The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
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Kawasaki was one of the large industrial conglomerates or zaibatsu
that dominated manufacturing in Japan prior to and during the Pacific
War. Originally founded as a shipbuilding firm in 1896, the company had
expanded into several other areas by 1941.
Among Kawasaki's subsidiaries was Kawasaki Kokuki Kogyo K.K., which was founded in 1919 to become one of Japan's oldest aircraft manufacturers. The company won a contract for production of a Dornier heavy bomber design in 1926 and for its own Ki-10 fighter in 1934.
Kawasaki produced 17% of Japan's airframes and 12% of its aircraft engines during the Pacific War. Its chief plants were at Akashi and Gifu. Smaller airframe plants were at Ichinomiya (Nagoya) and Miyakonojo, and some engines were produced at Futami and Takatsuki.
Kawasaki produced the Ki-45 Nick and Ki-36 Ida at Akashi and Gifu. The Gifu plant also produced the Ki-48 Lily. the Ki-56 Thalia, the Ki-102 Randy, and the Ki-67 Peggy. Both versions of the superb Ki-61 Tony were produced at Ichinomiya.
Kawasaki specialized in liquid-cooled engines, which included the Ha-9, Ha-40, and Ha-140. The company also produced the Ha-13, Ha-25, and Ha-115 under license.
Kawasaki also produced many of the Japanese Navy's warships at its large shipyard at Kobe. These were primarily submarines, but Kawasaki was also responsible for construction of fleet carrier Zuikaku.
Kawasaki web site (accessed 2012-1-7)
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