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Ishimoto Shinroku
Japanese General Baron Ishimoto Shunroku
Native name 石本 新六
Born (1850-04-08)April 8, 1850
Died April 2, 1912(1912-04-02) (aged 61)
Place of birth Himeji, Harima province, Japan
Place of death Tokyo, Japan
Allegiance Empire of Japan
Service/branch Imperial Japanese Army
Years of service 1875-1912
Rank General
Other work War Minister

Baron Ishimoto Shinroku (石本 新六?, 20 January 1854 – 2 April 1912) was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army, and Minister of War under the second Saionji Kinmochi administration from 1911 - 1912.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Ishimoto was born to a samurai-class family in Himeji, Harima province (present-day Hyōgo Prefecture). Soon after his birth, his family's house in Edo was destroyed in the Ansei Earthquake of 1854, and in the subsequent Meiji Restoration his father lost his employment and privileged status. Despite his family's desperate financial situation, he was sent to the Daigaku Nankō (the predecessor of Tokyo Imperial University) for a military education, and was enlisted as a cadet in the fledgling Imperial Japanese Army.

Military career[edit | edit source]

In February, 1875, Ishimoto was accepted into the 1st class of the new Imperial Japanese Army Academy, and enrolled in the military engineering program. He was able to put his education to immediate use in the Satsuma Rebellion. Afterwards, from 1879–1882, he was sent as a military attaché to France, where he was able to complete his education in engineering and artillery at the French Army's École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr. He returned to Japan for a year, and was sent overseas again from 1883-1887 as military attaché to the Kingdom of Italy. On his return to Japan, his rise through the ranks was rapid. He was promoted to colonel in 1895, and major general in 1897, and became an instructor in military engineering, first at the Imperial Japanese Army Academy, and then at the Army Staff College, and afterwards he worked as a section head in the Japanese Army Corps of Engineers. His knowledge and ability caught the eye of General Terauchi Masatake, who made him a chief of staff during the Russo-Japanese War. He was promoted to lieutenant-general in 1904.[1]

After the war, Ishimoto was elevated to the title of danshaku (baron) under the kazoku peerage system.

In 1911, Ishimoto was appointed Army Minister under the cabinet of Prime Minister Saionji Kinmochi.[2] At the time, there was a major controversy between the Army's demand for an expansion by two additional infantry divisions, and the cabinet's insistence that there was not enough money in the budget to pay for the expansion. He died while in office, at the relatively young age of 59, with the issue unresolved. His grave is located at the temple of Tenno-ji, located in Taitō, Tokyo.

Ishimoto's wife was the daughter of General Adachi Shotarō. They had several children; their second and fifth sons also rose to the rank of general in the Imperial Japanese Army, and were killed in World War II.

References[edit | edit source]

Books[edit | edit source]

  • Conners, Leslie (1992). The Emperor's Adviser: Saionji Kinmochi and Pre-War Japanese Politics. Routledge Kegan & Paul. ISBN 0-7099-3449-1. 
  • Oka, Yoshitake (1984). Five Political Leaders of Modern Japan: Ito Hirobumi, Okuma Shigenobu, Hara Takashi, Inukai Tsuyoshi, and Saionji Kimmochi. University of Tokyo Press. ISBN 0-86008-379-9. 
  • Dupuy, Trevor N. (1992). Encyclopedia of Military Biography. I B Tauris & Co Ltd. ISBN 1-85043-569-3. 
  • Schencking, J. Charles (2005). Making Waves: Politics, Propaganda, And The Emergence Of The Imperial Japanese Navy, 1868-1922. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-4977-9. 
  • Sims, Richard (2005). Japanese Political History Since the Meiji Renovation 1868-2000. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/03122391570|03122391570]]. 

External links[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Dupuy, Encyclopedia of Military Biography
  2. Wendel, Axis History Factbook
Political offices
Preceded by
Terauchi Masatake
War Minister
Succeeded by
Uehara Yusaku

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