Tōya Maru (洞爺丸) was a Japanese train ferry constructed by Japanese National Railways (JNR) which sank during a typhoon, later known locally as the Tōya Maru Typhoon,[1] in the Tsugaru Strait between the Japanese islands of Hokkaidō and Honshū on September 26, 1954. JNR announced in September 1955 that 1,153 people aboard were killed in the accident. However, the exact number of fatalities remains unknown because there were victims who managed to obtain passage on the ship at the last minute, and others who cancelled their tickets just before the incident occurred.

Toya Maru.jpg
Toya Maru at an unknown date
NameTōya Maru
OwnerJapanese National Railways
Port of registry Japan Tokyo
BuilderMitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kobe, Japan
Yard number816
Launched21 November 1947
In service1948
Out of service26. September 1954.
FateSank during a typhoon in the Tsugaru Strait between the Japanese islands of Hokkaidō and Honshū on 26 September 1954
General characteristics
Class and typeRO/RO ferry
Tonnage3,898 grt (11,040 m3)
Length118.7 m (389 ft)
Beam15.85 m (52.0 ft)
Speed20 knots
Capacity1,128 passengers
Crew120 crew


Tōya Maru was launched on November 21, 1947. She was 118.7 m (389 ft) long and 15.85 m (52.0 ft) at her beam and she had a gross register tonnage of 3,898 grt (11,040 m3). She could accommodate 1,128 passengers and was operated by a crew of 120. She covered the distance from Aomori to Hakodate in 4 hours and 30 minutes.

As early as 1950, she was fitted with radar equipment, becoming one of the first Japanese sea liners to be so equipped. She was used by the Emperor the month before she sank. She was also famous as the flagship of the Tsugaru Strait.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "洞爺丸台風 昭和29年(1954年9月24日~9月27日" (in Japanese). Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved September 28, 2018.

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