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What is the meaning of “maru” in Japanese ship names?

April 12, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Shipping

Maru, pronounced mah-roo, is used in the names of Japanese merchant vessels to distinguish them from warships and other craft. For instance, Japanese name their ships “Yakiko Maru,” “Canberra Maru,” etc. Pop­ularly the word is regarded by Japanese as meaning simply “ship” or “steamship.” Just how it acquired this significance is not known for certain. …

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