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John Gilinsky

Imperial Japanese officers commit Hari Kari WW1 style

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John Gilinsky

In various newspapers published in the west are stories from the 3rd week of June 1915 that 2 Imperial Japanese army officers, viz.: Major Nakajima and Captain Hashimoto committed Hari-Kari upon the fall of the city of Lemberg, Galicia (today's Lviv) just before or during [ ? ] the recapture of the Austro-Hungarian forces on Jun 22, 1915. Does anyone have any more information on these two officers, if their graves are suitably inscribed, indeed if they have extant marked graves (or if their bodies were cremated at Imperial Japan's request and their ashes sent back to Tokyo and/or the Japanese possession's from when they originated from)? Are there any other named individuals committing Hari-Kari anywhere else on the Eastern Front during 1914 to circa 1922?

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James A Pratt III

I do know that a number of Russian officers committed suicide during this period. Also pre war the Russian army officer corps had a higher than usual suicide rate.

I think I read somewhere that a few Japanese Naval officers did commit suicide when the ships they were escorting were sunk by U-boats.

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John Gilinsky

Tx James. Consider how the Imperial Japanese would have viewed Russians and Europeans fighting one another during 1914 - 1918. Even more acute senses of "military honour" would have been fuelled as the Japanese attaches, ship commanders knew that the western press, foreigners would be watching or viewing them and how they the Japanese conducted themselves. If surrendering and becoming a POW to a non-Japanese the "shame" would have been fairly even "higher" (if that is the right term).

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seaforth78

In various newspapers published in the west are stories from the 3rd week of June 1915 that 2 Imperial Japanese army officers, viz.: Major Nakajima and Captain Hashimoto committed Hari-Kari upon the fall of the city of Lemberg, Galicia (today's Lviv) just before or during [ ? ] the recapture of the Austro-Hungarian forces on Jun 22, 1915. Does anyone have any more information on these two officers, if their graves are suitably inscribed, indeed if they have extant marked graves (or if their bodies were cremated at Imperial Japan's request and their ashes sent back to Tokyo and/or the Japanese possession's from when they originated from)? Are there any other named individuals committing Hari-Kari anywhere else on the Eastern Front during 1914 to circa 1922?

Hi, I am curious as I am a Japanese speaker, would you have the original Japanese or newspaper clipping so I could look up their biographies?

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John Gilinsky

Unfortunately I do not and I took the reference to a Toronto Weekly Mail and Empire newspaper story from 1915 which in all likelihood was carried by some other American or British newspapers as well so Googling this should bring up the story. If you are still stymied let me know and I will post the specifics and/or text here subsequently.

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seaforth78

I couldn't find him googling both names, ranks and place names in Japanese Google I'm afraid. If you could let me have their names in Japanese itself that could be a great help as I have the Japanese officers Army list for this period.

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John Gilinsky

Sorry sefaorth78 all I have are the English spelling names. Pehaps American and/or British or even French military attachees covering 1915 refer to this incident where the Japanese officers committed suicide in their reports?

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seaforth78

But I am rather intrigued why they would commit this as they were attaches and would have no business doing this as they were seconded by their foreign ministry. It doesn't make sense but I'll take a look at Embassy's attaché rolls and see.

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John Gilinsky

The Japanese were at war with the Germans and I believe also the AH so that even though these officers were acting as observers/attaché functions they would have been seen as facing their enemies. To concur with running away and above all surrendering en masse including senior Russian officers who probably abandoned these 2 officers to their own fates rather than ordering them to do anything (military protocol and diplomacy presumably) one can imagine that they felt that had no other way out as they would be seen as saving their own skins and abandoning their Russian allies. All in all an interesting cultural aspect hitherto not discussed on the GWF (or indeed probably anywhere related to this theater of operations during WWI).

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seaforth78

John,

Could you upload the newspaper clipping please?

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John Gilinsky

By the end of this week including the weekend :thumbsup: at least a full transcription of the original! [ Also just wondering if the Japanese ever wrote published a detailed official history of their armed forces in the World War [ ? ]].

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John Gilinsky

Tx Ken mein fellow Canadian for doing this. This is the same cabled story that other newspapers in this case a American western newspaper carried. I do hope that someone can track down these 2 Japanese officers, more clearly identify them and what happened to their bodies/commemoriation etc... in what is today Lviv and in modern Japan post-1945.

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seaforth78

How ironic that they fought on the Russian side as these officers were fighting them in 1904-05 in Manchuria. A pity we don't know their first names!

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Ken S.
We had an interesting visit last night from the priest of a village a few versts west of Ivangorod. He was taken prisoner by the Germans some eight days ago, together with fifty men, women and children of the neighbourhood, and carried to Radom. The rest were sent to Germany, he had heard, " to assist in gathering the crops, and to work in the factories/' He was released on Monday. He says the Germans left Radom on Friday, the 23rd, by train. They acknowledged to a loss of 50,000, and maintained that the Russian gun-fire was so accurate that it could only be directed by Japanese.

https://archive.org/stream/withrussianarmy101knoxuoft/withrussianarmy101knoxuoft_djvu.txt

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Gallipoli Trench Rat

This is a fascinating thread! I've read that several Japanese naval officers that served in the Second Special Squadron committed Hari-Kari after the loss of ships under their command.

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