Toyoaki Horiuchi

Last updated
Toyoaki Horiuchi
Horiuchi Toyoaki.jpg
Native name
堀内 豊秋
Born27 September 1900
Kumamoto, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan
Died25 September 1948(1948-09-25) (aged 48)
Manado North Sulawesi Indonesia by death penalty
AllegianceMerchant flag of Japan (1870).svg  Empire of Japan
Service/branchNaval ensign of the Empire of Japan.svg  Imperial Japanese Navy
Years of service1923-1945
RankTaisa(大佐,taisa) (captain) of the navy
  • Commander in the parachute troop, naval warships
  • Administrator in occupied land

Toyoaki Horiuchi(Japanese:堀内豊秋, Hepburn:Horiuchi Toyoaki, September 27, 1900 – September 25, 1948) was a Japanese Navy officer; his highest rank was taisa(大佐, captain). He was known for the development of naval gymnastics, which were meant to improve the alertness and flexibility of sailors in closed areas of warships and he was known for leading the paratroopers. He was the first jumper during the drop on an airfield 60 km south of Manado, Indonesia, in the Battle of Manado.


Early life

He was born in Kumamoto, Kumamoto Prefecture on September 27, 1900 in the house known as Mimageno Kadogoya, since his ancestors were heads of a small town. After graduation from a middle school in 1919, he entered the Naval school at Edajima, Hiroshima Prefecture and graduated in 1922. In the Naval school, he studied not only English but also Spanish and Portuguese. After graduation, he became a naval officer in September 1923, and was ordered to take a pilot student course. Unfortunately, he was struck by a whirling propeller and had to defer his training. [1] He took another course and joined the crew of a destroyer.[ citation needed ] In December 1, 1927 he was promoted to lieutenant and took artillery. In 1928, he became a division officer in Japanese cruiser Natori and in 1929, he was a division officer in Japanese cruiser Ashigara.[ citation needed ] In 1930, he became a teacher at the Naval school. He was in charge of artillery and gymnastics. In October 1934, he was appointed as the teacher of artillery at Yokosuka. At the end of 1936, he sailed on the Japanese cruiser Isuzu as the artillery officer.[ citation needed ]

He was known for the development of his own gymnastics based on the Denmark gymnastics. As a teacher of gymnastics at the Naval school, he had long felt a need that those in the navy should attain more alertness and flexibility of actions in the limited spaces of warships and he studied various methods; traditionally the Japanese Imperial Army had employed the Swedish gymnastics. Once, he had a chance of learning the Denmark gymnastics by visiting Danish gymnasts at Okayama, and developed his own system, based on the flexible movements of extremities; because of his peculiar movements, he was nicknamed octopus man. He revealed the superiority of this gymnastics by showing the team he taught won high marks in various games and finally the Ministry of the Navy employed his method of gymnastics. In 1944, he was awarded for his development of gymnastics by the Navy Minister. [2]

Airborne commander

Prior to the beginning of the Pacific War, he was appointed as a special commander, and on January 11, 1942, his troop successfully performed an airborne operation at Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Earlier, he had been the leader in training paratroopers at Tateyama, Chiba, during which a number of trainees died due to various reasons. On November 1940, the trainees were divided into the first special troop, headed by him numbering 750, another troop was headed by Fukumi. He jumped at 9:52 a.m. on January 11, 1942 from a height of 150 meters. His flight was recorded on film and was used for propaganda purposes.[ citation needed ]

As an Administrator

According to Japanese reports, Horiuchi treated the inhabitants of the island well, and was appreciated them. During his short tenure, he gave reportedly provided necessary goods such as salt, and reduced the tax to 1/4 of the previous amount. Horiuchi reportedly used the local language and according to one Japanese source, treated the prisoners of war (POWs) of the Netherlands fairly. On January 11, 1992, a goodwill meeting was held in commemoration of the 50th year of the parachute drop. Issai Horiuchi, the son of Horiuchi, carried the photograph of Horiuchi and several hundreds of the inhabitants attended the meeting. [3] Hiroyuki Agawa, who later became a writer, was under Horiuchi when Horiuchi was transferred to Toukou of Taiwan in 1943 as a teacher of Naval students. Horiuchi said to Agawa that he was one of those who were loved by those in the occupied lands. He lost any desire or position when my assistant lieutenant died. To become a good commander, eliminate five desires, especially the sexual desire. Those who lost something will not kill others, but those whose lovers are taken by someone, may kill them. In the occupied lands, the Japanese army and navy made mistakes because of this. [4]

As a B-class war criminal

On January 29, 1948, a written indictment was read at the Manado Temporary Military Court which presented charges against Japanese Navy Colonel Toyoaki Horiuchi by the order of the Prosecutor General (dated January 19, 1948). The charges were that Horiuchi ordered or allowed Dutch army officers to be subjected to systemic terrorism. He was in a position of knowing the terrorism and did not punish Japanese officers. In 1942, at least 30 Dutch officers were killed with swords. He was in a position of knowing this but did not take necessary preventive measures. These are against the rules dealing with wartime criminals. Lawyer Ide stated that Horiuchi did not know these facts. There were 9 witnesses, most from the Dutch side. Horiuchi sent a letter of testimony that he did not know these facts. However, he felt responsible as an officer of superior rank. For a long time, he believed that we should love enemies. In January 1942, when he set up the parachute troop center, he strongly banned violence to those on the Dutch side. We treated these officers with respect and courtesy. He was impressed by Van den Berg officer who asked for permission while he was responsible. He punished his officers who gave him some violence. Based on his conviction, he freed 650 men of Indonesia. He admitted some of the violence had not been reported to him. [5]

Biographical timeline

After the war

Related Research Articles

Mitsumasa Yonai Prime Minister of Japan

Mitsumasa Yonai was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy, and politician. He was the Prime Minister of Japan in 1940.

USS <i>Bremerton</i> (CA-130)

USS Bremerton (CA-130), named for the city of Bremerton in Washington state, was a Baltimore-class heavy cruiser laid down by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation at Camden in New Jersey on 1 February 1943, launched on 2 July 1944 by Miss Elizabeth K. McGowan and commissioned on 29 April 1945, Captain John Boyd Mallard in command.

Osami Nagano fleet admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy

Marshal Admiral Osami Nagano was a Japanese career naval officer and Admiral of the Fleet in the Imperial Japanese Navy from 1943. He was more of an administrative officer than a sea commander. From April 1941 to February 1944, he served as Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff. He was the founder of the Chiba Institute of Technology. Nagano was arrested by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East but died of natural causes in prison during the trial.

Masafumi Arima Japanese admiral

Masafumi Arima was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II. A pilot, he is sometimes credited with being the first to use the kamikaze attack, although official accounts may have been invented for propaganda purposes.

Yamashita Gentarō Japanese military personnel

BaronYamashita Gentarō was an admiral in the early Imperial Japanese Navy.

Japanese destroyer <i>Asashio</i> (1936)

Asashio was the lead ship of the ten Asashio-class destroyers built for the Imperial Japanese Navy in the mid-1930s under the Circle Two Program.

Tadashige Daigo Japanese admiral

MarquisTadashige Daigo was a vice admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II.

Matome Ugaki Imperial Japanese Navy admiral

Matome Ugaki was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II, remembered for his extensive and revealing war diary, role at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, and kamikaze suicide hours after the announced surrender of Japan at the end of the war.

Michael Pollock British admiral

Admiral of the Fleet Sir Michael Patrick Pollock, was a senior officer in the Royal Navy who rose to become First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff in the early 1970s. In the Second World War, he was an officer on ships tasked with protecting convoys in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and was gunnery officer on the cruiser HMS Norfolk when she fought the German battleship Scharnhorst during the Battle of North Cape. He later commanded the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, and hosted Ian Smith on HMS Tiger. In retirement, he held the position of King of Arms of the Order of the Bath and Gloucester King of Arms, with responsibility for heraldry in Wales.

Jinichi Kusaka Japanese admiral

Jinichi Kusaka, was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. Fellow Admiral Ryūnosuke Kusaka was his cousin.

The Battle of Manado was a battle of the Pacific Theatre of World War II. It occurred at Manado on the Minahasa peninsula on the northern part of the island of Celebes, from 11–13 January 1942 as an attempt to open a passage to attack Australia through the eastern part of Dutch East Indies.

Kōichi Shiozawa Japanese admiral

Kōichi Shiozawa was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The literary critic Rinsen Nakazawa was his older brother.

Harry W. Hill United States admiral

Harry Wilbur Hill was an admiral in the United States Navy during World War II.

Arthur Power Royal Navy admiral of the fleet

Admiral of the Fleet Sir Arthur John Power was a Royal Navy officer. He took part in the First World War as a gunnery officer and saw action in the Dardanelles Campaign. During the inter-war years he commanded the gunnery school at HMS Excellent and then the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal. During the Second World War he played a leading role in the planning for the Allied invasion of Sicily and for the Allied invasion of Italy and then commanded the naval forces for the actual landing of V Corps at Taranto in Italy in September 1943. He went on to be Commander-in-Chief of the East Indies Fleet in the closing stages of the war and conducted naval strikes on the Imperial Japanese Army in Borneo and Malaya. After the War he became Second Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Personnel, Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet and then Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth.

Kiyokazu Abo Imperial Japanese Navy admiral

BaronKiyokazu Abo was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy, who served as Navy Minister in the early 1930s.

Yuzuru Hiraga Japanese admiral

Vice Admiral Baron Yuzuru Hiraga was a career naval officer in the Imperial Japanese Navy, Doctor of Engineering and head of the engineering school of Tokyo Imperial University and a leading Japanese naval architect in the 1910s and 1920s, responsible for designing a number of famous warships, many of which would later see action during World War II. He participated in establishing the Chiba Institute of Technology from 1941.

Admiral Sir Geoffrey Nigel Oliver was a Royal Navy officer during the Second World War.

Naokuni Nomura Japanese admiral

Naokuni Nomura was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy, and briefly served as Navy Minister in the 1940s.

Kaoru Arima Japanese admiral

Kaoru Arima was an admiral and commander in the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during World War II. Early in the war with the United States, Arima commanded the battleship Musashi, one of the largest battleships ever built.

Chiaki Matsuda Japanese admiral

Translated from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia


  1. Uehara[2011:71]
  2. Koizumi[2009:7the chapter]
  3. Uehara 2011:preface
  4. Uehara[2010:221]
  5. Uehara[2011:307-319]
  6. Horiuchi2011:369-370