YOKOSUKA, KANAGAWA, Japan --
Nearly a dozen members of the Combined Arms Training Center staff boarded a bus for Yokosuka, September 13, 2023. Unlike the regularly scheduled Green Line shuttle that transports service members to routine appointments for services unavailable at Camp Fuji, the trip was for a professional military educational trip.
The day’s topic, the historical Japanese memorial Mikasa warship and its role in the Russo-Japanese War.
Maj. Brad Hull, the CATC Camp Fuji executive officer, led the excursion, starting with a 40-minute lecture touching on historical content about Chinese, Japanese, and Korean histories and how they related with other countries, specifically, the foreign western influences of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Russia.
Despite delivering the lecture to a group of hungry people, Hull’s audience fought distracting restaurant noises to hear him explain how diplomatic efforts between Russia and Japan failed and drove the two nations to war.
After the lecture and lunch, the group boarded the Mikasa warship. They were able to learn even more details about the Japanese navy’s role in the war from an 18-minute video about the conflicts their military were involved in, to include how the ship became the grounded museum it is today.
Following the video, “Greg” Kouta, a Mikasa Preservation Society advisor and retired Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force captain, shared even more facts about the ships return to Japan after the Battle of Tsushima, not covered in the video with the visiting CATC Camp Fuji members.
The final part of the ship visit allowed them to wander around, above and below deck, to view preserved memorabilia from the Russo-Japanese War and various displays spread throughout the Mikasa.
Afterwards, many Camp Fuji visitors said that they thought Hull’s lecture allowed them to have a better understanding of the importance the Mikasa had during the Russo-Japanese War.
You can visit the Mikasa, located within walking distance of Commander Fleet Activities, Yokosuka. Details about where it’s located, hours, and admission prices are on their website: Mikasa Historic Memorial Warship.