“The Shanghai Line was greatly strengthened by the commissioning of the Nagasaki Maru in February, 1923, and the Shanghai Maru in March, 1923, both of which had been expressly for this service by Messrs. William Denny’s Shipbuilding Yard, Dumbarton, Scotland.
“In spite of their great cost, these vessels were built in order to inaugurate a superior rapid express service between Japan and China, whose traffic was steadily increasing. They immediately won an enviable reputation as express boats on this line. In fact, the express passenger service that they rendered became so popular that the company extended it to Kobe from May of 1924.”
– Golden Jubilee History of Nippon Yusen Kaisha, 1885-1935, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, 1935
“Nippon Yusen Kaisha’s twin-screw turbine steamer Nagasaki Maru inaugurated a new express passenger and mail service between Nagasaki and Shanghai on 11 February 1923. A product of Wm. Denny & Bros., Dumbarton [England], she was joined by her sister Shanghai Maru on 25 March.
“… Their schedule involved two voyages per week on a 540-mile route, which they completed in around twenty-six hours (at 18 knots) and in May 1924 the service was extended to Kobe … Their luxurious accommodation included a verandah tea room and overnight berths were supplied for some 155 in first and 200 in third classes.
“In the aftermath of the Great Kanto Earthquake in September 1923, NYK suspended its Shanghai service and the pair were used for relief work, sailing every other day for around two months between Shinagawa (Tokyo), Yokohama and Kobe.”
– Cross Channel and Short Sea Ferries: An Illustrated History, by Ambrose Greenway, 2014