Kobe Naval Training Center (神戸海軍操練所)

Kobe Naval Training Center is a naval officer training Institute and Navy Arsenal that Bakufu established in Kobe City in May 1864 under a proposal of Kaishu Katsu, a government's naval magistrate. It existed around current Shinko-cho, Chuo Ward, Kobe City. A monument of Kobe Naval Training Center is at Kyobashisuji Minamizume.


Although KATSU was a shogun's retainer, he foresaw collapse of the Bakufu and many patriots of forces of overthrowing the Shogunate gathered to him. Kobe which had been a fishing village began to develop as a port town since this training center was established in Kobe. There is an episode as follows.
KATSU foresaw it, and advised the locals who took care of him there that 'you had better buy lands before it's too late.'
Thereafter, the price of the lands jumps well, and the persons raised big profit.

However, the Choshu Domain, which had lost its position in Coup of August 18, was accused of having attacked Kyoto, Kinmon Incident. KATSU was dismissed as government's naval magistrate. This training center with many students who were sympathetic to Tosa Dappan Roshi (masterless samurai who left the Tosa domain) or Choshu was closed down in 1865, the following year, because it was deemed to have a strong anti-Bakufu hue in spite of an organ of the Bakufu.

Some researcher such as Rei MATSUURA and Hiroshi SHINOHARA proposes an opinion that a private school of Kaishu KATSU and Kobe Naval Training Center should be considered individually.

Distinguished students of the private school

Ryoma SAKAMOTO: A leading student of the private school
He was found by Kaishu KATSU, and learned seamanship, but learned it almost in his own way. He was disappointed at closing of the training center that was the stage of youth after leaving the domain and dismissal of KATSU as his teacher. Thereafter, he began working seriously in movement to overthrow the Shogunate. After the training center was dissolved, he formed Kameyama Shachu using experiences here. However, adopting the opinions of such as Rei MATSUURA, Ryoma was not able to enter Kobe Naval Training Center, and was not a leading student of the private school of Kaishu KATSU. In fact, it is thought that not Ryoma but Yonosuke SATO was managed the private school of Kaishu KATSU. However, KATSU himself told in "Hikawa seiwa" that Ryoma SAKAMOTO was a leading student of the private school. It may be impossible to think SAKAMOTO had no relationship with the Kobe Naval Training Center or the private supplementary school associated with it.

Munemitsu MUTSU: He became the vice chief class by favor of SAKAMOTO. He had a role of a secretary of Ryoma. He became Minister of Foreign Affairs later at the time of the Sino-Japanese War.

Sukeyuki (Yuko) ITO: He is from Satsuma domain. He became the first navarch of combined fleet, and commanded the Battle of the Yellow Sea (Sino-Japanese War).

Kitsuma KITAZOE, Kameyata MOCHIZUKI: They left Tosa domain. They rejected control of Sakamoto, and got involved in the Ikedaya Incident. It is said that a position of Kaishu KATSU got worse from this.

[Original Japanese]