Nozu Michitsura

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Nozu Michitsura
野津 道貫
Nozu Michitsura.jpg
Field Marshal The Marquis Nozu Michitsura
Native name
野津 道貫
Born(1840-12-17)December 17, 1840
Kagoshima, Satsuma Domain, Japan
DiedOctober 18, 1908(1908-10-18) (aged 67)
Tokyo, Japan
AllegianceMerchant flag of Japan (1870).svg  Empire of Japan
Service/branchWar flag of the Imperial Japanese Army (1868-1945).svg  Imperial Japanese Army
Years of service1871–1906
Rank Field Marshal
Commands held Imperial Japanese Army

Field Marshal The Marquis Nozu Michitsura(野津 道貫, 17 December 1840 18 October 1908) was a Japanese field marshal and leading figure in the early Imperial Japanese Army.

Japanese people ethnic group native to Japan

Japanese people are a nation and an ethnic group that is native to Japan and makes up 98.5% of the total population of the country. Worldwide, approximately 129 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 125 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live outside Japan are referred to as nikkeijin(日系人), the Japanese diaspora. The term ethnic Japanese is often used to refer to Japanese people, specifically Yamato people. Japanese are one of the largest ethnic groups in the world.

Imperial Japanese Army Official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan, from 1868 to 1945

The Imperial Japanese Army was the official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan from 1868 to 1945. It was controlled by the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office and the Ministry of the Army, both of which were nominally subordinate to the Emperor of Japan as supreme commander of the army and the navy. Later an Inspectorate General of Aviation became the third agency with oversight of the army. During wartime or national emergencies, the nominal command functions of the emperor would be centralized in an Imperial General Headquarters (IGHQ), an ad-hoc body consisting of the chief and vice chief of the Army General Staff, the Minister of the Army, the chief and vice chief of the Naval General Staff, the Inspector General of Aviation, and the Inspector General of Military Training.



Nozu was born in Kagoshima as the second son of a low-ranking samurai of the Satsuma Domain. He studied Japanese swordsmanship under Yakumaru Kaneyoshi, a noted instructor within Satsuma Domain, and was appointed a company commander during in the Boshin War of the Meiji Restoration. Nozu was at every major battle in the war, from the Battle of Toba–Fushimi, to the Battle of Aizu and the Battle of Hakodate.

Kagoshima Core city in Kyushu, Japan

Kagoshima is the capital city of Kagoshima Prefecture at the south western tip of the island of Kyushu in Japan, and the largest city in the prefecture by some margin. It has been nicknamed the "Naples of the Eastern world" for its bay location, hot climate, and emblematic stratovolcano, Sakurajima. The city was officially founded on April 1, 1889.

Samurai Military nobility of pre-industrial Japan

Samurai (侍) were the military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan.

Satsuma Domain Japanese historical estate in Satsuma Domain

Satsuma Domain, officially Kagoshima Domain, was a Japanese domain of the Edo period. It is associated with the provinces of Satsuma, Ōsumi and Hyūga in modern-day Kagoshima Prefecture and Miyazaki Prefecture on the island of Kyūshū.

After the war, Nozu went to Tokyo, and in March 1871, was appointed as a major in the 2nd Brigade of the fledgling Imperial Japanese Army. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in August 1872, and colonel in January 1874 upon his appointment as chief of staff of the Imperial Guards Brigade. From July to October 1876, Nozu traveled to the United States, where he attended the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. Soon after his return to Japan, he had the unpleasant task of fighting against his former Satsuma clansmen in the Satsuma Rebellion. In February 1877, Nozu was appointed chief of staff of the 2nd Brigade, and was stationed in Bungo Province, in Kyushu  – the heartland of the rebellion, from May to August 1877.

Tokyo Metropolis in Kantō

Tokyo, officially Tokyo Metropolis, one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, has served as the Japanese capital since 1869. As of 2018, the Greater Tokyo Area ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world. The urban area houses the seat of the Emperor of Japan, of the Japanese government and of the National Diet. Tokyo forms part of the Kantō region on the southeastern side of Japan's main island, Honshu, and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo was formerly named Edo when Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603. It became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from Kyoto in 1868; at that time Edo was renamed Tokyo. Tokyo Metropolis formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo. Tokyo is often referred to as a city but is officially known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture", which differs from and combines elements of a city and a prefecture, a characteristic unique to Tokyo.

Major is a military rank of commissioned officer status, with corresponding ranks existing in many military forces throughout the world.

Lieutenant colonel (pronounced Lef-ten-ent Kernel or Loo-ten-ent Kernel ) is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies, most marine forces and some air forces of the world, above a major and below a colonel. The rank of lieutenant colonel is often shortened to simply "colonel" in conversation and in unofficial correspondence. Sometimes, the term, 'half-colonel' is used in casual conversation in the British Army. A lieutenant colonel is typically in charge of a battalion or regiment in the army.

In November 1878, Nozu was promoted to major general, and subsequently served as commander of the Tokyo Military District. In February 1884, Nozu accompanied War Minister Ōyama Iwao, on a year-long tour of Europe to examine the military systems of various European nations. In July 1884, he was elevated to the title of baron (danshaku) in the kazoku peerage system by Emperor Meiji. From February to April 1885, Nozu was sent to Beijing in Qing Dynasty China as a military attaché. On his return to Japan in May 1885, he was promoted to lieutenant general and made commander of the Hiroshima Military District. [1]

Major general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. The disappearance of the "sergeant" in the title explains the apparently confusing phenomenon whereby a lieutenant general outranks a major general while a major outranks a lieutenant.

Ōyama Iwao Japanese general

Prince Ōyama Iwao, OM was a Japanese field marshal, and one of the founders of the Imperial Japanese Army.

Europe Continent in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere

Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.

In May 1888, with the reorganization of the Imperial Japanese Army into divisions per the advice of Prussian military advisor Jakob Meckel, Nozu was made commander of the new IJA 5th Division, which saw combat under his command in the First Sino-Japanese War at the Battle of Pyongyang (1894). In March 1895, Nozu was promoted to full general and replaced General Yamagata Aritomo as command-in-chief of the Japanese First Army in Manchuria. In August 1895, he was elevated to the title of count (hakushaku).

Prussia state in Central Europe between 1525–1947

Prussia was a historically prominent German state that originated in 1525 with a duchy centred on the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It was de facto dissolved by an emergency decree transferring powers of the Prussian government to German Chancellor Franz von Papen in 1932 and de jure by an Allied decree in 1947. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised and effective army. Prussia, with its capital in Königsberg and from 1701 in Berlin, decisively shaped the history of Germany.

Jakob Meckel German general

Klemens Wilhelm Jacob Meckel was a general in the Prussian army and foreign advisor to the government of Meiji period Japan.

5th Division (Imperial Japanese Army) division of the Imperial Japanese Army

The 5th Division was an infantry division of the Imperial Japanese Army. Its call-sign was the Carp Division. The 5th Division was formed in Hiroshima in January 1871 as the Hiroshima Garrison, one of six regional commands created in the fledgling Imperial Japanese Army, and was destroyed in the battle of Okinawa in June 1945. Its personnel were drafted from Hiroshima, Yamaguchi and Shimane.

After the end of the war, Nozu he successively held various military posts including Commander of the Imperial Guard Division, Inspector-General of Military Training, and served as a Military Councilor. [2]

The Inspectorate General of Military Training was responsible for all non-military aviation training of the Imperial Japanese Army. It was headed by an Inspector general who was responsible for overseeing technical and tactical training, and who reported directly to the Emperor of Japan via the Imperial General Headquarters rather than to the Army Minister or the Chief of the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office. The position of Inspector-General of Military Training was thus the third most powerful position within the Japanese Army.

With the start of the Russo-Japanese War, Nozu was assigned command of the Japanese Fourth Army, which played a crucial role in the Battle of Mukden. His title was also upgraded to viscount (shishaku ). At the end of the war, he received promotion to the post of field marshal in January 1906.

By Imperial appointment, Nozu served as a member of the House of Peers of the Diet of Japan from September 1907 until his death in October 1908. His title was also upgraded to marquis (koshaku) in 1907.

Nozu's decorations included the Order of the Golden Kite (1st class) and the Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum.

His grave is at the Aoyama Cemetery in downtown Tokyo.


  1. Dupuy, Encyclopedia of Military Biography
  2. National Diet Library, Portraits of Modern Historical Figures

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