Uehara Yūsaku

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Uehara Yūsaku
上原 勇作
General Viscount Uehara Yūsaku
9th Army Minister
In office
April 5, 1912 – December 21, 1912
Preceded byIshimoto Shinroku
Succeeded byKigoshi Yasutsuna
Chief of the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff
In office
December 17, 1915 – March 17, 1923
Preceded byHasegawa Yoshimichi
Succeeded byKawai Misao [note 1]
Personal details
Born(1856-12-06)December 6, 1856
Miyakonojō, Hyūga, Japan
DiedNovember 8, 1933(1933-11-08) (aged 76)
Tokyo, Japan
Military service
AllegianceEmpire of Japan
Branch/service Imperial Japanese Army
Years of service1879–1933
Rank元帥徽章.svg Field Marshal
Battles/warsRusso-Japanese War

Viscount Uehara Yūsaku (上原 勇作, 6 December 1856 – 8 November 1933) was a field marshal in the Imperial Japanese Army. His wife was a daughter of General Nozu Michitsura. He was the founder of the Imperial Japanese Army Engineering Corps.


Uehara Yūsaku

Early career[edit]

Uehara was born as Tatsuoka Shinaga in Miyakonojō, Hyūga Province (present-day Miyazaki Prefecture), as the second son a samurai in the service of Satsuma Domain. In 1875, he was adopted by the Uehara family, a cadet branch of the Shimazu clan, and changed his name to Uehara Yūsaku. He graduated from the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1879 with Akiyama Yoshifuru as one of his classmates, and his speciality was military engineering. In June 1881, he was sent to France for studies on modern military techniques, including fortification and artillery. He was promoted to lieutenant in September 1882 and to captain in June 1885, while still in France. After his return to Japan in December 1885, he served in administrative positions within the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff. In 1889 he was sent as a military attaché to Europe. He was promoted to major in May 1890 and was assigned to the IJA 5th Division, commanded by his father-in-law, General Nozu Michitsura.

Uehara came to the attention of Kawakami Soroku and was recruited to become one of his "brain trust". In August 1892, Uehara was appointed aide-de-camp to Prince Arisugawa Taruhito and also served as an instructor at the Army Staff College. From July to November 1893, he was send as a military attache to Annam and to Siam and from June 1894 was sent to Korea during the Donghak Rebellion. With the start of the First Sino-Japanese War, Uehara transferred directly to the Ōshima Yoshimasa, which defeated the Chinese at the Battle of Seonghwan outside of Asan, south of Seoul in the first land engagement of war. Uehara was on the staff of the IJA 1st Army (commanded by General Nozu Michitsura) and was promoted to lieutenant colonel in September 1894 while in Korea. He rose to the position of chief-of-staff of the IJA 1st Army in March 1895. In May, he was reassigned to the 2nd Bureau of the General Staff and in March 1896 was assigned to accompany Prince Fushimi Sadanaru as part of Japan's official delegation to the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. The delegation remained until August, during which time he was official reassigned to the 4th Burea of the General Staff. After his return to Japan, he was promoted to colonel in October 1897. In 1899 he was the Japanese delegate to the Hague Convention.

As general[edit]

Uehara was promoted to major general in July 1900, and commandant of the Army Artillery School. From August 1903 to February 1904, he was sent as a military attache to Europe. With the start of the Russo-Japanese War, Uehara became chief-of-staff of the Japanese Fourth Army (commanded by General Nozu Michitsura). By many accounts, General Nozu had a difficult personality, and his son-in-law was one of the few people who could get along with him.[1] However, Uehara had many disagreements with General Kageaki Kawamura and remained on bad terms with Kawamura throughout his career.

He was promoted to lieutenant general in July 1906 and ennobled as a baron (danshaku) in the kazoku peerage in September of the following year.[2] In December 1908 he became the commander of the IJA 7th Division. His appointment was controversial, as it was the first time an engineering officer had been appointed a divisional commander. The appointment had the support of General Terauchi Masatake, and Uehara specifically requested an assignment far from Tokyo, so that the Choshu-dominated Army Ministry would be unable to interfere. The IJA 7th Division was a garrison force in Asahikawa, Hokkaido. From September 1911 he commanded the IJA 11th Division.

In December 1912, Uehara was appointed Army Minister in Prime Minister Saionji Kinmochi's second cabinet. Since the civilian government was pursuing a tight fiscal policy, it soon came into conflict with the army, which was demanding an increase in funding for another two infantry divisions. When Uehara resigned as Army Minister over this conflict, the remainder cabinet resigned en masse when the Army refused to nominate a successor, precipitating the collapse of Saionji's government. This event was known as the "Taisho Political Crisis".[3]

From March to May 1913, Uehara was commander of the IJA 3rd Division. In April 1914, he became Inspector General of Military Training, the third most prestigious post in the Army. In February 1915, Uehara was promoted to general and became a member of the Supreme War Council; he also became Chief of the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff, remaining in this post longer than any person before or after (with the exception of a member of the Imperial House). While in this position, he authorized the Siberian Intervention in support of White Russian forces against the Bolshevik Red Army in the Russian Civil War.

Uehara received the rank of marshal in April 1921, and his kazoku title was raised to shishaku (viscount).[4] He retired shortly afterwards, and served as the president of the Kaikosha association for retired veterans.

Uehara died in 1933 of peptic ulcer disease and cardiovascular disease at his home in Tokyo at the age of 77. His grave is at the Aoyama Cemetery in Tokyo.



  1. ^ No Wikipedia page has been created for General Kawai Misao, the 16th Chief of Staff of the Imperial Japanese Army. Consequently, clicking on his name connects to the page for the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office which contains a comprehensive list of all its chiefs from 1878 to 1945.


  • Dupuy, Trevor N. (1992). Encyclopedia of Military Biography. I B Tauris & Co Ltd. ISBN 1-85043-569-3.
  • Harries, Meirion. (1994). Soldiers of the Sun: The Rise and Fall of the Imperial Japanese Army. Random House. ISBN 0-679-75303-6.
  • Jansen, Marius B. (1992). The Making of Modern Japan. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674003347; OCLC 44090600
  • Sims, Richard. (1992). Japanese Political History Since the Meiji Renovation 1868-2000. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-23915-7.

External links[edit]

  • National Diet Library. "Uehara Yusaku". Portraits of Modern Historical Figures.


  1. ^ Dupuy, Encyclopedia of Military Biography
  2. ^ 『官報』第7272号「授爵敍任及辞令」September 23, 1907
  3. ^ Sims, Japanese Political History
  4. ^ 華族一覧表 勲功者の部 1 Archived 2008-12-25 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ 『官報』第2974号「叙任及辞令」May 31, 1893
  6. ^ 『官報』第3824号「叙任及辞令」April 1, 1896
  7. ^ 『官報』第3824号「叙任及辞令」April 1, 1896
  8. ^ 『官報』第4027号「叙任及辞令」November 30, 1896
  9. ^ 『官報』第4949号「叙任及辞令」December 28, 1899
  10. ^ 『官報』第5548号「叙任及辞令」December 28, 1901
  11. ^ 『官報』号外「叙任及辞令」December 30, 1906
  12. ^ 『官報』第7473号「叙任及辞令」May 27, 1908
  13. ^ 『官報』第949号「叙任及辞令」September 30, 1915
  14. ^ 『官報』第2612号「叙任及辞令」April 19, 1921
  15. ^ 『官報』第2059号「叙任及辞令」November 10, 1933
Political offices
Preceded by
Ishimoto Shinroku
Army Minister
April 1912 – December 1912
Succeeded by
Kigoshi Yasutsuna
Military offices
Preceded by
Asada Nobuoki
Inspector-General of Military Training
Apr 1914 – Dec 1915
Succeeded by
Ichinohe Hyoe
Preceded by
Hasegawa Yoshimichi
Chief of Imperial Japanese Army General Staff
Dec 1915 – Mar 1923
Succeeded by
Kawai Misao