Kanji Ishiwara

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Peter H
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Kanji Ishiwara

Post by Peter H » 01 Nov 2005 05:43

The man behind the Mukden Incident of 1931.

Has anyone any details on this General?

Ishiwara opposed the war in China(it would be "the same sort of disaster which overtook Napoleon in Spain--a slow sinking into the deepest sort of bog").

His view was the Japan should build up the economic base of Manchuria,perhaps a decade or so was required,until Japan was strong enough to oppose the Americans in the total war concept that he picked up in his three years of military study in Germany.

In 1942:
Ishiwara Kanji,who regarded Tojo as a complete simpleton for having committed Japan to a disastrous war that it inevitably would lose because it could not compete with America in material terms,walked into the prime minister's office and challenged him either to resign or shoot himself...
A Modern History of Japan , James McClain.

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Steen Ammentorp
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Post by Steen Ammentorp » 01 Nov 2005 08:34

Hi Peter,

Sadly I don't have it at hand and it has been a while since I read it but I suggest that you get Mark R. Peattie's 'Ishiwara Kanji and Japan's confrontation with the West'. Princeton University Press, 1975.

Kind Regards
Steen Ammentorp
The Generals of World War II

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Kim Sung
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Post by Kim Sung » 01 Nov 2005 09:40

石原莞爾 was a famous, innovative Japanese officer. He even insisted an undersea tunnel be constructed in the Korean Strait to make colonial rule of Korea and China more effective.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korea_Strait

Personally, I don't think his grand plan was technologically possible at that time. Japanese technologies in late 1930s were far behind British and French technologies in 1980s. Note that the Eurotunnel linking Britain and France was founded just in August 1986.


His Homepage
http://web.kyoto-inet.or.jp/people/yatsu8hd/Ishiwara

Research Association on His Political Thoughts
http://members.jcom.home.ne.jp/taku-nak ... iwara2.htm

His Diary
http://homepage1.nifty.com/taku-nakajo/sub02.html

Criticism on His Political Thoughts
http://ww1.m78.com/topix-2/ishihara.html
http://jp.lamput.com/item/4062738147

Other Links
http://homepage1.nifty.com/SENSHI/study/isihara-1.htm
http://www7.plala.or.jp/machikun/ishiharakanji.htm

All meaningful sources on his career are written in Japanese. I'm sorry for not being able to translate huge materials on him. I'm always busy. :wink:

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hisashi
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Post by hisashi » 01 Nov 2005 09:56

His letters, desktop publications for army staffs are collected in 'Ishihara Kanji Shiryo Kokubo Roksakuhen(石原莞爾資料 国防論策編)' (Hara Shobo ISBN: 4562014830 published in 1968 but still in print). My explanation below owe to the comment by Jun Kakuta who edited this volume. His biography is shown here.
http://web.kyoto-inet.or.jp/people/yats ... ra/IH.html
He was bone in 1889. He entered army war school in 1907, and was gradually promoted as an elite. In 1928 he was appointed to Kwantung Army (staff Lt.Col.).
He believed eventually Japan and the U.S. would fight for the hegemony of the world as the champion nations of western and eastern civilization. He expected it would happen when aircrafts have a long endurance enough to go round the earth without refueling, several decades after. In advance he expected a war of attrition between the two with the embargo of Asia from the rest of the world. To survive the inevitable war against the U.S. he insisted Japan must...
(1) Occupy Manchuria as a wall against Soviet. Politically Japaneses must not seek for superiority so that military force need not be bothered with internal security of Manchuria.
(2) Supress China enough to protect the economic interest of Japan in China, backed up by the presense of military force in Manchuria.
(3) By (1) and (2), defend the north and east of Japan at minimized cost of Japan, in other words, using only the resource in Manchuria.
(4) Keep Britain neutral in the war between Japan and the U.S.
(5) Devote all power of Japan for the war against the U.S.
After Mukden Incident, Japan gradually renewed the commander and staffs of Kwantung Army. Ishiwara became colonel in 1932 and was appointed as the commander of an infantry regiment in Japan.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mukden_Incident
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guandong_Army
In 1935 he was named as the chief of operation section in general staffs, later the chief of operation department as a major general in 1937.
He was very disappointed in Marco Polo Bridge Incident(1937), because in his view, devoting Japanese resourses into endless war against China is very bad option for Japan. He failed to limit the war and was assigned again to Kwantung Army as vice chief-of-staffs in Setember 1938.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marco_Polo_Bridge_Incident
He was surprised that Soviet army in far east was rapidly enhanced. He changed his mind to strengthen the Kwandung Army first at the sacrifice of navy budget, or instead allowing Japan a decade of peace to jump up the productivity to secure the north of Japan. Seeing that both of them were impossible, he proposed to go to reserve. After a short rest, he was appointed as the commander of a coastal fort, a job for officers waiting for his retirement. Itagaki Seishiro, minister of army and a close friend of Ishiwara intervened in this process, and he was named as the commander of 18th infantry division in 1939.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Itagaki_Seishiro
He cooperated with people to make a compromise with China and Japan, and was disliked by army leaders such as Tojo. He finally went to reserve in March 1941.
He disliked Tojo and called him as 'private Tojo'. In 1947 he was summoned by International Military Tribunal for the Far East (The hearing was held in Sakata city he lived), and asked 'Did you have any disagreement with Tojo?'. They say he replied 'I have a little piece of opinion but he did not have any opinion, so I could not have any disagreement with such a man.'
He was dead in 1949.

BTW the highschool I graduated was built where the supply batallion of 18th division had their barrack:-)

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 01 Nov 2005 12:48

According to Herbert Bix:
The Nichiren sect of Buddhism as well as Zen, which encouraged action based on intuition, mainly influenced Japanese military officers during the 1920s and '30s. In 1931 Staff Officer Ishiwara Kanji, a devotee of the Nichiren sect, masterminded Japan's conquest of Manchuria, which abruptly ended Tokyo's cooperation with the great powers. Ishiwara also envisaged a permanent era of universal peace following a world war in which Japan would emerge victorious over the U.S.
Also Ishiwara's comments in 1947 on Japanese-American relations:
"Haven't you heard of Perry? Don't you know anything about your own country's history? Tokugawa Japan believed in isolation and then came along Perry, to open those doors. He aimed his guns and said, 'If you do not deal with us, you had better watch out for these guns. Open your doors and negotiate with other countries too.' Japan did open its doors but when it did, it found out that all those other countries were all extremely aggressive. For its own defense, it took America as its teacher, and set about learning about how to be aggressive. Japan became America's disciples. Why don't you subpoena Perry from the other world and try him as a War criminal."
He comes across as a global strategic thinker,but idealistic.Whether China would have supported the 'East' in the final anticipated war against the 'West' is also debatable.

Something on Zen Buddhism and its corruption by Japanese military officers pre 1937 as well:

http://www.acmuller.net/zen-sem/2004/victoria.html

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VJK
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Post by VJK » 01 Nov 2005 12:54

Hi!

Lt. General Kanji Ishiwara
born: 18 January 1889 in Yamagata prefecture Tsuruoka Cho
died: 15 August 1949

1 September 1902: Entered Sendai army cadet school
July 1905: Graduated Sendai army cadet school
1 September 1905: Entered Tokyo army central cadet school
June 1907: Assigned to 32nd Yamagata infantry regiment
1 December 1907: Entered Military Academy
27 May 1909: Graduated Military Academy
25 December 1909: 2nd Lieutenant in 65th Infantry regiment
April 1910 - April 1912: Assigned to 56th Infantry regiment, Korea
3 February 1913: Lieutenant junior grade
29 November 1915: Entered Military Staff College
29 November 1918: Graduated Military Staff College
15 April 1919: Captain; Company commander, 65th Infantry regiment
April 1920: Central China detachment
July 1921: Instructor at Military Staff College
July 1922: Assigned to the German Embassy for military research studies
20 August 1924: Major
October 1924: Instructor at Military Staff College
10 August 1928: Lt. Colonel
10 October 1928: Maneuvers Chief Kwantung Army
8 August 1932: Colonel
September 1932: Assigned part time to Ministry of Foreign Affairs
October 1932: Delegation member to League of Nations
March 1933: Return to Japan
August 1933: CO 4th Infantry regiment
1 August 1935: Chief 2nd section, 1st Bureau, General Staff
7 January 1937: Acting Chief, 1st Bureau, General Staff
1 March 1937: Maj. General; Chief, 1st Bureau, General Staff
27 September 1937: Vice Chief of Staff Kwantung Army
August 1938: Return to Japan
5 December 1938: CO Maizuru fortress
1 August 1939: Lt. General * CO 16th Depot army division
30 August 1939: CO 16th army division
31 March 1941: Reserve duty
March 1941 - September 1942: Ritsumeikan University Professor and chief of national defence scientific research
June 1941: East Asia Alliance Association advisor

Sources: http://imperialarmy.hp.infoseek.co.jp/g ... okuki.html
http://web.kyoto-inet.or.jp/people/yats ... ra/IH.html

Regards,

VJK

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hisashi
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Post by hisashi » 02 Nov 2005 02:04

Peter H wrote:According to Herbert Bix:
The Nichiren sect of Buddhism as well as Zen, which encouraged action based on intuition, mainly influenced Japanese military officers during the 1920s and '30s. In 1931 Staff Officer Ishiwara Kanji, a devotee of the Nichiren sect, masterminded Japan's conquest of Manchuria, which abruptly ended Tokyo's cooperation with the great powers. Ishiwara also envisaged a permanent era of universal peace following a world war in which Japan would emerge victorious over the U.S.
We should note Nichiren sect have had very many subsects. Today Nichiren sect had 48 Honzan (primary temple) which have respectively different thought on many aspects of view, but there are many subsects which did not join this union of Nichiren sect. Many officers and non-military leaders of political movement in this era was in Nichiren sects, but their subsects were not the same.

Zen (zazen) is a general style of meditation shared by many Buddhism sects, including Nichiren sect.
There are many sects called generally as Zenshu, treating zazen as the most important ascetic training and lecturing all religious principles orally, without writing. Their influence on militarism is not clear, if any.

Simon Gunson
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Re: Kanji Ishiwara

Post by Simon Gunson » 18 Mar 2012 00:13

Please can anybody tell me after his fall from grace with Tojo and retirement from active service, was Kanji Ishiwara ever reassigned as an attache to Europe?

When retired from active service did he hold a lesser officer rank?

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Peter H
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Re: Kanji Ishiwara

Post by Peter H » 18 Mar 2012 01:27

Ishiwara
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