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Led by Major General Tetsuzan Nagata, along with Hideki Tōjō, the Tōseiha was a grouping of officers united primarily by their opposition to the Kōdōha faction led by General Sadao Araki and Jinzaburō Masaki. The name "Tōseiha" was actually a pejorative coined by (and only used by) Kōdōha members and sympathizers.
The Tōseiha attempted to represent the more politically conservative (moderate) elements within the army, as opposed to the radical and ultranationalist Kōdōha. The Tōseiha was a non-regional coalition, as opposed to Araki's reintroduction of regional politics into army promotions and policy decisions. Many members were promising graduates of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy and Army Staff College, and were concerned about Araki's emphasis of the spiritual élan of the army over modernization and mechanization. Whereas the Kōdōha was strongly supportive of the hokushin-ron strategy of a preemptive strike against the Soviet Union, the Tōseiha favored a more cautious defense expansion.
Fundamental to both factions, however, was the common belief that national defense must be strengthened through a reform of national politics. Both factions adopted some ideas from totalitarian and fascist political philosophies, and espoused a strong skepticism for political party politics and representative democracy. However, rather than the confrontational approach of the Kōdōha, which wanted to bring about a revolution (the Showa Restoration), the Tōseiha foresaw that a future war would be a total war, and would require the cooperation of the bureaucracy and the zaibatsu to maximize Japan's industrial and military capacity.
After the Manchurian Incident, the two cliques struggled against each other for dominance over the military. After Araki's resignation in 1934 and the failure of the February 26 Incident in 1936, with its subsequent purge of the Kōdōha leadership from the military, the Tōseiha lost most of its raison-d'etre. Under Hideki Tōjō and Muto Akira, the two factions merged into the Imperial Way Faction nationalist party.
- Buruma, Ian (2004). Inventing Japan, 1854-1964. Modern Library. ISBN 0-8129-7286-4.
- Harries, Meirion (1994). Soldiers of the Sun: The Rise and Fall of the Imperial Japanese Army. Random House; Reprint edition. ISBN 0-679-75303-6.
- Samuels, Richard J (2007). Securing Japan: Tokyo's Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-4612-0.