Yamagata Aritomo (山縣 有朋, June 14, 1838 – February 1, 1922) was a Field Marshal in the Imperial Japanese Army. He was twice Prime Minister of Japan. Yamagata was the founder of the Imperial Japanese Army.
|3rd Prime Minister of Japan|
November 8, 1898 – October 19, 1900
|Preceded by||Ōkuma Shigenobu|
|Succeeded by||Itō Hirobumi|
December 24, 1889 – May 6, 1891
|Preceded by||Sanjō Sanetomi (Acting)|
|Succeeded by||Matsukata Masayoshi|
|Born||June 14, 1838|
|Died||February 1, 1922 (aged 83)|
|Awards||Order of the Golden Kite (1st class)|
Order of the Rising Sun (1st class with Paulownia Blossoms, Grand Cordon)
Order of the Chrysanthemum
Member of the Order of Merit (United Kingdom)
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (United Kingdom)
|Allegiance||Empire of Japan|
|Branch/service||Empire of Japan Army|
|Years of service||1868–1905|
First Sino-Japanese War
Yamagata was born June 14, 1838 in Hagi. Hagi was the capital of the feudal domain of Chōshū (present-day Yamaguchi prefecture). He was schooled by his father. Yamagata studied classical Japanese and Chinese literature. He learned the martial arts of Jujutsu. Yamagata also learned the military use of the spear and how to fence.
He went to Shokasonjuku, a private school run by Yoshida Shōin. There, he helped overthrow the Tokugawa shogunate in 1868. He was a commander in the Kiheitai. This was a semi-military organization created along semi-western lines by the Chōshū domain. He was a staff officer in the Boshin War (1867 to 1868).
After the Tokugawa were overthrown, Yamagata and Saigō Tsugumichi traveled abroad in 1869. They were sent to research the military systems of western countries. Yamagata was impressed with the Prussian military. After a year Yamagata returned and reported directly to Emperor Meiji in Tokyo. He was made "Assistant Vice Minister of Military Affairs". He used the military theories of Carl von Clausewitz and Prussian war games to change Japan's army. He became War Minister in 1873. He modernized the Imperial Japanese Army and made it like the Prussian army. He started military conscription in 1873.
Yamagata had no children. He adopted a nephew to be his heir. The nephew was Yamagata Isaburō, the second son of his oldest sister. Then, Isaburō became a career bureaucrat, cabinet minister, and head of the civilian administration of Korea. In his later life he enjoyed landscape architecture, poetry and the rituals of the tea ceremony. Yamagata died on February 1, 1922.
- Count (July 7, 1884)
- Genro (May 26, 1895)
- Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun with Paulownia Blossoms (August 5, 1895)
- Marquis (August 5, 1895)
- Marshal-General (January 20, 1898)
- Collar of the Order of the Chrysanthemum (September 21, 1908) (Grand Cordon: June 3, 1903)
- Grand Cordon of the Order of the Golden Kite, 1st Class (September 21, 1908) (Second Class: August 5, 1895)
- Prince (September 21, 1908)
From other countriesEdit
- British Empire - Member of the Order of Merit (with swords) in 1906 by King Edward VII
- British Empire - Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George
- Frederick R. Dickinson, War and National Reinvention: Japan in the Great War, 1914-1919 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999), p. 23
- Japan at War: An Encyclopedia, ed. Louis G. Perez (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2013), p. 502
- Thomas M. Huber, The Revolutionary Origins of Modern Japan (Standford: Stanford University Press, 1989), p. 5
- George Ernest Morrison, The Correspondence of G. E. Morrison 1912-1920, Vol 2: 1912-1920 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978), p. 132, n. 2
- Deanna Spingola, The Ruling Elite: The Zionist Seizure of World Power (US: Canada: Trafford Publishing, 2012), p. 339
- Japan at War: An Encyclopedia, ed. Louis G. Perez (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2013), p. 504