- Other Names: Soembing
- Japanese: 観光丸 (kankou maru)
The Kankô Maru, originally known as Soembing, was a Dutch ship sent by the King of the Netherlands to Nagasaki in 1854 and again in 1855, as part of arrangements by VOC factor Jan Hendrik Donker Curtius to provide naval and military training to Tokugawa shogunate troops as part of a broader set of treaty agreements.
The shogunate expressed to Curtius in 1853 interest in constructing a modern Japanese navy. Curtius corresponded with the Netherlands, and the Soembing arrived at Nagasaki the following summer captained by a Captain Fabius. There, its crew engaged in some limited training exercises. In July 1855, Curtius proposed that the Soembing be given as a gift to the shogunate, and that its crew train some number of Japanese sailors more extensively, but only in conjunction with a broader formal treaty between the two countries.
Curtius made his formal proposal for a commercial treaty on September 7 (7/26), and by February the following year, the Dutch-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Amity had been concluded.
Renamed Kankô Maru, the ship became the first Western-style modern warship in the shogunate's fleet. The Kanrin Maru is generally considered the second, though the Shôheimaru was constructed by Satsuma han and gifted to the shogunate around the same time.
- Mitani Hiroshi, David Noble (trans.), Escape from Impasse, International House of Japan (2006), 260.
- Ishin Shiryô Kôyô 維新史料綱要, vol 1 (1937), 622, 628.