The Go-To Website for
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Japan Coast Guard
Where Are They Now?
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Doctor-Heli Network
Fire/Disaster Prevention
Police Aviation Units
Japanese Aviation History (to 1945)

A Warm Welcome to J-HangarSpace!

It fell to the Air Development & Test Wing at Gifu AB to bring down the final curtain on Phantom
operations. January 14, 2021, marked the 50th anniversary of the first flight in St. Louis of
the service’s very first example, which had been given a retro colour scheme and AD&TW
tail markings for the occasion. Naturally, 301 was one of three aircraft that took their
final bows on March 17, 2021.
(See Bulletin Board story.)
(Photo [Dec. 14]: hiro@ via Twitter @levo2735)

Unveiled in mid-April 2020, the 301st TFS’s second specially marked aircraft was also much in
evidence in the run-up to the unit’s disbandment, which took place on December 15, 2020
For more photos, see the
Bulletin Board entry for April 15, 2020. (Photo: JASDF/Hyakuri AB)

(Photo: JASDF Hyakuri AB via Twitter @jasdf_hyakuri)

Hyakuri 301st special F-4EJAs it fell to the 301st TFS to mark the end of the F-4EJ Phantom II’s frontline service career, an
aircraft was naturally given a special paint scheme. A prominent feature are yellow scarves,
carrying either five or seven stars, along the cockpit sides and drop tanks as well as
above the wings. Denoting the two air wings to which the unit was assigned—the
(1973–1985), the 5th (1985–2016) and the 7th again (2016 to 2020)—the
stars have normally adorned the scarf of the frog tail marking, which
in this case has been enlarged.

phantomtour301crs(Photos: JASDF Hyakuri)

J-HangarSpace first slid open its doors on June 1, 2013, and the site houses an ever-growing wealth of detailed information on a wide range of Japanese aviation topics.

The 2019 retirement of the OH-6D meant that the barnstorming displays of the type at JGSDF
open days had passed into history. The type’s departure from the ranks also prompted a 
long-overdue upgrade to the content of this website’s
JGSDF Squadron Histories page.
(Photo [Akeno, Nov. 2019]: JGSDF/10th AvSqn)

As you will notice from the navigation buttons to the left, the site is primarily devoted to subject matter from the 1950s onwards. Each section features, or will feature, information culled largely from Japanese-language sources, much of which will be appearing in English for the first time. Please note that, although some civil aviation topics are included, hangar space is at a premium and thus none is given over to modern-day airline operations.

Japan’s Self-Defense Forces are well on their way to their 70th anniversaries in 2024. Each SDF section contains a Where Are They Now? guide, providing information on and selected photos from the locations of surviving examples of withdrawn aircraft. A Where Are They Now? Guide by Prefecture, which is as far as possible kept updated, is included at the foot of the JMSDF page.

Then assigned to the Western Army Aviation Squadron, the first-built Fuji LM-1 has its engine run 
up on the apron at its Takayubaru home base in March 1976. Passed to civilian ownership
following its return to the United States, this aircraft’s last-known registration
was cancelled in 2018.
(Photo: Takao Kadokami)

As a new departure from 2021, J-HangarSpace will be endeavouring to focus more on SDF historical rather than current events. For example, during the course of abovementioned update of the JGSDF Where Are They Now? section, some interesting and even little-known information was unearthed on the in-service and subsequent fates of some the Fuji LM-1 fleet. This is also covered in part on the Bulletin Board page (story dated Jan. 21, 2021).

(Photo [Oita Airport, Jan. 1969]: Takao Kadokami)

Something of a “beyond all recognition” test, N6524 (above) was the registration applied for legal purposes to what had once been the JASDF T-6G 72-0159. The aircraft had been modified to appear as a fake Kate torpedo bomber in the film Tora! Tora! Tora!, which was released in 1970. More details can be found in the Bulletin Board page entry for February 2021.

In the meantime, additional interesting and to some possibly surprising findings on the current identities and whereabouts of former JMSDF SNJ trainers have been added to the improved JMSDF Where Are They Now? page.

Avengers at Tateyama 1954

(Above and below) In 1955, the supply of U.S. aircraft to the three SDF services was in full swing.
These photos were taken at Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture, on February 12 that year, when a
ceremony was held to mark the official handover of 10 Grumman TBM-3W2 Avengers
and 12 North American SNJs to the nascent JMSDF. The event was covered by
Sekai no Kōkūki (The World’s Aircraft), a monthly magazine that had been 
launched in 1951 but sadly was to cease publication in 1957.
(Photos from April 1955 issue of The World’s Aircraft used with permission of
Hobun Shorin Co., Ltd.)

SNJs Tateyama 1954

JGSDF L-5 OitaA rare photo of  a JGSDF Stinson L-5 Sentinel. Assigned to the 4th District Air Unit at Ozuki,
Yamaguchi Prefecture, this example was noted at Oita airfield, Oita Prefecture, on November 1,
1955, in the days when security was clearly not a high priority. The JGSDF inherited a motley
collection of around 35 L-5s in four variants from the National Security Force, but
all had been retired by 1958.
(Photo: Takao Kadokami)

Each service has a page devoted to overviews of its current aircraft programmes, though these exclude any drone projects. One click will also take site visitors from the homepage to growing coverage of  squadron histories and markings as well as base histories, the latter including contact information.

Bird on a wire. A JMSDF HSS-2B deploys its magnetic anomaly detector (MAD) “bird” somewhere
over the Pacific in the late 1980s. The stripe marking shows this to be an aircraft assigned to the
121st Fleet Air Squadron
(FAS), one of six covered in the recently added third part of
JMSDF Squadron Histories & Markings. (Photo: JMSDF)

KV-107II Cope AngelNaha-based KV-107IIA-5 crew members dash to their aircraft at Kadena AB during Exercise Cope
Angel in October 1980. J-HangarSpace includes information on Air Rescue Wing units on the
JASDF Squadron Histories Part 3 page. (Photo: U.S. Air Force/Tech Sgt Michael E. Daniels)

Having marked its own 70th anniversary in 2018, the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) has been more in the news of late. I will be building on the of necessity brief information I included some years ago in an article that appeared the UK magazine Air International and adding more about the earlier years of operations, which are worthy of closer scrutiny.

Hardly surprisingly, the air operations of the Japanese prefectural police have received scant coverage overseas. The same can be said of the so-called parapublic operations conducted by fire and disaster prevention air units at the municipal and prefectural levels and the Doctor-Heli emergency medical services (EMS) network; further down the road (in my spare time!), I will be seeking to use this site to redress the balance.

Historical content has thus far spotlighted a dozen or so of Japan’s aviation museums, particularly those that have little or no English-language content. One aim here is to provide translations of exhibit information to make museum visits by overseas visitors that much more rewarding. The latest to receive the treatment was the Tokorozawa Aviation Museum, which is now featured on its own dedicated page.

One of the first pair of JGSDF Boeing V-22B Ospreys delivered to the newly formed Transport 
Helicopter Group at Kisarazu in July 2020. This photo was taken on November 9, 2020, 
the day hovering trials commenced within the base perimeter.

(Photo: 1st Helicopter Brigade, JGSDF via Twitter @1st_helb)

As it’s not every year that the JASDF welcomes a brand-new aircraft type, here’s a photo of the 
service’s latest recruit, the U-680A. The first two of the three ordered from Textron Aviation  
for the Flight Check Group arrived in March 2020. (Photo: JASDF/Iruma AB via Twitter)

F-35A JASDF (4)The JASDF’s newest front-line face saw the official light of day for the first time on June 5, 2017,
as covered by a
Bulletin Board report. (Photo: Kenichi Sunohara/Aireview)

As time passes, more content is being added to the Bulletin Board that was launched in 2016 and now also has a dedicated page along with back numbers in two-year installments. Other exciting site features will be revealed nearer the time.

By its very nature this remains very much a work in progress, so please bear with me while I continue to add meatier content to the “bare bones” of some sections. An overview of J-HangarSpace operations can be found at the foot of this page.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to click on Contact and send me a completed form.

Thanks for your visit and keep watching this space!

Paul Thompson

Toda, Saitama Prefecture, Japan
January 2022

Blue Impulse Ashiya 2018(Photo [Feb. 18, 2018]: JASDF Ashiya AB)

Hiroshima Happenstance

In the latest of the very occasional additions to the Japanese Aviation History page, J-HangarSpace sheds light on the story behind a pilot’s statue chanced upon during a visit to Hiroshima in September 2022.

Latest Addition to Famous Airplanes of the World Special Edition Series

In yet another departure from the norm, the ninth and latest (August 2022) title in the Famous Airplanes of the World Special Edition series focuses not on an aircraft from history but on a type that is still in JASDF service. J-HangarSpace has added more information on this publication’s 168 pages to the Magazines/Books page and a Kawasaki C-1 Retrospective/Sitrep photo story to the Bulletin Board page.

Chitose Air Show 2022

(Photo: JASDF Chitose AB via Twitter @jasdf_chitose)

On July 31, 2022, Chitose AB staged its first air show in three years; a report can be found on the Bulletin Board page. Information on the markings carried specially for the occasion on four of the based aircraft is provided on the JASDF Squadron Histories Part 1 (under the 203rd TFS) and Part 3 (Chitose ARS) pages.

Airfield Café Calls Time on Aircraft Exhibits

(Photo: tujimon via Twitter @orapo860)

Having over 35 years become something of an institution, the Airfield Café in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, has divested itself of its last JASDF airframe leftovers. A June 2022 story on the Bulletin Board page provides more of the back story.

Two IJNAF Reconnaissance Aircraft Titles Launched 

The second of two consecutive titles on IJNAF reconnaissance types in Bunrindo’s Famous Airplanes of the World series, that on the Type 0 Reconnaissance Floatplane (aka the Aichi E13A and Jake) will be an essential addition to many an aviation book collection. For more information and some photos to whet the appetite, check out the June 2022 IJNAF Double Bill stories on the Bulletin Board page.

Signs of Air Show Revival, with Limitations

(Image: JASDF Ashiya AB via Twitter @jasdf_ashiya)

On April 28, 2022, the above poster provisionally announced September 4 as the planned date for the Ashiya air show. As reported in a Bulletin Board entry for April, some JASDF bases are gradually making plans for a limited air show season, the limitations extending in this case to a maximum of 10,000 spectators. Located in a rural area, Ashiya does not normally attract large numbers, but should the novelty of an air show result in the event being over-subscribed, a lottery will be conducted. More details of that and the show’s content are to be provided on the base’s website at the end of June.

Starfighter in Solitary

Some of the more fortunate Phantoms might have been dispersed to new homes at the start of their
retirements, but a March 2022
Bulletin Board entry charts the service career and astounding
38-year survival of one of only four more or less intact F-104DJ Starfighters in Japan.
(Photo [April 2021]: みきとん「三喜屯」via Twitter @mikiton_k)

Ashiya 60th Anniversary T-4

(Photo [Mar. 2, 2022]: わらさん via Twitter @heiheiwarawara)

The latest of the JASDF special markings is that designed to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Ashiya AB. Although a ceremony and photo call was held on December 2, 2021, and a based UH-60J decorated for a dual celebration last summer (see below), only now (March 2022) has a specially marked T-4 appeared. More details of its markings can be found in the 13th Flying Training Wing entry on the JASDF Squadron Histories Part 2 page. Presumably this aircraft will be retained as is for the time being in anticipation of an air show appearance or two.

Helicopter Hieroglyphs Deciphered

Yamagata Air Rescue’s AW139 Mogami
(Photo [August 2019, Tochigi Heliport]: 祥 via Twitter @rescue60k)

In September 2021, J-HangarSpace finally expanded the coverage of the Fire/Disaster Prevention data file page. This now includes more stunning photos and, in what is possibly/modestly a world first, detailed information on the markings, for the most part pictorial symbols, carried by the helicopters in the municipal and prefectural aviation units. The Doctor-Heli Network page underwent the same course of treatment in the first half of 2022.

The Shizuoka Air Commuter-operated AW109SP GrandNew that serves Niigata University
Medical & Dental Hospital, one of two Doctor-Heli operations in the prefecture.
(Photo [April 2022]: TA_KU via Twitter @ta_ku_nkn073)

A dual JASDF anniversary milestone that prompted the application of special markings in 2021 was
the diamond jubilee of Ashiya AB and its resident Ashiya Air Rescue Squadron. This photo of the
white tiger-striped UH-60J only partly tells the story; photos of the full versions of the two
schemes can be found in the
Bulletin Board entry for July 15 and the Ashiya ARS entry 
on the
JASDF Squadron Histories Part 3 page. (Photo [Ashiya, Aug. 31, 2021]:
まえちゅう@解離性被害の飛行機 via Twitter @reborn_genkai15) 

A rare shot of a JMSDF U-36A with its braking parachute deployed.
(Photo [Iwakuni, May 2021]: カメちゃんvia Twitter @kame_cvw_5)

The first new feature content event of 2021 was the uploading of JMSDF Squadron Histories & Markings Part 2, which was closely followed by Part 3 in April.

(Photo [Port of Iwakuni, July 18, 2017]: U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Stephen Campbell)

(Photo [JASDF Ashiya AB, Sept. 1975]: Takao Kadokami)

The first two months of 2021 were devoted to upgrading the JGSDF and JMSDF Where Are They Now? pages. These now include information on former SDF aircraft that have ended up outside Japan, such as the JGSDF LM-1s in the United States, the fates of the JMSDF’s MH-53E helicopters and, going way back, the Grumman UF-2 Albatross and S2F-1 Tracker aircraft that likewise headed across the Pacific.

(Photo [Komatsu, Sept. 2018]: i北陸 [i-Hokuriku] / Hokuriku region official event and
tourist destination blog [link])

New from July 2020 is a page dedicated to a history of the Tactical Fighter Training Group at Komatsu, which in 2021 will mark its 40th anniversary of its formation as a T-2 “aggressor” unit. The coverage includes the origin of the recent distinctive lionfish marking on the F-15DJ shown above and the methods used in its creation. (See also the Bulletin Board entries for August 28, 2020 and November 2020.)

One of the four Royal Air Force Typhoons that visited Misawa on exercise in October 2016 is 
seen in the background of a fine study of an 8th TFS F-2. Photo included to mark this site
having recorded its 10,000th UK visitor—since installing its second flag counter
plug-in—on June 20, 2020, as reported on the
Bulletin Board page.
(Photo: Royal Air Force via Twitter @RoyalAirForce)

Location Report 10 (January 2020)

Recognize the aircraft type of this relic? By way of a brief departure from its standard Japan-based coverage, J-HangarSpace brings you an on-location report from the Pacific War Museum on the Micronesian island of Guam.

Latest Addition to Famous Airplanes of the World Special Edition Series


In a departure from the norm, the eighth and latest (December 2019) title in the Famous Airplanes of the World Special Edition series focuses not on an aircraft type but on a unit. The “spot the typo” cover shows Lt. Col. Minoru Shimoyama, commanding officer of the 47th Sentai, looking on as the unit’s pilots climb into and warm up the engines of their Ki-44 Shōki fighters at Chofu airfield in western Tokyo in early November 1943. J-HangarSpace has added more information on this publication to the Magazines/Books page.

Gone But Far from Forgotten


In late May 2019, the appearance of a valedictory mook (magazine book) from Kōkū Fan publisher Bunrindo marked the disappearance from the skies of 302nd Tactical Fighter Squadron Phantoms. A review can be found in the Japanese Language/Post-1945 and Current Topics section on the Magazines/Books page.

69-8701crsThe first JASDF F-35A during pilot training at Luke AB, Arizona, in mid-March 2018. The above-
mentioned Bunrindo mook also features a chapter covering the Provisional F-35A Squadron from 
its formation at Misawa on December 1, 2017, to the day the unit assumed the mantle of the
formerly Phantom-equipped 302nd TFS, on March 26, 2019.
(Photo: Tom McGhee)

Last Addition to Hangar Library in 2018


From the same two-man team that told the story of the return to service of 13 tsunami-damaged F-2Bs in June 2017 (see below) comes a publication released to mark the approaching end of the Phantom’s JASDF service career.

Japan Coast Guard Sendai Air Station Report

JCG Sendai AW139 (4)
Having already visited a Japan Coast Guard (JCG) air station for the Location Reports page (Haneda, Nov. 11, 2016), the detailed coverage on the J-HangarSpace JCG Operations page kicked off with an October 2018 visit to Sendai Air Station in the service’s 70th anniversary year.

JASDF Squadron Histories Revisited

Koku Fan Dec. 2018

In early October 2018, the 2nd Tactical Airlift Group revealed a specially marked C-1—featured on the cover of the January 2019 issue of Kōkū Fan magazine (above) and here (link)—to commemorate the 60th anniversary of its formation as the then Air Transport Wing (see also Bulletin Board for Oct. 21, 2018). Coincidentally, at around that time J-HangarSpace finally started to complete some JASDF support and training squadron histories. The texts and accompanying photos are gradually being uploaded to the newly added Squadron Histories Part 2 page. These will be followed in due course by content updates and photo upgrades to Part 1, and then the same treatment will be given to the JMSDF.

A Walk down Emily Memory Lane, Yokohama

A popular spot for cherry blossom-viewing in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, is in Tomioka Sogo Park in the Kanazawa part of the city. Requisitioned by the Occupation forces after the end of the war in 1945, the land was returned in 1971 and released for park use in 1975.

Few Japanese are aware that the park once formed part of the IJNAF’s Yokohama Naval Air Group flying boat base, and that the cherry trees were originally planted by base personnel.

More than simply charting the unit’s history, for Kataritsugu Yokohama Kaigunkōkūtai (Yokohama Naval Air Group: Stories Handed Down from Generation to Generation) writer Mikio Ōshima interviewed veterans, delved through records and searched for vestiges of the base and any remaining monuments. A timely release, following the publication of the revamped Famous Airplanes of the World title on the Type 2 (Emily) flying boat in March (see below). [REVIEW PENDING]

Novel Approach

Kamikaze to Croydon

As you will have noticed, J-HangarSpace regularly brings news of the latest non-fiction book releases, in English and Japanese, on relevant topics. Anyone interested in reading an example of that rare (up to now non-existent?) bird, a historical novel on a Japanese aviation topic in English, might care to take this one for a test flight.

Written by Martin J. Frid (link), a Swede who has lived in Japan for 30 years, Kamikaze to Croydon provides what can best be described as a fact-based fictionalized account of a well-documented deed of derring-do—the Asahi Shimbun-sponsored flight from Tokyo to Croydon in 1937. No ‘spoiler’ alerts needed, as the writer used up no artistic/pilot’s licence on a ‘what if’ ending.

Kamikaze The eponymous protagonist of Martin Frid’s novel, Asahi Shimbun‘s Mitsubishi Karigane Kamikaze.
(Photo from Apr. 1954 issue of The World’s Aircraft, used with permission of Hobun Shorin, Co., Ltd.)

The book is available in paperback and Kindle versions, and preview pages provided, on an Amazon screen near you. (Cost in Japan: 1,323 yen, excl. tax)

A Brace of  New Museums Visited in April 2018

Gifu-Kakamigahara Air and Space Museum Hien

While in the area in early April 2018, J-HangarSpace also paid a visit to the only recently reopened and rebranded Gifu-Kakamigahara Air and Space Museum. Here visitors can, in almost church-like surroundings, gather to show due reverence to the hallowed Hien fighter, the only one of its kind in Japan (above). A taster appeared on the Bulletin Board notice for March 24, 2018, but clicking on the Gifu-Kakamigahara button on the left will take you to a dedicated report page. An account of the Hien and its restoration follows the museum report. 


The report also includes a review of a book (above)—published to coincide with the reopening—that offers readers of Japanese a behind-the-scenes look at a museum created to exhibit domestically produced aircraft that carved their place in history.

Aichi Museum of Flight Zero

J-HangarSpace has added a report (link) from an April 4, 2018, visit to the Aichi Museum of Flight (above and mentioned in the Bulletin Board entry for November 30, 2017). Added at the end of the report is a look back at its low-profile forerunner, the Nagoya Airport Air and Space Museum, which also featured a Zero but closed after nearly 20 years in 2004.

Japan’s Newest Aviation Museum Visited

Kisarazu Museum KV-107

In October 2017, J-HangarSpace finally managed to find the time to file its latest roving report, from the new aviation museum at JGSDF Kisarazu Army Camp, Chiba Prefecture (link), which had been officially opened on February 25, 2017. The collection’s KV-107II-4A is featured in the third Displayed Aircraft Special Report that follows the JGSDF Where Are They Now? section (link). 

Staying with the JGSDF museum theme, a report on J-HangarSpace’s November 2017 visit to Tachikawa can be found here (link).

Tokorozawa Type 91

Shown above, The Nakajima Type 91 at the Tokorozawa Aviation Museum (TAM), Saitama Prefecture, is historically important for two reasons: as the sole survivor of the around 450 that were produced in two versions and as an example of one of the few Japanese-produced aircraft of the 1930s aircraft that remains in the same condition now as it was then.

For the second feature on its Japanese Aviation History (to 1945) page (link), J-HangarSpace focuses on the work of the little-known Japan Aeronautic Association (JAA) Aviation Heritage Archive and some of the aircraft, from the TAM Type 91 to the Misawa Aviation & Science Museum Tachikawa Ki-54 (below), that have received certification under the JAA’s Important Aviation Heritage Asset programme.

Misawa Ki-54 (2)(Photo: Yukio Suzuki, Executive Director, Japan Aviation Journalists’ Association)

Well Worth the Wait No. 2

Ki-45 Special Edition

Despite having been busy reprinting selected titles on Japanese types from its regular Famous Airplanes of the World series, publisher Bunrindo has, after 28 years, produced a reworked and expanded Special Edition version on an important and popular aircraft (link).

Well Worth the Wait No. 1

Emily book cover

The first Famous Airplanes of the World title to cover a Japanese subject in quite a while finally hit the streets at the end of March 2018. Back in September 2010, it had been the turn of the ShinMaywa US-1 to come in for some lavish treatment. (See Bulletin Board story dated July 30, 2020, for the latest Japanese-subject addition to the regular series.)

Emily Tokyo 1998Museum of Maritime Science, Tokyo, July 1998

This time, the popular choice of aircraft offered J-HangarSpace the chance to make a comparison with an earlier version (No. 49), which was published way back in November 1994, and to include some photos in the mix (link). 

The book release also prompted the compilation of a chronology of the 75-year history of the Kanoya Emily, which has been added at the head of the Japanese Aviation History page. 

H8K2 noseJMSDF Kanoya, June 2007 (Photo: Max Smith via Wikimedia Commons)

First Addition to Hangar Library in 2018

T-1 Hobby Japan

The latest from Hobby Japan covers four training aircraft for the price of one. (A review can be found in the Japanese-language books on current topics section on the Magazines/Books page here link)

New Book Time 2017

F-2B book tsunami

Covering a current JASDF aircraft type from a markedly different angle (of attack), this book charts the project to return to operational service F-2Bs damaged by the March 2011 tsunami. (A review can be found on the Magazines/Books page here link.)

Green Cross surrender aircraft

June 2017 saw the release of a revised and updated version of a book that focuses on seven days in August 1945; from the issue of an order to fly a Japanese delegation to Manila to discuss the surrender terms to their return at the end of the mission. The well-known main aircraft protagonists were two white-painted Betty bombers bearing green cross surrender markings, neither of which was destined to return to base due to technical problems. Information about the book can be found in the Aviation Books: Japanese Language/Historical section here (link). As a taster, footage exists on YouTube (link) of the two aircraft arriving at Iejima, Okinawa Prefecture, on August 19, 1945.

Japanese Aero-engines

The latest addition to the section devoted to reviews of English-language books on Japanese aviation history topics is this important April release from Stratus/MMP.

Shiden book cover

New releases from Japanese aviation publishers have been few and far between of late, so this February 2017 offering from DaiNippon Kaiga was very welcome. You can find a review in the Japanese Language/Historical section on the Magazines/Books page.

While I Was Away in 2015

Every year, work enforces periods of absence from the hangar. During that time in 2015, I was happy to once again assist Japanese aviation historian Kōji Yanagisawa in telling the story of two intrepid aviators who flew a Japanese-designed biplane from Tokyo to Rome in 1931. Aptly enough, the article appears in Issue 14 of The Aviation Historian. A superbly designed and executed quarterly magazine for the discerning reader of more offbeat topics, TAH more than lives up to the wording trumpeted on the cover: The modern journal of classic aeroplanes and the history of flying.

A banner link to the TAH website appears in the right-hand Notices column of this homepage.

南海の海鷲たち2During the course of 2015, J-HangarSpace compiled a roundup of site-relevant content carried in the major Japanese aviation magazines. In 2017, selected titles will be added to the existing “e-cupboard” of book reviews. These two sections are separated by access information for the Japan Aeronautic Association (JAA) library in Tokyo. Visitors’ attention is also drawn to the Bookstall carousel of recommended reading at the foot of this homepage.

JASDF T-34A William T. LarkinsKindly provided to this website in 2014 by well-known aviation photographer and historian William T. “Bill” Larkins, this shot shows a lineup of factory-fresh, JASDF-bound Beech T-34A Mentors at Oakland Airport, California, in October 1954. 
A view from another angle, on the Early SDF History chronology page, reveals a surprising fact about these aircraft.
(A true aviation photography veteran, Bill Larkins [1922–2021] photographed for posterity thousands of aircraft that graced the skies, airfields and airports of his native California. [link]) 

(All photographs on this website are copyright J-HangarSpace
unless otherwise stated.)

Tokyo Heliport 170208(1)Continuing the theme of the previous report, J-HangarSpace took a tour of Tokyo Heliport on a sunny February afternoon to bring you Location Report 9. Visits to three of the resident operators provided a rare look behind the scenes and offer visitors to J-HangarSpace a taste of the reports and features to come on the pages covering the Police Aviation Units, Fire/Disaster Prevention and the Doctor-Heli Network.

JCG Haneda hangarMany passengers travelling on the Tokyo Monorail that connects Tokyo International
(Haneda) Airport with the city’s Hamamatsucho Station will have caught sight of an
unassuming hangar close to Seibijo (‘maintenance area’) Station emblazoned with
the name Japan Coast Guard above the doors. Thanks to a fortunate chain of
events, J-HangarSpace was recently able to join a 15-strong group that was
granted a tour of the facility for Location Report 8

Kawaguchiko G4M2 nose(3)Every August, the Zero Fighter Museum (Kawaguchiko Aviation Hall) in
Yamanashi Prefecture offers the general public a time-limited chance to
check on the status of its restoration projects and other treasures.
J-HangarSpace’s report focuses on the collection’s unique
restored/reverse-engineered fuselage of a Mitsubishi G4M2 Betty bomber. 

Kasumigaura PI CenterOf all the displays at the JGSDF Public Information Center at Kasumigaura Army Camp
in Ibaraki Prefecture, perhaps the most fascinating are those covering its time as an
Imperial Japanese Naval Air Force (IJNAF) base.
The June 2014 addition to the Aviation Museum page reveals more. 

Memorial Hall frontMarking a slight departure from the normal coverage, the May 2014 Location Report 7
had J-HangarSpace joining a group tour of the Ministry of Defense compound in Tokyo.

Atsugi P-1 5503Location Report 6 was from the 2014 Spring Festival at the U.S. Naval Air Facility
(NAF) Atsugi. There J-HangarSpace was able to photograph Kawasaki P-1
patrol aircraft on the ground and, an added bonus, in the air. 

Kumagaya CH-47J (3)Part air show report, part museum visit, J-HangarSpace’s fifth Location Report came
from the annual Cherry Blossom Festival at Kumagaya AB in Saitama Prefecture.

ShusuiIn February 2014, the museum collection at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ Komaki
South Plant became the fifth to be visited by J-HangarSpace. Among the gems on
dispaly are a restored J8M1 Shusui interceptor and A6M5 Zero Type 52 fighter.

Note: This facility closed its doors in June 2017. The exhibits were moved
to what is primarily intended as an educational facility for MHI
employees at the company’s Oe Plant. 

J79 close-upRecognize this engine? J-HangarSpace’s fourth aviation museum report came from the
collection entrusted to Mitsu Seiki Co., Ltd., a company that has carved itself several
niches in the precision engineering industry from its base in Awaji, Hyogo Prefecture.

US-1A landsOne of the JMSDF’s two remaining ShinMaywa US-1A rescue amphibians returned to
its birthplace for the last time in February 2014. J-HangarSpace was present to
witness two days of test flying that involved takeoffs and landings at sea
for Location Report 4.

oyabe kv-107 (3)
To mark the 60th anniversary of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, J-HangarSpace conducted a census of retired SDF aircraft. See the end of the JGSDF Where Are They Now? page for details of two results from that census. (Note that the Herb World Akita aircraft has since been removed.)
(Photos: CROSSLAND OYABE [above], Herb World Akita [below])

Herb World Akita UH-1H


J-HangarSpace’s last feature of 2013 covered a special exhibition at the well-known Tokyo home of a Mitsubishi Zero fighter, the National Museum of Nature and Science in Ueno Park. Part of the Japan Aeronautic Association’s centenary celebrations, the exhibition showcased some fascinating memorabilia and evocative images from bygone eras of Japanese civil aviation.
















This JMSDF ShinMaywa US-1A rescue amphibian was one of 50 aircraft that took part in the flypast at the 2013 SDF Review ceremony. See Location Report 3
for more details.

gyodat-1b6The October 2013 addition to the aviation museum section involved a visit to the
SUBARU service centre that has a Fuji T-1B as its very own gate guard.

yoyogi11Kumazo Hino steps out of Yoshitoshi Tokugawa’s shadow in J-HangarSpace’s debut
Japanese aviation history topic (here). The article reports from the monument to the
two men instrumental in sowing the seeds of Japanese aviation development by
being the first to fly heavier-than-air machines in the country. 

Overview of J-HangarSpace Feature Operations

Being prepared for unveiling: The long-awaited
JMSDF Squadron Histories Part 4

Parts in process: The run-up to and early days of the JASDF
Under tarp in corner of hangar: More base histories


Nov. Japanese Aviation History page: Toyotarō Yamagata
Mar.-May Doctor-Heli data file page update and upgrade


Dec. Police Aviation Unit data file page update and upgrade 
Sept. Fire/Disaster Prevention data file page update and upgrade
Apr. JMSDF Squadron Histories & Markings Part 3
Mar. JMSDF Squadron Histories & Markings Part 2
Feb. JMSDF Where Are They Now? update and upgrade
Jan. JGSDF Where Are They Now? update and upgrade


Dec. JASDF Where Are They Now? update and upgrade
July Tactical Fighter Training Group (Aggressor Sqn) dedicated page
May Expanded JGSDF Squadron Histories coverage divided into two parts
Bulletin Board back numbers split into two-year installments
Mar. Review of Famous Airplanes of the World Special Edition Vol. 7:
                         Pictrial [sic] History of Japanese Army 47th Flying-Sentai
Jan.  Location Report 10: Pacific War Museum, Guam
Museum Visit 12: Tokorozawa Aviation Museum (dedicated page)


June Review of Welcome Aboard: Memorabilia from the Early Years of
Air Journeys
May Review of Bunrindo mook on 302nd TFS
Feb. Initial version of JASDF Squadron Histories Part 3 completed


Nov. JASDF Squadron Histories Part 2 gradually being uploaded
Oct. Japan Coast Guard Operations: Sendai Air Station visit
Aug. Review of Famous Airplanes of the World Special Edition Vol. 7:
                                                Army Type 2 Two-Seat Fighter Toryu (Nick)
July Illustrated listing of helicopter-capable ships added to
updated Japan Coast Guard Disposition page
June Illustrated listing of helicopter-capable ships added to
upgraded JMSDF Order of Battle page
JASDF Order of Battle page photo content upgraded
May  Kanoya Emily Chronology (Japanese Aviation History page)
Review of Famous Airplanes of the World No. 184:
                                                Type 2 (Emily) Flying Boat (link)
Museum Visit 11: Gifu-Kakamigahara Air and Space Museum
(dedicated page includes account of Hien and its restoration)
Apr. Museum Visit 10: Aichi Museum of Flight
Plus Nagoya Airport Air & Space Museum (Oct. 2000 visit)


Nov. Museum Visit 9: JGSDF Tachikawa Army Camp Museum
Oct. Displayed Aircraft Special Report 3: JGSDF Kisarazu KV-107II-4A
  Review of book on F-2B added
Sept. Museum Visit 8: JGSDF Kisarazu Army Camp Museum 
Apr. Second feature for Japanese Aviation History (pre-1945) page:
Japan Aeronautic Association (JAA) Aviation Heritage Archive and
Important Aviation Heritage Asset certifications 
Feb. Location Report 9: Tokyo Heliport
Jan. First JMSDF Squadron Histories (Sqn Nos. 1-31) uploaded


Dec. Location Report 8: Japan Coast Guard Haneda Air Station
  Bulletin Board moved from homepage to dedicated page
Sept. Reviews of books on X-2 and F-104J/DJ added
Apr. Interim JGSDF Squadron Histories page uploaded
Mar. SDF Orders of Battle pages updated
Feb. JCG says sayonara to its final Bell 212  (see Aircraft Data File)
  Feature on Hien restoration project added, combined with news of Kakamigahara Aerospace Science Museum refurbishment plans
Jan. Aircraft programmes updated


Dec. Magazines/Books page updated
June Fifth JMSDF base history (Kanoya) added
Feb. Japan Coast Guard Aircraft Data File (Ver1.0) added
Jan. Sample JASDF base histories (Akita, Ashiya) added
  Magazines/Books page launched


Dec. Principal JASDF fighter squadron histories/markings added
Nov. Museum Visit 7: Zero Fighter Museum (Kawaguchiko Aviation Hall)
June Where Are They Now? by prefecture guide added (here)
  Museum Visit 6: JGSDF Kasumigaura Public Information Center
May Location Report 7: Japan Ministry of Defense, Tokyo
  JMSDF Aircraft Profiles/Nose to Tail photos: Kawasaki P-1
  Location Report 6: U.S. NAF Atsugi (Kawasaki P-1)
Apr. Location Report 5: Cherry Blossom Festival, Kumagaya AB
  Displayed Aircraft Special Report 2: Herb World Akita’s UH-1H
  Report from MHI/Nagoya Aerospace Systems’ Komaki Plant museum
Mar. Report from Mitsu Seiki museum collection, Awaji, Hyogo Prefecture
  Location Report 4: ShinMaywa Industries, Ltd., Kobe (US-1A)
Feb. Displayed Aircraft Special Report 1: Crossland Oyabe’s KV-107II


Dec. Special report from National Museum of Nature & Science, Tokyo
Nov. Chronology of Events (Ver 1.0) added to Early SDF History page
Oct. Location Report 3: SDF Review ceremony, Asaka
  Report on preserved Fuji T-1B added to Aviation Museums (see above)
  Prototype Japanese Aviation History article (see above) completed
Sept. Location Report 2: Gunma Heliport, Maebashi
  Report from Tokyo Fire Museum filed under Aviation Museums
  Location Report 1: ShinMaywa Industries, Ltd., Kobe (US-2)



Bookstall: Hangar Manager’s Recommendations

Loading Images
Soredemo Watashi Wa Tobu (They Flew Regardless: Pictorial Mementos of Aviation in Japan, 1909–1940)
Kugisho E14Y Glen: The Aircraft That Bombed America
Buruu Inparusu: Kurosawa Eisuke Shashinshu (Blue Impulse: Eisuke Kurosawa Photo Collection)
Happy Phantom Days
Sora no Tabi (Air Journeys)


Air Shows in 2023
Mar. 5  Komaki
Apr.*  Kumagaya
Nov. 3  Iruma
* To be confirmed

Air Shows in 2022
Apr. 3  Kumagaya
May  Miho (cancelled)
May 22  Shizuhama

            (Limited event)
June 5  Hofu-Kita
June 11  Nara

July 31  Chitose

Aug. 28  Matsushima

Sept. 4  Ashiya
   (Limited event,
    restrictions applied)

Sept. 11  Misawa

Sept. 19  Komatsu
Sept. 23  Akita
Oct. 23  Hamamatsu
Nov. 3 Iruma

Nov. 13  Gifu

Nov. 27  Tsuiki

Dec. 4  Hyakuri
Dec. 4  Nyutabaru
Dec. 11  Naha
* By prior
     application only
* To be confirmed

Air Shows 2020/21
All cancelled

Air Shows in 2019
Komaki 2019 poster
Mar. 2  Komaki
Apr. 14  Kumagaya
May 19  Shizuhama
June 2  Hofu-Kita
June 2  Miho
Aug. 4  Chitose
Aug. 25  Matsushima
Sept. 8  Misawa
Sept. 16  Komatsu
Oct. 13  Ashiya
Oct. 20  Hamamatsu
Nov. 3  Iruma
Nov. 9  Komaki
Nov. 10  Gifu 
Nov. 23  Kasuga
Dec. 1  Hyakuri
Dec. 7-8  Naha
Dec. 8  Tsuiki
Dec. 15  Nyutabaru



Air Shows in 2022
Apr.  Narashino
Apr.  Somagahara

Apr.  Jinmachi
May Kita-Utsunomiya
May  Kasumigaura

July 24  Okadama
Oct. 1 Tokushima
Nov.  Tachikawa
Nov. 13  Akeno

Nov. 20  Yao
Dec.  Kisarazu

Air Shows 2020/21
With exception of
Akeno (only limited
access), all cancelled

Air Shows in 2019
Jan. 13  Narashino
 (paratroop display)
Apr. 13  Kasuminome
Apr. 13  Somagahara
May 12  Takayubaru
June 1  Kasumigaura
June 16  Kita-Utsunomiya
June 23  Okadama
Oct. 6  Metabaru
Nov. 3  Akeno
Nov. 9  Tachikawa
Nov. 17  Naha
Nov. 24  Yao
Dec. 8  Kisarazu


Air Shows in 2022

Apr. 30  Omura
May  Iwakuni
(Joint Friendship Day)
May  Kanoya
         (Both cancelled)

July 17  Komatsushima

July 18  Tateyama
Sept. 10  Hachinohe

Oct. 1  Tokushima
Oct. 22  Shimofusa
(announced Sept. 21,
            limted event)

Oct. 30  Ozuki
(announced Sept. 28)

Air Shows 2020/21
All cancelled

Air Shows in 2019
Apr. 27  Atsugi
Apr. 28  Kanoya
May 5  Iwakuni
(joint Friendship Day)
May 18  Maizuru
May 19  Omura
July 13-14
July 27  Tateyama
Sept. 21  Hachinohe

Oct. 20  Ozuki
Oct. 26 Shimofusa
Nov. 17  Tokushima



(*) Date to be confirmed

(Please note that air show dates are subject to change/cancellation.)


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Asian Air Arms

The Aviation Historian


Japan Association of Aviation Photo-

(Site dedicated to displayed aircraft in Asia)

(from May 17, 2022)

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