J1 Class, Japanese Submarines

Photograph of I-1, a J1-class submarine

Navy Association of Japan. Via Wikimedia Commons



1970 tons standard
2135 tons surfaced
2791 tons submerged


319'10" by 30'3" by 17'6"
97.49m by 9.22m by 5.33m

Maximum speed      

18 knots (surfaced)
8 knots (submerged)
Dive to 260 feet (79 meters)




2 5.5"/50 gun
1 light machine gun
6 21" torpedo tubes (20 torpedoes)
2-shaft MAN diesel-electric (6000 bhp)
Bunkerage 545 tons diesel oil
Range 24,400 nautical miles (45,200 km) at 10 knots surfaced
60 nautical miles (110 km) at 3 knots submerged

Built beginning in 1923 with the assistance of German technicians, the J1s were Japan's first attempt at a cruiser submarine (Junyo sensuikan or Junsen), with great range, light armor, and large torpedo loadout. They differed from the Kadai (KD) series in that the Kadai were intended to operate with the fleet, while the Junsen were to operate independently in distant waters. They were large submarines equipped to serve as flagships for submarine squadrons. Their design was similar to the German U-142 type.

Units in the Pacific:


Northwest of Oahu      

Sunk 1943-1-29 off Guadalcanal by Kiwi and Moa
I-2 Northwest of Oahu       Sunk 1944-4-7 off New Hanover by Saufley
I-3 Northwest of Oahu       Torpedoed 1942-12-10 off Guadalcanal by PT-59
I-4 East of Oahu       Torpedoed 1942-12-25 off Guadalcanal by PT-122


Boyd and Yoshida (1995)

Carpenter and Polmar (1986)

Evans and Peattie (1997)

Jentschura, Jung, and Mickel (1977) (accessed 2 January 2007)

Worth (2001)

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