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Baron Shimamura Hayao
Portrait of Admiral Shimamura Hayao from National Diet Library, Tokyo
Born 21 September 1858
Died 8 January 1923[1]
Place of birth Kochi, Tosa Province, Japan
Place of death Tokyo, Japan
Allegiance Empire of Japan
Service/branch  Imperial Japanese Navy
Years of service 1874 -1920
Rank Marshal-Admiral
Commands held Suma, Hatsuse,1st Fleet, 2nd Fleet, Imperial Japanese Naval Academy, Naval War College (Japan), Sasebo Naval District
Battles/wars First Sino-Japanese War
Battle of the Yalu
Boxer Rebellion
Russo-Japanese War
Battle of Tsushima
World War I

Marshal-Admiral Baron Shimamura Hayao (島村 速雄?, 21 September 1858 – 8 January 1923)[1] was a Japanese admiral during the First Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese Wars as well as one of the first prominent staff officers and naval strategists of the early Imperial Japanese Navy.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Born in Kōchi city Tosa Province (present day Kōchi Prefecture), Shimamura entered the 7th class of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy following the Boshin War. Graduating at the top of his class of 30 cadets in 1880, he served as midshipman on the corvette Tsukuba, as ensign on the ironclad warship Fusō, and as a sub-lieutenant and lieutenant on the corvette Asama.

Selected for staff work, Shimamura served as a junior officer for several years during the mid-1880s. Studying abroad in Great Britain, he served as a foreign naval observer with the Royal Navy from 1888 to 1891. After his return to Japan, he was assigned as chief gunnery officer on the Takao. He was promoted to lieutenant commander in 1894.

During the First Sino-Japanese War, Shimamura was assigned as a staff officer of the Standing Fleet from August 1894 to April 1895 and involved in planning the column formations of the battle. He was later wounded while on board the cruiser Matsushima during the Battle of the Yalu on 17 September 1894.

After serving in various staff positions after the war, (including naval attaché to Italy in 1894) Shimamura was promoted to captain in 1899 and commanded the cruiser Suma and marines during the Japanese occupation of Tientsin during the Boxer Rebellion. From 1902-1903, he was captain of the battleship Hatsuse.

Promoted to rear admiral on 6 June 1904, shortly before the Russo-Japanese War, Shimamura was made Chief of Staff of the 1st Fleet. In command of the 2nd Fleet's Second Battle Division, Shimamura was aboard his flagship, the cruiser Iwate during the Battle of Tsushima on 26 May 1905.

After the war, he was assigned command of the Training Fleet and became Commandant of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy from 1906-1908. He became Commandant of the Naval War College (Japan) from 1908-1909. He was subsequently Commander in Chief of the 2nd Fleet from 1909–1911, Commander in Chief of the Sasebo Naval District from 1911–1914, and Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff during World War I from 1914-1920. Shimamura was initially opposed to the deployment of the Imperial Japanese Navy to the Mediterranean under the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, as he felt that this would weaken Japan's defenses against the "true threat" of the United States.[2]

Promoted to full admiral on 28 August 1915, Shimamura was ennobled as a danshaku (baron) under the kazoku peerage system in 1916.

Following his death in 1918, Shimamura was posthumously promoted to the rank of Marshal-Admiral. His grave is at the Aoyama Cemetery in Tokyo.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Nishida, Imperial Japanese Navy
  2. Rising Sun in the Mediterranean

References[edit | edit source]

  • Dupuy, Trevor N. (1992). Encyclopedia of Military Biography. I B Tauris & Co Ltd. ISBN 1-85043-569-3. 
  • Jansen, Marius B. (2001). The Making of Modern Japan. Harvard University Press.  10-ISBN 0674003349/13-ISBN 9780674003347; OCLC 44090600

External links[edit | edit source]

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