On August 10, 1935 laid down at Kawasaki shipbuilding. On December 26, 1935 launched and on February 28, 1936 completed for the Kokusai Kisen K. K. Line. During March 1936, assigned to the Kokusai Kisen for their New York and European route.
On August 14, 1937, requisitioned by the IJN and is registered (commissioned) in the IJN and assigned as a transport in the Yokosuka Naval District. On August 18, 1937 undergoes conversion with Captain-Retired Katahara Tsunejiro as chief inspector.
On August 19, 1937 departed Sasebo bound for central China then returned to Sasebo on August 2, 1937. Next departs Lushun (Port Arthur) on September 1 for central China. Afterwards on September 6, to Dalian (Dairen) and departs for central China. Afterwards on September 10 returns to Sasebo, then departs the next day for central China. Returns to Sasebo on September 15 and departs again on the 17 for central China. On September 23, arrives at Mako.
On September 27, at Yokosuka Navy Yard began conversion to a seaplane tender with six 120mm guns installed and four Type 94 E7K2 Alf and eight Type 95 E8N2 Dave seaplanes, tail code for aircraft was 15-xx. Afterwards, assigned to the Kure Naval District with Captain Katahara is the Commanding Officer.
Combined Fleet "IJN Seaplane Tender KINUGASA MARU: Tabular Record of Movement
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November 16, 2018