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Viscount
Inoue Yoshika
Japanese Admiral Viscount Inoue Yoshika
Native name 井上 良馨
Born (1845-11-03)3 November 1845
Died 22 March 1929(1929-03-22) (aged 83)[1]
Place of birth Kagoshima, Satsuma domain, Japan
Place of death Tokyo, Japan
Allegiance Empire of Japan
Service/branch Imperial Japanese Navy
Years of service 1868-1911
Rank Marshal Admiral
Commands held
Battles/wars
Awards Order of the Chrysanthemum

Marshal Admiral Viscount Inoue Yoshika (井上 良馨?, 3 November 1845 – 22 March 1929) was a career naval officer and admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy during Meiji-period Japan.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Born in what is now part of Kagoshima city, as the son of a samurai retainer of the Satsuma domain, Inoue took part in the Anglo-Satsuma War as a youth. Although severely injured by shrapnel through his left thigh during the fighting, he was extremely impressed with the firepower of the Royal Navy and the amount of material damage that only a few vessels were able to inflict on Kagoshima. On recovery, he enlisted in the Satsuma domain Navy, and present at all of the major naval engagements associated with the Boshin War to overthrow the Tokugawa Shogunate, as commander of the Satsuma warship Kasuga.[2]

After the Meiji Restoration and the absorption of the various feudal navies into central government control, Inoue reenlished as a lieutenant in the fledgling Imperial Japanese Navy, serving on the Ryūjō, rising to the position of executive officer by 1872, and returning to the Kasugaagain as its captain in 1874. Inoue was a supporter of Saigō Takamori and his Seikanron position vis-a-vis Korea. At the time of the Ganghwa Island incident (1875), Inoue was captain of the gunboat }Japanese gunboat Unyo. He later served as captain of several other warships in the early Imperial Japanese Navy. Despite his admiration for Saigō, Inoue fought against his former Satsuma clansmen in the Satsuma Rebellion.

Immediately on the conclusion of the Satsuma Rebellion, Inoue took the Unyo on a voyage to Europe and back. On his return, he served on a wide selection of ships in the Japanese navy. Inoue was promoted to rear admiral on 15 June 1886, and appointed Director of the Bureau of Naval Affairs shortly thereafter. He was ennobled with the title of danshaku (baron) under the kazoku peerage system on 24 May 1887.

Inoue became first Director of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy on 16 August 1888. He became Commander-in-Chief of the Readiness Fleet on 29 July 1889, a vice admiral on 12 December 1892. He remained in charge of reserve forces, and thus did not see any combat during the First Sino-Japanese War of 1895. He was promoted to admiral on 12 December 1901.

Older Inoue Yoshika

After the Russo-Japanese War, Inoue was elevated to shishaku (viscount) on 21 September 1907, and to the largely ceremonial rank of Marshal Admiral on his retirement on 31 October 1911. After retirement, Inoue continued to exert an influence on naval policy, and was a strong proponent of the occupation and annexation of the Caroline Islands during World War I [3]

Inoue died in 1929. His grave is in his hometown of Kagoshima.

References[edit | edit source]

Books[edit | edit source]

  • Hoare, J.E. (1999). Britain and Japan: Biographical Portraits, Vol. III. California, USA: RoutledgeCurzon. ISBN 1-873410-89-1. 
  • Schencking, J. Charles (2005). Making Waves: Politics, Propaganda, And The Emergence Of The Imperial Japanese Navy, 1868-1922. California, USA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-4977-9. 

External links[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Nishida, Imperial Japanese Navy.
  2. Hoare, Britain and Japan: Biographical Portraits, Vol. III
  3. Schencking. Making waves: politics, propaganda, and the emergence of the Imperial Japanese Navy, page 209


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