Yoshijirō Umezu

Yoshijirō Umezu (梅津 美治郎 Umezu Yoshijirō) (January 4, 1882 – January 8, 1949) was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II. He was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Yoshijirō Umezu
梅津 美治郎
Yoshijiro Umedu (cropped)
Chief of the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office
In office
18 July 1944 – September 1945
Prime Minister
Preceded byHideki Tojo
Succeeded byPosition abolished.
Personal details
BornJanuary 4, 1882
Nakatsu, Ōita Prefecture, Japan
DiedJanuary 8, 1949 (aged 67)
Tokyo, Japan
Yoshijirō Umezu's signature
Military service
AllegianceEmpire of Japan
Branch/serviceImperial Japanese Army
Years of service1903–1945
CommandsJapanese China Garrison Army, IJA 2nd Division, Japanese First Army, Kwangtung Army


Umezu was born in Nakatsu, Ōita, Japan, where his family ran a bookstore since the 18th century. During his years at the Seisei High School in Kumamoto, he decided to pursue a military career. He graduated from the 15th class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy on November 30, 1903 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the infantry the following February 12, 1904. Promoted to lieutenant on June 30, 1905, he entered the 23rd class of the Army Staff College, graduating first in 1911. Following his promotion to captain on March 25, 1912, he was sent to Europe for further studies in Germany and Denmark. While in Denmark, he was also a military observer from Japan, during the course of World War I, and was promoted to major on June 1, 1918. From 1919 to 1921, he was appointed as a military attaché to Switzerland.[1]

Umezu was promoted to lieutenant colonel on February 8, 1922, and to colonel on December 15, 1925. During the 1920s, he was a member of the Tōseiha, led by General Kazushige Ugaki along with Gen Sugiyama, Koiso Kuniaki, Tetsuzan Nagata and Hideki Tōjō. They represented a politically moderate line between the armed forces, in opposition to the radical Kōdōha movement, guided by Sadao Araki. He served as an instructor at the Army Staff College from 1923–1924, and was commander of the IJA 3rd Infantry Regiment from 1924–1926.

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Umezu held a number of staff positions within the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff. He was promoted to major general on August 1, 1930. Umezu returned to the field as a lieutenant general (promoted August 1, 1934) and commander of the Japanese China Garrison Army from 1934–1935, and as commander of the IJA 2nd Division from 1935-1936.[2]

After being recalled to Japan in 1936, Umezu was appointed Vice Minister of War from 1936–1938. He returned to China in 1938 as commander-in-chief of the IJA 1st Army, and subsequently commander-in-chief of the Kwangtung Army from 1939–1944. He was promoted to full General on August 1, 1940.[3]

Surrender of Japan - USS Missouri
The Surrender of Japan on the USS Missouri

In July 1944, Umezu was appointed as the final Chief of the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff, and a member of the Supreme War Council. Along with War Minister Korechika Anami and Soemu Toyoda, Chief of Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff, Umezu opposed surrender in August 1945; he believed that the military should fight on, forcing the Allies to sustain such heavy losses in an invasion of Japan, that Japan could negotiate for peace under better terms. He was aware of the planned coup d'état by junior officers opposed to the surrender, but did nothing to either aid or hinder it.[4] He was personally ordered by Emperor Hirohito to sign the instrument of surrender on behalf of the armed forces on September 2, 1945 and thus, was the Army's senior representative during the surrender ceremonies on the battleship USS Missouri, at the end of World War II.[5] He entered the reserves on November 30.

After the war, he was arrested by the SCAP authorities and tried as a war criminal at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East in Tokyo. He was found guilty of Counts 1, 27, 29, 31 and 32 of waging a war of aggression and sentenced to life imprisonment on November 12, 1948.[6] While in prison, he became a convert to Christianity. Umezu died from rectal cancer in prison in 1949.

Umezu signing the instrument of surrender to the Allied nations
Another perspective of Gen. Umezu signing the instrument of surrender



  • Butow, Robert J. C. (1954). Japan's Decision to Surrender. Stanford University Press. ASIN: B000VFCC14.
  • Dupuy, Trevor N. (1992). Encyclopedia of Military Biography. I B Tauris & Co Ltd. ISBN 1-85043-569-3.
  • Frank, Richard B. (1999). Downfall: the End of the Imperial Japanese Empire. Penguin, non-classics. ISBN 0-14-100146-1.
  • Fuller, Richard (1992). Shokan: Hirohito's Samurai. London: Arms and Armor. ISBN 1-85409-151-4.
  • Hayashi, Saburo; Cox, Alvin D (1959). Kogun: The Japanese Army in the Pacific War. Quantico, Virginia: The Marine Corps Association.
  • Kase, Toshikazu (1950). Journey to the Missouri.
  • Maga, Timothy P. (2001). Judgment at Tokyo: The Japanese War Crimes Trials. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-2177-9.


  1. ^ Dupuy, Encyclopedia of Military Biography
  2. ^ Ammenthorp, the Generals of World War II
  3. ^ Budge, Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
  4. ^ Butow, Japan's Decision to Surrender
  5. ^ Shokan, Hirohito's Samurai
  6. ^ Maga, Judgement at Tokyo

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Kenkichi Ueda
Governor-General of Kwantung
Succeeded by
Otozō Yamada
Military offices
Preceded by
Kotaro Nakamura
Commander, China Garrison Army
Mar 1934 – Aug 1935
Succeeded by
Hayao Tada
Preceded by
Kiyoshi Katsuki
Commander, IJA 1st Army
May 1938 – Sept 1939
Succeeded by
Yoshio Shinozuka
Preceded by
Kenkichi Ueda
Commander, Kwantung Army
Sept 1939 – Jul 1944
Succeeded by
Otozō Yamada
Preceded by
Hideki Tōjō
Chief of Imperial Japanese Army General Staff
Jul 1944 – Sept 1945
Succeeded by
1949 in Japan

Events in the year 1949 in Japan.

Bataan 1 and Bataan 2

Bataan 1 and Bataan 2 were two demilitarized Japanese bomber/transport aircraft that carried the first surrender delegations from Japan to Ie Shima as part of the surrender of Japan in World War II. The two aircraft, specifically a Mitsubishi G6M1-L2 military transport (dubbed Bataan 1) and a second, disarmed and repaired Mitsubishi G4M1 bomber (Bataan 2), carried eight members of the delegation team, which included General Torashirō Kawabe, representing Army Chief of Staff Yoshijirō Umezu who refused to participate. They departed from Kisarazu, near Chiba at 7:18 Japanese time on August 19, touching down on Ie Shima the same day.The planes flew in an easily visible paint scheme—a pure white base marked only with green crosses on the wings (upper and lower), fuselage, and rudder. The scheme was ordered by General Douglas MacArthur, to verify that the planes were carrying the delegates. Both planes were kept under close watch by constant heavy USAAF escort, due to concerns that the delegates might attempt a kamikaze mission under the color of a flag of truce. At the same time, there were also, apparently, attempts from hardliners in the Japanese military to down the planes to prevent the surrender. Captain Yasuna Ozono, the commander of a naval air unit stationed around Tokyo, committed suicide after being unable to destroy Bataan 1 and Bataan 2 due to a lack of will amongst his men.The call-sign was reportedly selected on General MacArthur's orders as a reminder of Japanese actions during the Bataan Death March.Once the planes landed at Ie Shima, the delegates were loaded upon a US Army Air Forces transport plane to complete their flight to Manila. Both planes were allegedly destroyed either by accident or planned scrapping shortly after.

Ben Bruce Blakeney

Ben Bruce Blakeney (30 July 1908, Shawnee, Oklahoma – March 4, 1963) was an American lawyer who served with the rank of major during the Second World War in the Pacific theatre.

Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department

The Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department was a department of the Imperial Japanese Army from 1936 to the dissolution of the Army in 1945. While its public mission was to prevent the spread of disease and monitor water supply, several field armies also assigned units the mission of manufacturing biological weapons. Many units also performed human experimentation.

First Army (Japan)

The Japanese 1st Army (第1軍, Dai-ichi gun) was an army of the Imperial Japanese Army. It was raised and demobilized on three separate occasions.

First General Army (Japan)

The First General Army (第1総軍 (日本軍), Dai-ichi Sōgun) was an army group of the Imperial Japanese Army responsible for the defense of eastern and northern Honshū, including the Tōkai and Kantō regions during the final stage of the Pacific War.

He–Umezu Agreement

The He-Umezu Agreement (梅津・何応欽協定, Umezu-Ka Okin Kyōtei) (Chinese: 何梅协定); was a secret agreement between the Empire of Japan and the Republic of China concluded on 10 June 1935, 2 years prior to the outbreak of general hostilities in the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Japanese Instrument of Surrender

The Japanese Instrument of Surrender was the written agreement that formalized the surrender of the Empire of Japan, marking the end of World War II. It was signed by representatives from the Empire of Japan, the United States of America, the Republic of China, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of Canada, the Provisional Government of the French Republic, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Dominion of New Zealand. The signing took place on the deck of USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.

The date is sometimes known as Victory over Japan Day, although that designation more frequently refers to the date of Emperor Hirohito's Gyokuon-hōsō (Imperial Rescript of Surrender), the radio broadcast announcement of the acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration at noon Japan Standard Time on August 15.

Kenkichi Ueda

Kenkichi Ueda (植田 謙吉, Ueda Kenkichi, 8 March 1875 – 11 September 1962) was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. He played an active role in the Soviet-Japanese Border Wars of the late 1930s.

Kyūjō incident

The Kyūjō incident (宮城事件, Kyūjō Jiken) was an attempted military coup d'état in the Empire of Japan at the end of the Second World War. It happened on the night of 14–15 August 1945, just before the announcement of Japan's surrender to the Allies. The coup was attempted by the Staff Office of the Ministry of War of Japan and many from the Imperial Guard to stop the move to surrender.

The officers killed Lieutenant General Takeshi Mori of the First Imperial Guards Division and attempted to counterfeit an order to the effect of occupying the Tokyo Imperial Palace (Kyūjō). They attempted to place the Emperor under house arrest, using the 2nd Brigade Imperial Guard Infantry. They failed to persuade the Eastern District Army and the high command of the Imperial Japanese Army to move forward with the action. Due to their failure to convince the remaining army to oust the Imperial House of Japan, they ultimately committed suicide. As a result, the communiqué of the intent for a Japanese surrender continued as planned.

Kōtarō Nakamura

Kōtarō Nakamura (中村 孝太郎, Nakamura Kōtarō, 28 August 1881 – 29 August 1947) was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army and very briefly Army Minister in the 1930s. Also won many awards for his duty on the battlefield by japans prime minister.

List of graduates of the Japanese Imperial Military Academies

This is a select list of graduates from the Japanese Imperial Military Academies (1891–1934). It is not complete.

Okikatsu Arao

Colonel Okikatsu (Koko) Arao (荒尾 興功, Arao Okikatsu, 18 March 1902 – 22 August 1974) was one of the original plotters in a scheme to prevent the Emperor's declaration of surrender at the end of World War II. He was the chief of the War Affairs section of the Military Affairs Bureau of the Imperial Japanese Army.

Operation PX

Operation PX was the codename for the Japanese plan for a biological terror attack on the U.S. west coast in World War II. The planned operation was abandoned due to the strong opposition of Chief of General Staff Yoshijirō Umezu, as well as the Japanese surrender following the atomic bombings and the Soviet declaration of war.

Supreme War Council (Japan)

The Supreme War Council (軍事参議院, Gunji sangiin) was established during the development of representative government in Meiji period Japan to further strengthen the authority of the state. Its first leader was Yamagata Aritomo (1838–1922), a Chōshū native who has been credited with the founding of the modern Imperial Japanese Army and was the first constitutional Prime Minister of Japan. The Supreme War Council developed a German-style general staff system with a chief of staff who had direct access to the Emperor and who could operate independently of the army minister and civilian officials. The Supreme War Council was the de facto inner cabinet of Japan prior to the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Takashi Inoue

Takashi Inoue (井之上 隆志, Inoue Takashi, 27 December 1960 – 4 March 2017) was a Japanese actor.

Inoue was born from Miyazaki Prefecture. He was represented with K Factory.

The Sun (film)

The Sun (Russian: Сóлнце, Solntse) is a 2005 Russian biographical film directed by Alexander Sokurov, depicting Japanese Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito) during the final days of World War II. The film is the third drama in director Aleksandr Sokurov's trilogy, which included Taurus about the Soviet Union's Vladimir Lenin and Moloch about Nazi Germany's Adolf Hitler.


Umezu is a Japanese word. It may refer to a surname, spelled 梅津 or 楳図, or it may have other meanings.

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