Terauchi Masatake
Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

 (5 February 1852 – 3 November 1919) was a Japanese military officer and politician. He was a Field Marshal in the Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
-Foundation:During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū...

 and the 18th Prime Minister of Japan
Prime Minister of Japan
The is the head of government of Japan. He is appointed by the Emperor of Japan after being designated by the Diet from among its members, and must enjoy the confidence of the House of Representatives to remain in office...

 from 9 October 1916 to 29 September 1918.

Early period

Terauchi Masatake was born in Chōshū Domain (present-day Yamaguchi prefecture
Yamaguchi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan in the Chūgoku region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Yamaguchi, in the center of the prefecture. The largest city, however, is Shimonoseki.- History :...

) as the son of a samurai
is the term for the military nobility of pre-industrial Japan. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was originally a verb meaning to wait upon or accompany a person in the upper ranks of society, and this is also true of the original term in Japanese, saburau...

of the Hagi
Hagi may refer to:* Japanese bush clover or Lespedeza* Hagi, Yamaguchi, a city in Japan** Hagi ware, a type of pottery originating in Hagi* Gheorghe Hagi, a Romanian football player...


As a young soldier, he fought in the Boshin War
Boshin War
The was a civil war in Japan, fought from 1868 to 1869 between forces of the ruling Tokugawa shogunate and those seeking to return political power to the imperial court....

 against the Tokugawa shogunate
Tokugawa shogunate
The Tokugawa shogunate, also known as the and the , was a feudal regime of Japan established by Tokugawa Ieyasu and ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family. This period is known as the Edo period and gets its name from the capital city, Edo, which is now called Tokyo, after the name was...

, and later was commissioned second lieutenant in the fledging Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
-Foundation:During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū...

. He was injured and lost his right hand during the Satsuma Rebellion
Satsuma Rebellion
The was a revolt of Satsuma ex-samurai against the Meiji government from January 29 to September 24, 1877, 9 years into the Meiji Era. It was the last, and the most serious, of a series of armed uprisings against the new government.-Background:...

 of 1877, but his physical disability
Physical disability
A physical disability is any impairment which limits the physical function of one or more limbs or fine or gross motor ability. Other physical disabilities include impairments which limit other facets of daily living, such as respiratory disorders and epilepsy....

 did not prove to be an impediment to his future military and political career.

Military career

In 1882, after being sent to France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 for military study as military attaché
Military attaché
A military attaché is a military expert who is attached to a diplomatic mission . This post is normally filled by a high-ranking military officer who retains the commission while serving in an embassy...

, Terauchi was appointed to several important military posts. He was the first Inspector General of Military Education
Inspectorate General of Military Training
The 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...

 in 1898 and made that post one of the three most powerful in the Imperial Army. He was appointed as Minister of the Army
Ministry of War of Japan
The , more popularly known as the Ministry of War of Japan, was cabinet-level ministry in the Empire of Japan charged with the administrative affairs of the Imperial Japanese Army...

 in 1901, during the first Katsura
-Architecture:*The Katsura imperial villa, one of Japan's most important architectural treasures, and a World Heritage Site-Geography:*Katsuura, Chiba, city located in Chiba Prefecture, Japan*Katsura, Tokushima, a town in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan...

 administration. The Japanese victory in the Russo-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
The Russo-Japanese War was "the first great war of the 20th century." It grew out of rival imperial ambitions of the Russian Empire and Japanese Empire over Manchuria and Korea...

 (1904-1905) occurred during his term as War Minister. After the war, he was ennobled with the title of danshaku (baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

), and in 1911, his title was raised to that of hakushaku (count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...


Korean Resident-General

Terauchi was appointed as the third and last Japanese Resident-General of Korea
Resident-General of Korea
When Korea was a protectorate of Japan, Japan was represented by the Resident-General.- List of Japanese Residents-General :#Itō Hirobumi#Sone Arasuke#Terauchi Masatake...

 on the assassination of Itō Hirobumi
Ito Hirobumi
Prince was a samurai of Chōshū domain, Japanese statesman, four time Prime Minister of Japan , genrō and Resident-General of Korea. Itō was assassinated by An Jung-geun, a Korean nationalist who was against the annexation of Korea by the Japanese Empire...

 in Harbin
Harbin ; Manchu language: , Harbin; Russian: Харби́н Kharbin ), is the capital and largest city of Heilongjiang Province in Northeast China, lying on the southern bank of the Songhua River...

 by An Jung-geun
An Jung-geun
An Jung-geun or Ahn Jung-geun was a Korean independence activist, nationalist, and pan-Asianist....

. As Resident-General, he executed the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty
Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty
The Japan–Korea Treaty of 1910, also known as the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty, was made by representatives of the Empire of Japan and the Korean Empire in 1910. Negotiations were concluded on August 20, 1910...

 in 1910, and thus became the first Japanese Governor-General of Korea
Governor-General of Korea
The post of Japanese Governor-General of Korea served as the chief administrator of the Japanese government in Korea while it was held as the Japanese colony of Chōsen from 1910 to 1945...


The annexation of Korea by Japan and subsequent policies introduced by the new government was highly unpopular with large segments of the Korean population, and Terauchi employed military force to maintain control. Terauchi used the deep historical and cultural ties between Korea and Japan as justification for the eventual goal of complete assimilation of Korea into the Japanese mainstream. To this end, thousands of schools were built across Korea. Although this contributed greatly to an increase in literacy and the educational standard, the curriculum was centered on Japanese language and history, with the intent of assimilation of the populace into loyal subjects of the Japanese Empire.

Other of Terauchi's policies also had noble goals but evil consequences. For example, land reform
Land reform
[Image:Jakarta farmers protest23.jpg|300px|thumb|right|Farmers protesting for Land Reform in Indonesia]Land reform involves the changing of laws, regulations or customs regarding land ownership. Land reform may consist of a government-initiated or government-backed property redistribution,...

 was desperately needed in Korea. The Korean land ownership system was a complex system of absentee landlords, partial owner-tenants, and cultivators with traditional but without legal proof of ownership. Terauchi's new Land Survey Bureau conducted cadastral surveys that reestablished ownership by basis of written proof (deeds, titles, and similar documents). Ownership was denied to those who could not provide such written documentation (mostly lower class and partial owners, who had only traditional verbal "cultivator rights"). Although the plan succeeded in reforming land ownership/taxation structures, it added tremendously to the bitter and hostile environment of the time by enabling a huge amount of Korean land to be seized by the government and sold to Japanese developers.

Political career

In 1916, Terauchi became the 18th Prime Minister of Japan
Prime Minister of Japan
The is the head of government of Japan. He is appointed by the Emperor of Japan after being designated by the Diet from among its members, and must enjoy the confidence of the House of Representatives to remain in office...

. During the same year, he received his promotion to the largely ceremonial rank of field marshal
Field Marshal (Japan)
was the highest title in the prewar Imperial Japanese Military.The term gensui, which was used for both the Imperial Japanese Army and the Imperial Japanese Navy, was at first a rank held by Saigō Takamori as the Commander of the Armies in 1872...

. His cabinet consisted solely of career bureaucrats as he distrusted career civilian politicians. During part of his administration he simultaneously also held the post of Foreign Minister
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Japan)
The of Japan is the Cabinet member responsible for Japanese foreign policy and the chief executive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.Since the end of the American occupation of Japan, the position has been one of the most powerful in the Cabinet, as Japan's economic interests have long relied on...

 and Finance Minister
Minister of Finance (Japan)
The is the member of the Cabinet of Japan in charge of the Ministry of Finance. This position was formerly cited as being Japan's most powerful and one of the world's, because Japan had historically held the largest foreign exchange reserves...


During his tenure, Terauchi pursued an aggressive foreign policy. He oversaw the Nishihara Loans
Nishihara Loans
The ' were a series of loans made by the Japanese government under the administration of Prime Minister Terauchi Masatake to the Anhui clique warlord Duan Qirui from January 1917 to September 1918, in exchange for territorial concessions and rights in northern China.In January 1917, Prime Minister...

 (made to support the Chinese warlord Duan Qirui
Duan Qirui
Duan Qirui was a Chinese warlord and politician, commander in the Beiyang Army, and the Provisional Chief Executive of Republic of China from November 24, 1924 to April 20, 1926. He was arguably the most powerful man in China from 1916 to 1920.- Early life :Born in Hefei as Duan Qirui , his...

 in exchange for confirmation of Japanese claims to parts of Shandong Province and increased rights in Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

) and the Lansing-Ishii Agreement
Lansing-Ishii Agreement
The ' was a diplomatic note signed between the United States and the Empire of Japan on 2 November 1917 over their disputes with regards to China....

 (recognizing Japan's special rights in China). Terauchi upheld Japan's obligations to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 under the Anglo-Japanese Alliance
Anglo-Japanese Alliance
The first was signed in London at what is now the Lansdowne Club, on January 30, 1902, by Lord Lansdowne and Hayashi Tadasu . A diplomatic milestone for its ending of Britain's splendid isolation, the alliance was renewed and extended in scope twice, in 1905 and 1911, before its demise in 1921...

 in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, dispatching ships from the Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1869 until 1947, when it was dissolved following Japan's constitutional renunciation of the use of force as a means of settling international disputes...

 to the South Pacific
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

. Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

 and Mediterranean, and seizing control of German colonies in Tsingtao and the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

. After the war, Japan joined the Allies in the Siberian Intervention
Siberian Intervention
The ', or the Siberian Expedition, of 1918–1922 was the dispatch of troops of the Entente powers to the Russian Maritime Provinces as part of a larger effort by the western powers and Japan to support White Russian forces against the Bolshevik Red Army during the Russian Civil War...

 (whereby Japan sent troops into Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

 in support of White Russian
White movement
The White movement and its military arm the White Army - known as the White Guard or the Whites - was a loose confederation of Anti-Communist forces.The movement comprised one of the politico-military Russian forces who fought...

 forces against the Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

 Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 in the Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...


In September 1918, Terauchi resigned his office, due to the rice riots
Rice Riots of 1918
The ' were a series of popular disturbances that erupted throughout Japan from July to September 1918, which brought about the collapse of the Terauchi Masatake administration.-Causes:...

 that had spread throughout Japan due to postwar inflation
In economics, inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services. Consequently, inflation also reflects an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a...

; he died the following year.

His decorations included the Order of the Rising Sun
Order of the Rising Sun
The is a Japanese order, established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji of Japan. The Order was the first national decoration awarded by the Japanese Government, created on April 10, 1875 by decree of the Council of State. The badge features rays of sunlight from the rising sun...

 (1st class) and Order of the Golden Kite
Order of the Golden Kite
The ' was an order of the Empire of Japan, established on 12 February 1890 by Emperor Meiji "in commemoration of Jimmu Tennō, the Romulus of Japan."-Background:...

 (1st Class).

The billiken
The Billiken was a charm doll created by an American art teacher and illustrator, Florence Pretz of St. Louis, Missouri, who is said to have seen the mysterious figure in a dream. In 1908, she patented the Billiken, who was elf-like with pointed ears, a mischievous smile and a tuft of hair on his...

 doll, which was a Kewpie-like fad toy invented in 1908 very popular in Japan lent its name to the Terauchi administration, partly due to the doll’s uncanny resemblance to Terauchi Masatake's bald head.


Terauchi's son, Terauchi Hisaichi, was the commander of the Imperial Japanese Army's Southern Expeditionary Army Group
Southern Expeditionary Army Group
The was a army group of the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. It was responsible for all military operations in South East Asian and South West Pacific campaigns of World War II....

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 and was also a field marshal.

External links

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