Class and type: Hamakaze class ocean liner
Tonnage: Hamakaze - 40,715 gross tons as built 1910, Amatsukaze - 42,910 gross tons as decommissioned 1939
Displacement: Hamakaze 50,281 tons as built 1910, Amatsukaze 52,281 tons as decommissioned 1939
Length: 851.5 ft (259m)
Beam: 87 ft (26m)
Draft: 29 ft (8m)
Decks: 8 main passenger decks
Installed power: 24 double-ended Scotch marine type boilers, 4 single-ended Scotch marine type boilers, 2 triple expansion reciprocating steam engines, 1 low pressure steam turbine, 34,000 shp,
Propulsion: 2 manganese bronze three bladed wing propellers, 1 manganese bronze four bladed central propeller
Speed: 23 kn (43 km/h; 26 mph)
Capacity: Hamakaze 3,012 passengers, Amatsukaze 3,281 passengers
SS Hamakaze YN290
SS Hagikaze YN291
SS Amatsukaze YN292
Brought about because of the continuous rivalry between the Zipang Heguri Pacific steamship company, and the Japanese Nippon_Yusen the, the Hamakaze, when commissioned was the largest ocean liner in the world even surpassing Great Britain's Lusitania and mauretania in terms of tonnage and overall size, she was for her time considered quite revolutionary, with her biggest claim to fame being her central air conditioning which was a first for a ship on the Pacific run.
Her maiden voyage in April 1910 would go smoothly with her arriving in San Francisco to a large fan fair on the 16th of April 1910, she was intended to be followed by two identical sisters both of which were expected to come into Commission in 1911 and 1912, however with the sinking of the RMS Titanic on April 14th 1912, their construction was halted, however eventually that construction would begin again with several lessons learnt from the Titanic disaster been incorporated into the design with the primary one being the installation of watertight bulkheads that went all the way up to B deck and enough lifeboats for all of passengers, the first of her sisters to come into service would be SS Hagikaze, visually Hagikaze was practically identical to her sister, with the only Major difference is being being closed A deck promenade and the addition of a third class galley / general room on the poop deck.
the final member of the class be brought into Commission was the SS Amatsukaze, visually she was quite distinct from her sister's with the entire Stern being built up as well as the welldeck filled in, primarily with newer second class accommodations and some updated third class accommodations, this let to her having a passing resemblance to the Lusitania and Mauretania.
For the first year of the First World War, all three Hamakaze class sisters, will continue to serve the weekly Pacific run between Heguri and San Francisco, however with the war in Europe picking up, several Zipang vessels, both civilian and military,were officially requested to be requisitioned by the Royal Navy Admiralty, Amatsukaze, Hamakaze were two of the civilian vessels officially requested by the Admiralty due to the size and speed, it was thought they would make excellent troop transport / hospital ships, however with the likelihood of them being destroyed in the conflict, the official requisition order was denied by the green star line with two smaller ocean liners, being offered instead, even with America's official Declaration Of War in 1918, all free liners would continue to operate on the Pacific run, with the Hamakaze been placed onto the Matsusaki to Sydney run in 1921, to make way for the new colossal ocean liner SS yamato.
In the mid 1920s all three Hamakaze class would be converted to all fire operation, with this change many routes, that would have non economical to run, where are now open to the three old ocean liners, starting in 1927 Amatsukaze would begin a bi-weekly service running between Yokokumo and Los Angeles, however this would be changed to a weekly service in 1929, when a suitable running mate in the form of the even older ocean liner Hibiki, was placed onto the route alongside Amatsukaze.
With the start of the 1930s, much thought was given to replacing the Hamakaze sisters by the green Star Line, however it was decided in 1932 that all three ships would be used exclusively for cruise services, in and around the Philippines and Australian coast, despite being originally intended for trans-pacific crossings, the three old ocean liners were actually quite popular as cruise ships, with Amatsukaze, been the most popular of the three, because of her much more modern bathroom and toilet facilities compared to her two older sisters, however with the Japanese-Zipang war in 1934, tragedy would strike the three sisters, with Hagikaze been torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine on the 17th of September 1934 with a loss of 1,200 Souls, Hamakaze would also be torpedoed by a Japanese submarine however she unlike her less fortunate sister, she managed to beach herself on a sandbar preventing her from fully sinking.
With the Japanese victory and subsequent take over after the war, the green Star Line would come under direct control of the Japanese government, with all of its trans-pacific routes to North America being cancelled and shut down, with quite a few of the ships being transferred to Japanese shipping Lines, Hamakaze despite being refloated in 1935 would never be repaired, and would be scrapped in 1937, Amatsukaze being the only one of her sisters left, would continue to function as a cruise ship throughout the rest of the 1930s, however with the Japanese take over and brutal Japanese puppet government, the match of the Zipang the public didn't or in most cases were not allowed to travel, meaning that over the following 5 years of service her total passenger count was only 3000 passengere, with a average of only 200 to 300 passengers on 1 voyage, finally in 1939 she would be stricken from service and laid up awaiting scrapping, however the Japanese preparing for war against the United States, it was decided by the Zipang Admiralty to buy the ship and convert her into hospital ship, she would have all of her Furnishings remove, as well as the traditional hospital markings applied to her Hull, her career as a hospital ship would be uneventful until 1943 when on a return voyage to Zipang, to acquire more medical supplies, she would be torpedoed by an American submarine, however unlike her sister who sank in only 20 minutes, she would last a grand total of one-and-a-half hours allowing all of her crew and a few passengers aboard to escape the doomed liner, she would come to rest in only 293 ft of water in a upright position, meaning that over the following half-century, her wreck would become quite a popular location among divers, due to it easy accessibility, being only 34 miles off the eastern coast of Zipang.