The Tokyo Nautical School [Shosen Gakko] was first established in 1875 by entrepreneur Iwasaki Yataro as the private Mitsubishi Nautical School. In 1882, it became a government school and was renamed Tokyo Nautical School. The school was originally sited at Reiganjima, just east of Shinagawa on Tokyo Bay, until 1902 when it was relocated to Etchujima near Tsukudajima at the mouth of the Sumida River. The school is now the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology.
In 1874 the Meiji Government commissioned Robert Napier & Sons, a Scottish shipyard, to build the Meiji Maru, a lighthouse service steam ship, rigged as a two-masted topsail schooner. In 1897, Meiji Maru was reconfigured into to a full-rigged ship and was then used for more than 50 years after as a moored training vessel by the Tokyo Nautical School. Meiji Maru was retired from service in 1964, and preserved as a memorial.
Fun fact: Ryosuke Namiki, an alumnus and professor of Tokyo Nautical School, successfully invented a gold writing nib for fountain pens. He subsequently established the Namiki Manufacturing Co., Ltd., in 1918, to start the production and sales of fountain pens. In 1938, the corporate name was changed to the Pilot Pen Co., Ltd. It is one of the largest pen-manufacturing companies in the world.
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