Samurai were the military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan. In Japanese, they are referred to as bushi or buke. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was a verb meaning'to wait upon','accompany persons' in the upper ranks of society, this is true of the original term in Japanese, saburau. In both countries the terms were nominalized to mean'those who serve in close attendance to the nobility', the Japanese term saburai being the nominal form of the verb." According to Wilson, an early reference to the word samurai appears in the Kokin Wakashū, the first imperial anthology of poems, completed in the first part of the 10th century. By the end of the 12th century, samurai became entirely synonymous with bushi, the word was associated with the middle and upper echelons of the warrior class; the samurai were associated with a clan and their lord, were trained as officers in military tactics and grand strategy. While the samurai numbered less than 10% of Japan's population, their teachings can still be found today in both everyday life and in modern Japanese martial arts.
Following the Battle of Hakusukinoe against Tang China and Silla in 663 AD which led to a retreat from Korean affairs, Japan underwent widespread reform. One of the most important was that of the Taika Reform, issued by Prince Naka-no-Ōe in 646 AD; this edict allowed the Japanese aristocracy to adopt the Tang dynasty political structure, culture and philosophy. As part of the Taihō Code of 702 AD, the Yōrō Code, the population was required to report for the census, a precursor for national conscription. With an understanding of how the population was distributed, Emperor Monmu introduced a law whereby 1 in 3–4 adult males were drafted into the national military; these soldiers were required to supply their own weapons, in return were exempted from duties and taxes. This was one of the first attempts by the Imperial government to form an organized army modeled after the Chinese system, it was called "Gundan-Sei" by historians and is believed to have been short-lived. The Taihō Code classified most of the Imperial bureaucrats into 12 ranks, each divided into two sub-ranks, 1st rank being the highest adviser to the Emperor.
Those of 6th rank and below were dealt with day-to-day affairs. Although these "samurai" were civilian public servants, the modern word is believed to have derived from this term. Military men, would not be referred to as "samurai" for many more centuries. In the early Heian period, during the late 8th and early 9th centuries, Emperor Kanmu sought to consolidate and expand his rule in northern Honshū, sent military campaigns against the Emishi, who resisted the governance of the Kyoto-based imperial court. Emperor Kanmu introduced the title of sei'i-taishōgun, or shōgun, began to rely on the powerful regional clans to conquer the Emishi. Skilled in mounted combat and archery, these clan warriors became the Emperor's preferred tool for putting down rebellions. Though this is the first known use of the title shōgun, it was a temporary title and was not imbued with political power until the 13th century. At this time, the Imperial Court officials considered them to be a military section under the control of the Imperial Court.
Emperor Kanmu disbanded his army. From this time, the emperor's power declined. While the emperor was still the ruler, powerful clans around Kyoto assumed positions as ministers, their relatives bought positions as magistrates. To amass wealth and repay their debts, magistrates imposed heavy taxes, resulting in many farmers becoming landless. Through protective agreements and political marriages, the aristocrats accumulated political power surpassing the traditional aristocracy; some clans were formed by farmers who had taken up arms to protect themselves from the Imperial magistrates sent to govern their lands and collect taxes. These clans formed alliances to protect themselves against more powerful clans, by the mid-Heian period, they had adopted characteristic Japanese armor and weapons; the Emperor and non-warrior nobility employed these warrior nobles. In time they amassed enough manpower and political backing, in the form of alliances with one another, to establish the first samurai-dominated government.
As the power of these regional clans grew, their chief was a distant relative of the Emperor and a lesser member of either the Fujiwara, Minamoto, or Taira clans. Though sent to provincial areas for fixed four-year terms as magistrates, the toryo declined to return to the capital when their terms ended, their sons inherited their positions and continued to lead the clans in putting down rebellions throughout Japan during the middle- and later-Heian period; because of their rising military and economic power, the warriors became a new force in the politics of the Imperial court. Their involvement in the Hōgen Rebellion in the late Heian period consolidated their power, which pitted the rivalry of Minamoto and Taira clans against each other in the Heiji Rebellion of 1160; the victor, Taira no Kiyomori, became an imperial advisor and was the first warrior to attain such a position. He seized control of the central government, establishing the first samurai-dominated government and relegating the Emperor to figurehead status.
However, the Taira clan was still conservative when compared to its eventual successor, the Minamoto, instead of expanding or stre
Yoshijirō Umezu was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. Umezu was born in Nakatsu, Ōita, where his family ran a bookstore since the 18th century. During his years at the Seisei High School in Kumamoto, he decided to pursue a military career, he graduated from the 15th class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy on November 30, 1903 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the infantry the following February 12, 1904. Promoted to lieutenant on June 30, 1905, he entered the 23rd class of the Army Staff College, graduating first in 1911. Following his promotion to captain on March 25, 1912, he was sent to Europe for further studies in Germany and Denmark. While in Denmark, he was a military observer from Japan, during the course of World War I, was promoted to major on June 1, 1918. From 1919 to 1921, he was appointed as a military attaché to Switzerland. Umezu was promoted to lieutenant colonel on February 8, 1922, to colonel on December 15, 1925.
During the 1920s, he was a member of the Tōseiha, led by General Kazushige Ugaki along with Gen Sugiyama, Koiso Kuniaki, Tetsuzan Nagata and Hideki Tōjō. They represented a politically moderate line between the armed forces, in opposition to the radical Kōdōha movement, guided by Sadao Araki, he served as an instructor at the Army Staff College from 1923–1924, was commander of the IJA 3rd Infantry Regiment from 1924–1926. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Umezu held a number of staff positions within the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff, he was promoted to major general on August 1, 1930. Umezu returned to the field as a lieutenant general and commander of the Japanese China Garrison Army from 1934–1935, as commander of the IJA 2nd Division from 1935-1936. After being recalled to Japan in 1936, Umezu was appointed Vice Minister of War from 1936–1938, he returned to China in 1938 as commander-in-chief of the IJA 1st Army, subsequently commander-in-chief of the Kwangtung Army from 1939–1944.
He was promoted to full General on August 1, 1940. In July 1944, Umezu was appointed as the final Chief of the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff, a member of the Supreme War Council. Along with War Minister Korechika Anami and Soemu Toyoda, Chief of Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff, Umezu opposed surrender in August 1945, he was aware of the planned coup d'état by junior officers opposed to the surrender, but did nothing to either aid or hinder it. He was ordered by Emperor Hirohito to sign the instrument of surrender on behalf of the armed forces on September 2, 1945 and thus, was the Army's senior representative during the surrender ceremonies on the battleship USS Missouri, at the end of World War II, he entered the reserves on November 30. After the war, he was arrested by the SCAP authorities and tried as a war criminal at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East in Tokyo, he was found guilty of Counts 1, 27, 29, 31 and 32 of waging a war of aggression and sentenced to life imprisonment on November 12, 1948.
While in prison, he became a convert to Christianity. Umezu died from rectal cancer in prison in 1949. Butow, Robert J. C.. Japan's Decision to Surrender. Stanford University Press. ASIN: B000VFCC14. Dupuy, Trevor N.. Encyclopedia of Military Biography. I B Tauris & Co Ltd. ISBN 1-85043-569-3. Frank, Richard B.. Downfall: the End of the Imperial Japanese Empire. Penguin, non-classics. ISBN 0-14-100146-1. Fuller, Richard. Shokan: Hirohito's Samurai. London: Arms and Armor. ISBN 1-85409-151-4. Hayashi, Saburo. Quantico, Virginia: The Marine Corps Association. Kase, Toshikazu. Journey to the Missouri. Maga, Timothy P.. Judgment at Tokyo: The Japanese War Crimes Trials. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-2177-9. USS Missouri Ammenthorp, Steen. "Umezu, Yoshijiro". The Generals of World War II. Budge, Kent. "Umezu, Yoshijiro". Pacific War Online Encyclopedia. Clancy, Patrick. "HyperWar:IMTFE Judgement". HyperWar Foundation
Imperial Japanese Army Air Service
The Imperial Japanese Army Air Service or Imperial Japanese Army Air Force or, more the Greater Japan Empire Army Air Corps, was the aviation force of the Imperial Japanese Army. Just as the IJA in general was modeled on the German Army, the IJAAS developed along similar lines to the Imperial German Army Aviation; the IJAAS provided aerial reconnaissance to other branches of the IJA. While the IJAAS engaged in strategic bombing of cities such as Shanghai, Canton, Chongqing and Mandalay, this was not the primary mission of the IJAAS, it lacked a heavy bomber force, it did not control artillery spotter/observer aircraft. The Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service was responsible for long-range bomber and attack aircraft, as well as strategic air defense, it was not until the stages of the Pacific War that the two air arms attempted to integrate the air defense of the home islands. The Imperial Japanese Army made use of hydrogen balloons for observation purposes in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 and in 1909, together with the Imperial Japanese Navy and the Tokyo Imperial University, the Rinji Gunyo Kikyu Kenkyukai was set up.
In 1910, the society sent Captain Yoshitoshi Tokugawa and Captain Hino Kumazō to France and Germany to receive pilot training and purchase aircraft. Japan purchased its first aircraft, a Farman biplane and a Grade monoplane, brought back by the officers from Western Europe. On December 19 1910, Captain Yoshitoshi Tokugawa in a Farman III conducted the first successful powered flight on Japanese soil at Yoyogi Parade Ground in Tokyo; the following year in 1911, several more aircraft were imported and an improved version of the Farman III biplane, the Kaishiki No.1, was built and flown in Japan by Captain Togugawa. In 1914, with the outbreak of war, the Japanese laid siege to the German colony of Tsingtao, aircraft from the army together with the navy conducted reconnaissance and bombing operations; the Provisional Air Corps consisting of four Maurice Farman MF.7 biplanes and a single Nieuport VI-M monoplane flew 86 sorties between them. In December 1915, a air battalion was created under the Army Transport Command, which became responsible for all air operations.
However, serious interest in military aviation did not develop until after World War I. Japanese military observers in Western Europe were quick to spot the advantages of the new technology, after the end of the war, Japan purchased large numbers of surplus military aircraft, including Sopwith 1½ Strutters, Nieuport 24s, Spads. In 1918, a French military mission was invited to Japan to help develop aviation; the mission was headed by Jacques-Paul Faure and composed of 63 members to establish the fundamentals of the Japanese aviation, the mission brought several aircraft including Salmson 2A2, Spad XIII, two Breguet XIV, as well as Caquot dirigables. Japanese army aviation was organized into a separate chain of command within the Ministry of War of Japan in 1919, aircraft were being used in combat roles during the 1920 Siberian Intervention against the Bolshevik Red Army near Vladivostok; the first aircraft factory in Japan, Nakajima Aircraft Company, was founded in 1916 and obtained a license to produce the Nieuport 24 and Nieuport-Delage NiD 29 C.1 as well as the Hispano-Suiza engine.
Nakajima license-produced the Gloster Gannet and Bristol Jupiter. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries started producing aircraft under license from Sopwith in 1921, Kawasaki Heavy Industries started producing the Salmson 2 A.2 bomber from France, hired German engineers such as Dr. Richard Vogt to produce original designs such as the Type 88 bomber. Kawasaki produced aircraft engines under license from BMW. In May 1925, the Imperial Japanese Army Air Corps was established under the command of Lieutenant General Kinichi Yasumitsu, it was regarded as a branch equal to the artillery, cavalry or infantry, contained 3,700 personnel with about 500 aircraft. By the end of the 1920s, Japan was producing its own designs to meet the needs of the Army, by 1935 had a large inventory of indigenous aircraft designs that were technically sophisticated. By 1941, the Japanese Army Air Force had about 1,500 combat aircraft. During the first years of the war, Japan continued technical development and deployment of advanced aircraft and enjoyed air superiority over most battlefields due to the combat experience of its crews and the handling qualities of its aircraft.
However, as the war continued, Japan found. On top of these production problems, Japan thus continued losses. Furthermore, there were continual production disruptions brought on by moving factories from location to location, each transfer with the goal of avoiding the Allied strategic bombing. Between these factors and others, such as the restricted strategic materials, the Japanese found themselves materialistically outmatched. In terms of manpower, Japan was worse off. Experienced crews were killed and replacements had not been planned; the Japanese had lost skilled trainers, they did not have the fuel or the time to use the trainers they did have. Because of this, towards the end of its existence the JAAF resorted to kamikaze attacks against overwhelmingly superior Allied forces. Important aircraft used by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force during the
Prime Minister of Japan
The Prime Minister of Japan is the head of government of Japan. The Prime Minister is appointed by the Emperor of Japan after being designated by the National Diet and must enjoy the confidence of the House of Representatives to remain in office, he dismisses the other Ministers of State. The literal translation of the Japanese name for the office is Minister for the Comprehensive Administration of the Cabinet. Before the adoption of the Meiji Constitution, Japan had in practice no written constitution. A Chinese-inspired legal system known as ritsuryō was enacted in the late Asuka period and early Nara period, it described a government based on an elaborate and rational meritocratic bureaucracy, serving, in theory, under the ultimate authority of the Emperor. Theoretically, the last ritsuryō code, the Yōrō Code enacted in 752, was still in force at the time of the Meiji Restoration. Under this system, the Daijō-daijin was the head of the Daijō-kan, the highest organ of Japan's pre-modern Imperial government during the Heian period and until under the Meiji Constitution with the appointment of Sanjō Sanetomi in 1871.
The office was replaced in 1885 with the appointment of Itō Hirobumi to the new position of Prime Minister, four years before the enactment of the Meiji Constitution, which mentions neither the Cabinet nor the position of Prime Minister explicitly. It took its current form with the adoption of the Constitution of Japan in 1947. To date, 62 people have served this position; the current Prime Minister is Shinzō Abe, who re-took office on December 26, 2012. He is the first former Prime Minister to return to office since 1948, the 4th longest serving Prime Minister to date; the Prime Minister is designated by both houses of the Diet, before the conduct of any other business. For that purpose, each conducts a ballot under the run-off system. If the two houses choose different individuals a joint committee of both houses is appointed to agree on a common candidate. However, if the two houses do not agree within ten days, the decision of the House of Representatives is deemed to be that of the Diet. Therefore, the House of Representatives can theoretically ensure the appointment of any Prime Minister it wants.
The candidate is presented with his or her commission, formally appointed to office by the Emperor. In practice, the Prime Minister is always the leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives, or the leader of the senior partner in the governing coalition. Must be a member of either house of the Diet. Must be a "civilian"; this excludes serving members of the Japan Self-Defense Forces. Former military persons may be appointed prime minister despite the "civilian" requirement, Yasuhiro Nakasone being one prominent example. Exercises "control and supervision" over the entire executive branch. Presents bills to the Diet on behalf of the Cabinet. Signs laws and Cabinet orders. Appoints all Cabinet ministers, can dismiss them at any time. May permit legal action to be taken against Cabinet ministers. Must make reports on foreign relations to the Diet. Must report to the Diet upon demand to provide explanations. May advise the Emperor to dissolve the Diet's House of Representatives. Presides over meetings of the Cabinet.
Commander-in-chief of the Japan Self-Defense Forces. May override a court injunction against an administrative act upon showing of cause. In most other constitutional monarchies, the monarch is nominal chief executive, while being bound by convention to act on the advice of the cabinet. In contrast, the Constitution of Japan explicitly vests executive power in the Cabinet, of which the Prime Minister is the leader, his signature is required for Cabinet orders. While most ministers in parliamentary democracies have some freedom of action within the bounds of cabinet collective responsibility, the Japanese Cabinet is an extension of the Prime Minister's authority. Located near the Diet building, the Office of the Prime Minister of Japan is called the Kantei; the original Kantei served from 1929 until 2002, when a new building was inaugurated to serve as the current Kantei. The old Kantei was converted into the Official Residence, or Kōtei; the Kōtei lies to the southwest of the Kantei, is linked by a walkway.
The Prime Minister of Japan travels in a Lexus LS 600h L, the official transport for the head of government, or an unmodified Toyota Century escorted by a police motorcade of numerous Toyota Celsiors. For long distance air travel, Japan maintains two Boeing 747-400 aircraft for the Prime Minister of Japan, the Emperor and other members of the Imperial Family, operated by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, they have the radio callsigns Japanese Air Force One and Japanese Air Force Two when operating on official business, Cygnus One and Cygnus Two when operating outside of official business. The aircraft always fly together on government missions, with one serving as the primary transport and the other serving as a backup with maintenance personnel on board; the aircraft are referred to as Japanese government exclusive aircraft. The aircraft were constructed at the Boeing factory at the same time as the U. S. Air Force One VC-25s, though the U. S. aircraft wer
Baron Kantarō Suzuki was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy and final leader of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association and 42nd Prime Minister of Japan from 7 April to 17 August 1945. Suzuki was born in Izumi Province to a samurai magistrate of the Sekiyado Domain, he grew up in the city of Kazusa Province. Suzuki entered the 14th class of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy in 1884, graduating 13th of 45 cadets in 1888. Suzuki served on the corvettes Tenryū and cruiser Takachiho as a midshipman. On being commissioned as ensign, he served on the corvette Amagi, corvette Takao, corvette Jingei, ironclad Kongō, gunboat Maya. After his promotion to lieutenant on 21 December 1892, he served as chief navigator on the corvettes Kaimon and Kongō. Suzuki served in the First Sino-Japanese War, commanding a torpedo boat and participated in a night torpedo assault in the Battle of Weihaiwei in 1895. Afterwards, he was promoted to lieutenant commander on 28 June 1898 after graduation from the Naval Staff College and assigned to a number of staff positions including that of naval attaché to Germany from 1901 to 1903.
On his return, he was promoted to commander on 26 September 1903. He came to be known as the leading torpedo warfare expert in the Imperial Japanese Navy. During the Russo-Japanese War, Suzuki commanded Destroyer Division 2 in 1904, which picked up survivors of the Port Arthur Blockade Squadron during the Battle of Port Arthur, he was appointed executive officer of the cruiser Kasuga on 26 February 1904, aboard which he participated in the Battle of the Yellow Sea. During the pivotal Battle of Tsushima, Suzuki was commander of Destroyer Division 4 under the IJN 2nd Fleet, which assisted in sinking the Russian battleship Navarin. After the war, Suzuki was promoted to captain on 28 September 1907 and commanded the destroyer Akashi, followed by the cruiser Soya, battleship Shikishima and cruiser Tsukuba. Promoted to rear admiral on 23 May 1913 and assigned to command the Maizuru Naval District. Suzuki became Vice Minister of the Navy from 1914 to 1917, during World War I. Promoted to vice admiral on 1 June 1917, he brought the cruisers Asama and Iwate to San Francisco in early 1918 with 1,000 cadets, was received by U.
S. Navy Rear Admiral William Fullam; the Japanese cruisers proceeded to South America. After stints as Commandant of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy, Commander of the IJN 2nd Fleet the IJN 3rd Fleet Kure Naval District, he became a full admiral on 3 August 1923. Suzuki became Commander in Chief of Combined Fleet in 1924. After serving as Chief of Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff from 15 April 1925 to 22 January 1929, he retired and accepted the position as Privy Councillor and Grand Chamberlain from 1929 to 1936. Suzuki narrowly escaped assassination in the February 26 Incident in 1936. Suzuki was opposed to Japan's war with the United States and throughout World War II. On 7 April 1945, following the Battle of Okinawa, Prime Minister Kuniaki Koiso resigned and Suzuki was appointed to take his place at the age of seventy-seven, he held the portfolios for Minister for Foreign Affairs and for Greater East Asia. Prime Minister Suzuki contributed to the final peace negotiations with the Allied Powers in World War II.
He was involved in calling two unprecedented imperial conferences which helped resolve the split within the Japanese Imperial Cabinet over the Potsdam Declaration. He outlined the terms to Emperor Hirohito who had agreed to accept unconditional surrender; this went against the military faction of the cabinet, who desired to continue the war in hopes of negotiating a more favorable peace agreement. Part of this faction attempted to assassinate Suzuki twice in the Kyūjō Incident on the morning of 15 August 1945. After the surrender of Japan became public, Suzuki resigned and Prince Higashikuni became next prime minister. Suzuki was the Chairman of the Privy Council from 7 August 1944 to 7 June 1945 and again after the surrender of Japan from 15 December 1945 to 13 June 1946. Suzuki died of natural causes, his grave is in his home town of Chiba. One of his two sons became director of Japan's immigration service, while the other was a successful lawyer. From the corresponding Japanese Wikipedia article Baron Order of the Sacred Treasure, 4th Class Order of the Golden Kite, 3rd Class Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers Junior First Rank Frank, Richard.
Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire. Penguin. ISBN 0-14-100146-1. Gilbert, Martin; the Second World War: A Complete History. Holt. ISBN 0-8050-7623-9. Keegan, John; the Second World War. Penguin. ISBN 0-14-303573-8. Kowner, Rotem. Historical Dictionary of the Russo-Japanese War; the Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-4927-5. Annotated bibliography for Suzuki Kantarō from the Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues Nishida, Hiroshi. "Imperial Japanese Navy". Retrieved 2007-08-25. Suzuki Kantarō and Pacific War at 1945