Imperial Japanese Navy

The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN; Kyūjitai: 大日本帝國海軍 Shinjitai: 大日本帝国海軍 Dai-Nippon Teikoku Kaigun  'Navy of the Greater Japanese Empire', or 日本海軍 Nippon Kaigun, 'Japanese Navy') was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1868 to 1945, when it was dissolved following Japan's surrender in World War II. The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) was formed circa 1952–1954 after the dissolution of the IJN.[1]

Imperial Japanese Navy
大日本帝國海軍
(Dai-Nippon Teikoku Kaigun)
Founded1868
Disbanded1945
Country Empire of Japan
Allegiance Emperor of Japan
Branch
TypeNavy
Part of
ColorsNavy Blue and White
Engagements
Commanders
Commander-in-chiefEmperor of Japan
Minister of the NavySee list
Chief of the Navy General StaffSee list
Insignia
Roundel
RanksRanks of the Imperial Japanese Navy
Aircraft flown
List of aircraft

The Imperial Japanese Navy was the third largest navy in the world by 1920, behind the Royal Navy and the United States Navy (USN).[2] It was supported by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service for aircraft and airstrike operation from the fleet. It was the primary opponent of the Western Allies in the Pacific War.

The origins of the Imperial Japanese Navy go back to early interactions with nations on the Asian continent, beginning in the early medieval period and reaching a peak of activity during the 16th and 17th centuries at a time of cultural exchange with European powers during the Age of Discovery. After two centuries of stagnation during the country's ensuing seclusion policy under the shōgun of the Edo period, Japan's navy was comparatively backward when the country was forced open to trade by American intervention in 1854. This eventually led to the Meiji Restoration. Accompanying the re-ascendance of the Emperor came a period of frantic modernization and industrialization. The navy had several successes, sometimes against much more powerful enemies such as in the Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War, before being largely destroyed in World War II.