Collection: A R Brown, MacFarlane & Co Ltd (GUAS Ref: UGD 172)
From the 1860s onwards Clyde shipyards were building vessels for Japanese companies and for the Imperial Japanese Navy. The Japanese government, keen to transfer skills and technology from the west to enable them to set up their own industries, also sent apprentices to Clyde shipyards and to the University of Glasgow to learn about shipbuilding and engineering.
These apprentices were usually highly educated university-trained engineers, naval cadets, naval engineering officers and high-ranking naval officers.
The Meiji Maru was constructed by Robert Napier and Sons, shipbuilders, Govan in 1874 for the Japanese government for use in their lighthouse service. One of its features is a magnificently decorated cabin designed for the sole use of the Emperor. He sailed on her in 1876 from Aomori to Yokohama via Hakodate on the return from his imperial tour of inspecting northern Japan. In 1897 the ship was transferred to Tokyo Nautical School for use by navy cadets as a moored training ship for over 50 years. The vessel is now docked and preserved at the Etchujima Campus of Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology.
(GUAS Ref: UGD 172/4/2/3. Copyright reserved.)