MS Awazisan Maru

Awazisan Maru, also known as Awajisan Maru or Awagisan Maru was a 9,794 gross register tons (GRT) freighter that was built by Tama Shipbuilding Co., Tamano for Mitsui & Co. Ltd. launched in 1939 and was notable for being the most advanced freighter of its time.[2] It was commissioned by the Imperial Japanese Army to transport troops in World War II and was part of the Japanese Invasion of Malaya on 8 December 1941.

Name: Awazisan Maru
Builder: Tama Shipbuilding Co.
Acquired: 1939
Fate: Sunk by Allied forces
General characteristics
Displacement: 9,794 GRT
Length: 476 ft (145 m)[1]
Beam: 64 ft (20 m)
Draught: 40 ft (12 m)

Along with its sister ships Ayatosan Maru and Sakura Maru, it was carrying around 5,000 troops during the landings at Kota Bharu. Awazisan Maru was bombed by a Lockheed Hudson aircraft of No. 1 Squadron RAAF, set afire and was abandoned to drift. It is believed that the freighter sunk or was subsequently torpedoed by the Dutch submarine K-XII.

The invasion of Malaya preceded the attack on Pearl Harbor by an hour and a half, making it the first Japanese campaign of World War II, likely making Awazisan Maru the very first casualty in the war.

Awazisan Maru now lies in 20 metres (66 ft) of water off the coast of Pantai Sabak in Kota Bharu and is fast becoming a popular diving destination due to its remarkable history. It is more popularly known amongst local divers as the Japanese Invasion Wreck.


  1. "Awazisan Maru" (PDF). plimsollshipdata. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2010.
  2. "Mitsui Line". The Ships List. Archived from the original on 19 July 2010. Retrieved 2 March 2010.

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