The Minekaze class was designed with higher speed and better seakeeping than the preceding Kawakaze-class destroyers. The ships had an overall length of 102.5 meters (336 ft 3 in) and were 94.5 meters (310 ft 0 in) between perpendiculars. They had a beam of 9.04 meters (29 ft 8 in), and a mean draft of 2.9 meters (9 ft 6 in). The Minekaze-class ships displaced 1,366 metric tons (1,344 long tons) at standard load and 1,676 metric tons (1,650 long tons) at deep load. They were powered by two Parsons geared steam turbines, each driving one propeller shaft, using steam provided by four Kampon water-tube boilers. The turbines were designed to produce 38,500 shaft horsepower (28,700 kW), which would propel the ships at 39 knots (72 km/h; 45 mph). The ships carried 401 metric tons (395 long tons) of fuel oil which gave them a range of 3,600 nautical miles (6,700 km; 4,100 mi) at 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph). Their crew consisted of 148 officers and crewmen.
The main armament of the Minekaze-class ships consisted of four 12-centimeter (4.7 in) Type 3 guns in single mounts; one gun forward of he superstructure, one between the two funnels, one aft of the rear funnel, and the last gun atop the aft superstructure. The guns were numbered '1' to '4' from front to rear. The ships carried three above-water twin sets of 53.3-centimeter (21.0 in) torpedo tubes; one mount was in the well deck between the forward superstructure and the forward gun and the other two were between the aft funnel and aft superstructure. They could also carry 20 mines as well as minesweeping gear.
In 1937–38, Okikaze was one of the ships that had her hull strengthened, funnel caps added and her fuel capacity reduced to 279 metric tons (275 long tons). Early in the war, Nos. 2 and 3 guns and both sets of aft torpedo tubes were removed in exchange for four depth charge throwers, 36 depth charges, and 10 license-built 25 mm (0.98 in) Type 96 light AA guns. These changes reduced their speed to 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph).
Okikaze, built at the Maizuru Naval Arsenal, was laid down on 22 February 1919, launched on 3 October 1919 and completed on 17 August 1920. On commissioning, Okikaze was teamed with sister ships Minekaze, Sawakaze, and Yakaze at the Sasebo Naval District to form Destroyer Division 2 under the IJN 2nd Fleet.
From 1930–1932, Destroyer Division 2 was reassigned to the IJN 1st Air Fleet as part of the escort of the aircraft carrier Akagi, to assist in search and rescue operations for downed aircraft. At the time of the First Shanghai incident of 1932, Okikaze was engaged in river patrol duties along the Yangzi River in China.