Hisakazu Tanaka

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Hisakazu Tanaka
Lieutenant General Hisakazu Tanaka
Governor of Hong Kong
under Japanese occupation
In office
1 February 1945 – 16 August 1945
Monarch Shōwa
Prime Minister Kuniaki Koiso
Suzuki Kantarō
Preceded by Rensuke Isogai
Succeeded by Sir Franklin Charles Gimson (Acting)
Personal details
Born (1889-03-16)16 March 1889
Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan
Died 27 March 1947(1947-03-27) (aged 58)
Republic of China
Alma mater Army War College
Awards Order of the Rising Sun
Military service
Allegiance Empire of Japan
Service/branch War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army.svg Imperial Japanese Army
Years of service 1910-1945
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands 21st Infantry Division
23rd Army
Battles/wars Second Sino-Japanese War
World War II
In this Japanese name, the family name is Tanaka.

Hisakazu Tanaka (田中 久一 Tanaka Hisakazu?, 16 March 1889 – 27 March 1947) was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army, and head of the Japanese occupation force in Hong Kong in World War II. His name is occasionally transliterated "Tanaka Hisaichi".[1]


Tanaka was a native of Hyōgo Prefecture, and graduated from the 22nd class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1910 and from the 30th class of the Army Staff College in 1918. He served in various bureaucratic staff positions within the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff from 1919–1920, and was sent as a military attaché to the United States from 1923-1924.

After his return to Japan, he continued to serve in various staff positions, except for a brief stint as commander of the 1st Imperial Guards Regiment from 1935-1937. He was promoted to major general at the end of 1937, and briefly assigned as Chief of Staff of the Taiwan Army in 1938.[2]

However, with the increase in military activity in China due to the Second Sino-Japanese War, Tanaka was quickly reassigned to become Chief of staff of the Southern Expeditionary Army in 1938, and Chief of staff for the Japanese Twenty-First Army from 1938-1939.

Tanaka returned to Japan briefly from 1939-1940 to serve as Commandant of the Toyama Army Infantry School, but soon returned to the field as a lieutenant general and commander of the IJA 21st Division from 1940-1943. He became commander in chief of the Japanese Twenty-Third Army in China from 1943-1945.

General Tanaka just before his execution

Concurrently, from 16 December 1944 to the end of the war he was Governor-General of Hong Kong during the Japanese occupation.

General Tanaka's body after the execution.

At the end of the war, he was arrested by the American occupation authorities and tried before an American military tribunal held in Shanghai in 1946 for his role in the extrajudicial execution of Allied prisoners of war. He was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. However, he was then turned over to a Kuomintang military tribunal at Nanjing for war crimes in connection with his command responsibility for the IJA 23rd Army in China.[3] Found guilty, he was executed by shooting in 1947.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Budge
  2. ^ Ammenthorp, The Generals of World War II
  3. ^ Budge, The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia


External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Rensuke Isogai
Governor-General of Hong Kong
February 1945 – August 1945
Succeeded by
Sir Franklin Charles Gimson
as Governor of Hong Kong