (東郷 平八郎, 1848–1934) during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905 (Meiji 37–38).

Shiba was instrumental in saving the Mikasa from destruction in 1923 (Taisho 12). Following the Washington Naval Treaty (九カ国条約) of 1922, the ship was scheduled to be scrapped.

Thanks to Shiba’s negotiations, the signatories of the treaty agreed that the Mikasa could be preserved as a memorial ship.

As a token of thanks, the Japanese Ministry of the Navy and Admiral Togo presented him with this photo signed by the admiral.

The command that Togo gave at the start of the Battle of Tsushima is written on the photo: “The destiny of our Empire depends on this battle, let every man do his duty.”

Shiba was born in Hawaii, but graduated from the Canadian Academy in Kobe (神戸カナディアン・アカデミー). In 1924 (Taisho 13), he began working for The Japan Times.

From 1929 (Showa 4) through 1941, Shiba was the Chicago Tribune’s Tokyo correspondent, after which he became editor of The Japan Times.

In 1954 (Showa 29), Shiba founded the Asahi Evening News, the English-language edition of the Asahi Shimbun. He retired from the company in 1986 (Showa 61).

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