Sunday, April 21, 2013

The mystique of the Komagata Maru

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The mystique of the Komagata Maru

By Chip Minnick
The Daily Magi
September 15, 2037

Komagata Maru (Japanese: 駒形丸 Komagata Maru) was a steamship owned by the Shinyei Kisen Goshi Kaisya of Japan. She was built as a cargo ship in 1890 and had previously been known as both SS Stubbenhuk and SS Sicilia while sailing for two different German owners. She was later renamed Heian Maru. She was wrecked at Cape Soyedomari, Hokkaidō, Japan, on 11 February 1926.

She was launched by Charles Connell and Company of Scotstoun on 13 August 1890. Upon completion in September 1890, she was delivered to the German company Dampfschiff Rederei Hansa of Hamburg, and was registered under the name SS Stubbenhuk. She was subsequently acquired by the Hamburg America Line of Germany, where she sailed as the SS Sicilia from 1894.

She was acquired by the Shinyei Kisen Goshi Kaisha company in 1913. The company was owned by four or five individuals who possessed one other ship. She was renamed the Komagata Maru.

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Inspector Reid, H.H. Stevens and Capt Walter Hose onboard the Komagatu Maru

In 1914 the Komagata Maru was central to what became known as the Komagata Maru Incident, which involved 354 passengers from India who unsuccessfully attempted to immigrate to Canada. To accommodate the passengers, the lower deck was cleaned and fitted with latrines and wooden benches. The ship sailed back to India where, after disembarking from the ship, some of the passengers were killed in an incident with police authorities.

In 1924, the ship was renamed Heian Maru. She was wrecked on Cape Soyedomari, Hokkaidō, Japan on 11 February 1926.

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