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Nishizō Tsukahara
Nishio Tsukahara.jpg
Admiral Nishizō Tsuhara
Born April 3, 1887
Died January 10, 1966(1966-01-10) (aged 78)
Place of birth Fukui Prefecture, Japan
Place of death Tokyo, Japan
Allegiance Flag of Japan (1870–1999).svg Empire of Japan
Service/branch Naval Ensign of Japan.svg Imperial Japanese Navy
Years of service 1908-1945
Rank Admiral
Commands held Ōi, Akagi
Chinkai Guard District, 11th Air Fleet, Imperial Japanese Navy Aviation Bureau, Yokosuka Naval District
Battles/wars World War II
Battle of the Philippines (1941-42)
New Guinea campaign
Guadalcanal campaign
Solomon Islands campaign

Nishizō Tsukahara (塚原 二四三 Tsukahara Nishizō?, April 3, 1887 – January 10, 1966), was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II.


Tsukahara was born in Fukui Prefecture, but his official residence was Kofu city, Yamanashi Prefecture, where he was raised. Tsukahara graduated from the 36th class of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy in 1908. He was ranked 20th out of 119 cadets, and noted Admiral Chuichi Nagumo was his classmate. He served his midshipman duty aboard the cruisers Soya, and Iwate and battleship Okinoshima. After he was commissioned as an ensign in 1910, he was assigned to the Shikishima, followed by destroyer Yudachi.

Tsukahara subsequently served on the Yamashiro and cruiser Aso. After his promotion to lieutenant in 1914, he was assigned to Umikaze, and was chief navigator on Mogami in 1916, followed by Chitose, repair ship Kanto, and battlecruiser Ibuki.

Tsukahara graduated from the Navy Staff College in 1920, and was promoted to lieutenant commander. He held a number of staff positions within the Yokosuka Naval District, particularly pertaining to naval aviation. He was sent to the United States and Europe from 1925–1926, and on his return was assigned as executive officer to the aircraft carrier Hōshō.

On November 29, 1929, Tsukahara was promoted to captain, and was also given command of Ōi. From 1931-1932, he was part of the Japanese delegation to the Geneva Naval Disarmament Conference. On October 20, 1933, he was given command of the aircraft carrier Akagi.

Tsukahara was promoted to rear admiral on November 15, 1935. He commanded a number of fighter squadrons, and was promoted on to vice admiral on November 15, 1939. In April 1940, he became commander of the Chinkai Guard District, and from September 10, 1941 until October 1, 1942, he was Commander in Chief of the 11th Air Fleet.[1]

Based out of Formosa, the 11th Air Fleet was involved in the invasion of the Philippines.[1] Later it supported Japanese offensives in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands from Rabaul, New Britain and other locations. On August 8, 1942, after the Allied landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi Tsukahara moved to Rabaul to more closely direct air attacks against Allied forces around Guadalcanal.[2] At Rabaul, Tsukahara was placed in command of all naval forces in the New Guinea and Solomon Islands' area as well as the 11th Air Fleet in what was called the Southeast Area Command.[3] He later fell ill and was replaced by Jinichi Kusaka. After recovering from illness, Tsukahara was appointed Director of Naval Air Command from December 1, 1942 to September 15, 1944. Subsequently, he was commander in chief of the Yokosuka Naval District to May 1, 1945.[4]

Tsukahara was promoted to full admiral on May 15, 1945. He died in 1966, and his grave is at the Tama Reien Cemetery in Fuchū, Tokyo.



  1. 1.0 1.1 L, Klemen (1999-2000). "Vice-Admiral Nishio Tsukahara". Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941-1942. 
  2. Lundstrom, Guadalcanal Campaign, p. 74.
  3. Lundstrom, Guadalcanal Campaign, p. 92.
  4. Wendel, Axis History


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