Construction of the Mutsuki-class destroyers was authorized as part of the Imperial Japanese Navy's build up following the abandonment of the Washington Naval Treaty from fiscal 1923. The class was a follow-on to the earlier Minekaze and Kamikaze-class destroyers, with which they shared many common design characteristics. Mutsuki, built at the Sasebo Naval Arsenal was laid down on May 21, 1924, launched on July 23, 1925 and commissioned on March 26, 1926. Originally commissioned simply as “Destroyer No. 19”, it was assigned the name Mutsuki on August 1, 1928.
In the late 1930s, Mutsuki participated in combat in China, including the First Shanghai Incident of 1932 and other actions in the Second Sino-Japanese War.