Biography On Hideki Tojo (The Man Behind Japan's War Machine In Wwii)

2421 words - 10 pages

Tojo, a Diligent War CriminalWarrior, soldier, general, and “dictator” (“Tojo, Hideki” 254-255), Hideki Tojo was perhaps Japan’s samurai version of Hitler and Mussolini in terms of his crimes, influence, and power (Hoyt 6). His rise through the ranks in the military, from a soldier to a military leader, was a result of his hard work (Hoyt 5-19, Howes 272-274). After graduating with honors from the army war college in Japan in 1915 (“Tojo, Hideki” 254), his boundless assiduity to do his best work paid off as he was promoted rank to rank, until finally he became one of Japan’s most powerful men and through his spheres of influence and involvement within ...view middle of the document...

In 1922 he returned to teach at the Army College from which he graduated. Tojo then associated himself with the Control Group (“Tosei-ha” in Japanese) in the late 1920s/early 1930s, a faction in the Japanese government which believed that Western nations were aggressive to Japan (Howes 273), and viewed the Japanese as a “second class race” (Hoyt 70); therefore, Japan should aggressively defend her own interests (Howes 273). Such belief may be partially responsible for the invasion of China in 1937, and ultimately, to the war with the Allies in World War II as Japanese interest grew.Tojo’s later life was remarkable in that he progressed quite well through the ranks (Howes 273-275, “Tojo, Hideki” 255, Hoyt 33). In 1935, he was head of Military Police for the Kwangtung Army, served as Lieutenant General in 1936, and later chief of staff of the Kwangtung Army from 1937-1938. Tojo was recalled from field service to Tokyo in May 1938 to serve as vice-minister of war under the government of Prime Minister Fuminaro Konoye (Hoyt 15-16, 33). As vice-minister of war, he was able to press resolutely for preparation for war against China and the Soviet Union (“Tojo, Hideki” 255); however, upon hearing of General Tojo’s prediction of war with the Soviets, the public “[placed him] in an embarrassing position”; he was told by statesmen and ministers in the Japanese government that it would be best if he resigned, and so he resigned, and was appointed inspector general of the Army air force, where he stayed until 1940 (Hoyt 18, 32-34). At various points in his later life, he served as Head of War, Education, Commerce, and Industry. Tojo achieved his highest position in the military hierarchy as Premier/Prime Minister in 1941 (“Tojo, Hideki” 255).As with most political generals, Hideki Tojo demonstrated some of his leadership and ability to lead effectively in the field. In the late 1930s, Tojo led two brigades during the invasion of China and quickly brought the whole Inner Mongolia (province in China) under Japanese control. When the Army High Command experienced trouble with the Kwangtung Army division in Northeast China, Tojo was selected to quell the situation. They did not go wrong in choosing Tojo, as he successfully brought the Kwangtung Army under full Japanese control. Throughout his army and political life, Tojo became known as “kamisori” for his sharp, decisive, and impatient qualities, which consequently led to his success in the army (“Tojo, Hideki” 254-255).As War Minister of the second Fuminaro Konoye cabinet in 1940, he had considerable power even then to influence the activities within the Japanese government (“Tojo, Hideki” 255). When Konoye of the second Fuminaro Konoye government hesitated on Tojo’s demand for war against the U.S., Tojo snapped back with: “You know, at some point in man’s lifetime he may find it necessary to jump...

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