The Sendai-class cruisers (川内型軽巡洋艦) were a development of the preceding Nagara class. Their boilers were better located, and they had four funnels instead of three. Each ship was designed with a flying-off platform and hangar, but did not actually carry aircraft (seaplanes) until a catapult system was installed in 1929.

the three Sendai-class light cruisers were constructed during the 1920s, they were supposed to be four except it was scrapped in accordance with the regulations of the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty.