Moriya class sailing corvette:
After Koko no Kaigun was established in 1876, the newly formed naval staff immediately asked for new ships to replace the hoplessly obsolete twelve sailing ships that formed what was colloquially called "Marikouji patchwork fleet". An order was thus put abroad fot two mixed sail-steam ships, which was picked up by the German AG Vulcan yard in Stettin. Built between 1877 and 1882 the two ships were of a modified design based on that of the Bismarck class that was being built in Germany at that time. The hull was of a mixed construction, with iron frames and wooden planks. It was 82,5m long overall -excluding the bowsprit-, 13,7m abeam and had a maximum draft of 6,3m aft for a displacement of 2.947 T. Four boilers powered a single 3-cylinder steam engine that drove a single propeller, enough to push the ship to a maximum speed of 12,5 knots. As a secondary propulsion mean the ships were fitted with a full rig of sails that could complement the steam engine or replace it altogether (Both funnel and forward searchlight platform were retractable for this reason). armement was made of sixteen 150mm guns, four 88mm ones and two 37mm revolving cannons. complement was 404 officers and men.
The lead ship, Moriya, was commissioned and delivered to Koko no Kaigun in 1880, with her sister Yamada following in 1882. They both served as fleet flagship in 1880-1882 and 1882-1885 respectively. both inerted the bad performance and manouverabiliy of their German half-sister when sailing solely under wind. They were regarded as good seaboats otherwise, and at the moment of commissioning they were by a long shot the most advanced units in the fleet
Rapid naval design progress and the commissioning of new units into the fleet made the two corvettes quickly obsolete however. In the 1890s both were refitted, entierely removing the sail rig, being fitted with a new bridge, and repainted. Moriya underwent such works between 1892 and 1893, Yamada followed in 1894-95.
Despite this, the two sisters were growing more and more obsolete as days, let alone years, passed. Moriya was decommissioned and scrapped in 1905, Yamada was converted into a training ship in 1907 gaining a few more years of service. During works the original armament was removed and replaced by ten 105mm guns, four 76mm, six 47mm ones. Extra deckhouses were added to allow to carry as much as 528 officer and cadets.
Ultimately, Yamada was finally decommissioned 1914 and scrapped shortly thereafter.
Ships in class: (laid down-launched-commissioned - fate)
Moriya 1877-1879-1880 - Decommissioned 1905
Yamada 1879-1881-1882 - Training ship 1907, Decommissioned 1914