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Nishi Kanjirō
General Nishi Kanjirō
Native name 西寛二郎
Born (1846-04-05)5 April 1846
Died 27 January 1912(1912-01-27) (aged 65)
Place of birth Satsuma Domain, Japan
Place of death Tokyo, Japan
Allegiance Empire of Japan
Service/branch War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army.svg Imperial Japanese Army
Years of service 1871–1911
Rank General
Battles/wars Boshin War, Satsuma Rebellion, First Sino-Japanese War, Russo-Japanese War
Awards Order of the Rising Sun, 1st class

Viscount Nishi Kanjirō (西寛二郎?, 5 April 1846 – 27 January 1912) was a career soldier in the early Imperial Japanese Army, serving during the Russo-Japanese War.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Nishi was born as the son of a samurai of Satsuma Domain (present-day Kagoshima Prefecture), and as a youth was in the service of Shimazu Hisamitsu. He participated in the Battle of Toba-Fushimi during the Boshin War. Joining the fledgling Imperial Japanese Army in July 1871, he was made a battalion commander, and was promoted to major in December 1873. He subsequently participated in the suppression of the Saga Rebellion, the Taiwan Expedition of 1874, and the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877.[1] Afterwards, he was assigned to the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office until February 1881. After a brief command of the IJA 11th Infantry Regiment, he was promoted to colonel in 1882 and to major general in 1889.

During the First Sino-Japanese War, Nishi commanded the IJA 2nd Infantry Brigade during the invasion of the Liaodong Peninsula in Manchuria. In August 1895, he was made a baron (danshaku) in the kazoku peerage system.[1] In May 1896, he was commander of the Japanese occupation forces in Weihaiwei, in Shandong Province of China. Promoted to lieutenant general in October of the same year, he followed Nogi Maresuke as commander of the IJA 2nd Infantry Division. He deployed with the division back to Manchuria in February 1904 at the start of the Russo-Japanese War and participated in the Battle of the Yalu, the capture of Antung, and the Battle of Liaoyang. He was promoted to full general in June 1904 of the same year. In April 1905, he was awarded the Order of the Golden Kite, 1st class. From May 1905, he was head of the Inspectorate General of Military Training, one of the three most powerful posts in the Japanese Army.

Nishi was appointed aide-de-camp to the Prince Fushimi Sadanaru on his trip to Europe in 1907, and on his return was elevated to viscount (shishaku).

Nishi entered the reserves in March 1911 and died in January the following year. On his death, he was posthumously awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, Paulownia Flowers. His grave is at the Aoyama Cemetery in Tokyo.

References[edit | edit source]

  • Dupuy, Trevor N. (1992). Encyclopedia of Military Biography. I B Tauris & Co Ltd. ISBN 1-85043-569-3. 
  • Kowner, Rotem (2006). Historical Dictionary of the Russo-Japanese War. Scarecrow. ISBN 0-8108-4927-5. 

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Kowner, Historical Dictionary of the Russo-Japanese War, p. 263.

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