|“||Aircraft carrier, Houshou. Though I'm inexperienced, I look forward to your guidance.||„|
Hōshō (鳳翔?, literally "phoenix in flight") was the world's first commissioned ship that was designed and built as an aircraft carrier, and the first aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). Commissioned in 1922, the ship was used for testing carrier aircraft operations equipment, techniques, such as take-offs and landings, and carrier aircraft operational methods and tactics. The ship provided valuable lessons and experience for the IJN in early carrier air operations. Hōshō 's superstructure and other obstructions to the flight deck were removed in 1924 on the advice of experienced aircrews.
Hōshō and her aircraft group participated in the Shanghai Incident in 1932 and in the opening stages of the Sino-Japanese War in late 1937. During those two conflicts, the carrier's aircraft supported Imperial Japanese Army ground operations and engaged in aerial combat with aircraft of the Nationalist Chinese Air Force. The small size of the ship and her assigned airgroups (usually around 15 aircraft) limited the effectiveness of her contributions to combat operations. As a result, the carrier was placed in reserve after her return to Japan from China and she became a training carrier in 1939.
During World War II, Hōshō participated in the Battle of Midway in June 1942 in a secondary role. After the battle, the carrier resumed her training role in Japanese home waters for the duration of the conflict and survived the war with only minor damage from air attacks. She was used as a repatriation transport after the war, making nine trips to bring some 40,000 Japanese soldiers and civilians to Japan from overseas locations. Hōshō was scrapped in Japan beginning in 1946.
Like some other carriers, her attire is based on kyūdo (Japanese archery) equipment. She wears a scarlet kimono, a dark hakama, and a matching tasuki (a rope to tuck up the kimono sleeves to prevent them from getting in the way). She holds a bow with her left hand, and she wears a yugake (deerskin glove) on the right hand. Her flight deck is attached to her left arm. She has a set of arrows on her back, with the Japanese aircraft insignia (red circle) on the arrow fletchings.
PersonalityEdit Hōshō (Houshou) was the world's first commissioned ship that was designed and built as an aircraft carrier. (Other carriers of her days were conversions from other types of ships.) For this reason, she can be considered to be the "mother" of all the other carriers, and hence has a very motherly, caring personality and is more reserved than the other ships.
Her quotes also suggest that she is a stereotypical "good wife" of the old days. You can bet she's a good cook too, and in fact Chitose Carrier Kai 2's hourly line on 7 pm indicates that she runs a restaurant or possibly an izakaya (something like a pub or a bar).
- Her name literally translates as "phoenix in flight" (鳳=phoenix, 翔=soar/fly).
- Weak and outdated (but this helped her to survive WWII).
- Due to her comments regarding opening a little store with the admiral, JP players often refer to her as おかみさん (Okami-san, lit. "boss lady" or the female owner of a typical Japanese store).
- Low consumption, which is good for expeditions.
- Her arrows have orange-yellow fletching as apposed to the white and green arrow fletching of other carriers, this is a reference to her role as a training carrier as the IJN painted its training aircraft a bright yellow or orange.
- Scrapped beginning 2 September 1946, after the mission of repatriation.
- She served as a repatriation transport to retrieve Japanese serviceman and civilians station overseas and return them to Japan.During her repatriation mission she was modified to cut her hangars to carry more passengers to continue her repatriation trips before August 15 1946 and carries transported more of about 40,000 passengers before she was scrapped.
- The original Houshou appeared in the animated movie "The Wind Rises", the aircraft carrier visited by Horikoshi Jiro and his supervisor Kurokawa. Nagato, with the serpentine funnel unique to her class, was shown as well, albeit briefly.
- Participated in the Battle of Midway with her task being to provide modest air protection, scouting, and anti-submarine support to the Main Body (consisting of Yamato, Nagato, Mutsu).
- A Yokosuka B4Y 'Jean' from Houshou took aerial photographs of a burning Hiryuu on June 5th 1942 after the Battle of Midway.
- She makes a small appearance in the anime.