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Kuroki Tamemoto

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Allegiance  Empire of Japan
Rank  General officer
Name  Kuroki Tamemoto

Kuroki Tamemoto httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommons00

Commands held  IJA 6th Division, IJA 1st Army
Battles/wars  Boshin War First Sino-Japanese War Russo-Japanese War
Died  February 3, 1923, Aoyama, Minato, Tokyo
Battles and wars  Boshin War, First Sino-Japanese War, Russo-Japanese War
Similar People  Oyama Iwao, Aleksey Kuropatkin, Mikhail Zasulich, Fyodor Keller, Saigo Takamori

Years of service  1864-1869, 1871-1909
Service/branch  Imperial Japanese Army

Count Tamemoto Kuroki GCMG (黒木 為楨, 3 May 1844 – 3 February 1923) was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army. He was the head of the Japanese First Army during the Russo-Japanese War; and his forces enjoyed a series of successes during the Manchurian fighting at the Battle of Yalu River, the Battle of Liaoyang, the Battle of Shaho and the Battle of Mukden.


Early life

Born as the son of a samurai in the Satsuma domain in southern Kyūshū in what is now Kagoshima prefecture, Kuroki fought for the Shimazu clan against the Tokugawa Shogunate forces in the Boshin War of the Meiji Restoration. He led a platoon of infantry of the 1st Battalion at the Battle of Toba-Fushimi and later at the Battle of Utsunomiya Castle and was appointed a lieutenant in February 1869.

Imperial Japanese Army

In July 1871, Kuroki was commissioned a captain in the 1st Battalion, now part of the newly established Imperial Japanese Army. Advancements followed in rapid succession. He was appointed to the 1st Grenadier Battalion in August 1872 and promoted to major. In February 1875, aged only 31, he was appointed commander of the 12th Hiroshima Infantry Regiment and promoted to lieutenant-colonel.

During the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877, Kuroki commanded a regiment against his own clan. He was promoted to colonel in November 1878 and appointed commander of the 2nd Grenadiers. He was promoted to major-general in May 1885 and to lieutenant-general in November 1893. He commanded the IJA 6th Division in the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), during which time he took part in the Battle of Weihaiwei.

Russo-Japanese War

Promoted to the rank of general in November 1903, Kuroki was appointed commander of the Japanese First Army upon the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War the following year. After landing his forces at Chemulpo near Seoul in mid-February, Kuroki advanced north routing a smaller Russian force at the Battle of the Yalu River on 30 April-1 May 1904. Commanding the Japanese left flank at the Battle of Liaoyang, he repulsed a disorganized Russian attack from 25 August-3 September.

During the Battle of Shaho, Kuroki's forces again successfully defended against the Russian offensive under General Aleksei Nikolaevich Kuropatkin from 5 October-17 October and later commanded the Japanese right flank at the Battle of Mukden from 21 February-10 March 1905.

In the same way that the Russo-Japanese War is identified as the first modern war, Gen. Kuroki can be described as one of the first modern generals, not only because his forces were the ultimate victors. In addition to directing the fight against the Russians, Kuroki was obliged to devote attention to a large coterie of Western observers. Press coverage of the war was affected by restrictions on the movement of reporters and strict censorship. In all military conflicts which followed this 1904-1905 war, close attention to more managed reporting was considered essential.

The military attaché of the British Indian Army to the Japanese First Army, Gen. Sir Ian Hamilton, would directly apply lessons learned in Kuroki's retinue. In the 1915 Gallipoli Campaign he appointed Captain William Maxwell, a British journalist who had reported on the Russo-Japanese War for the London Daily Mail to be Chief Field Censor. These experiences also provided a model that the U.S. military attaché, Capt. John J. Pershing would adapt a decade later in Europe when he persuaded American journalist Frederick Palmer to take on the task of press accreditation for the American Expeditionary Force in France in World War I. Palmer, like Pershing, had experienced the Russo-Japanese War through the restrictions Gen. Kuroki had imposed.

Later years

Despite his success and previous military record, Kuroki was one of two senior field commanders denied promotion to Field Marshal, thought to be largely because of his Satsuma origins at a time when the government was dominated by Chōshū rivals although this may have been due to the internal politics within the Japanese Imperial Army of the time.

Retiring from military service in 1909, he received the title of danshaku (baron) and later hakushaku (count) under the kazoku peerage system.

From 1917 onwards served as a Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan (内大臣, Naidaijin) until his death from pneumonia in 1923.


From the Japanese Wikipedia

  • Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun (30 May 1905)
  • Hon. Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (GCMG) (20 February 1906)
  • Baron (1 April 1906)
  • Order of the Golden Kite, 1st Class (1 April 1906)
  • Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun with Paulownia Flowers (1 April 1906)
  • Count (1909)
  • Two towns in North America were named in his honor: Kuroki, Saskatchewan and Kuroki, North Dakota


    Kuroki Tamemoto Wikipedia