Kesao Kijima

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Kesao Kijima
Born 20 November 1889
Nagano prefecture, Japan
Died 10 February 1965(1965-02-10) (aged 75)
Allegiance Empire of Japan
Service/branch War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army.svg Imperial Japanese Army
Years of service 1911–1945
Rank Major General
Commands held IJA 17th Infantry Brigade
IJA 38th Independent Mixed Brigade
Battles/wars Second Sino-Japanese War
World War II

Kesao Kijima (木島 袈裟雄, Kijima Kesao, 20 November 1889 – 10 February 1965) was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army, commanding Japanese ground forces on Bougainville of 1945 in the closing months of the war.[1]


Kijma was born in Nagano prefecture. He graduated from the 23rd class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in May 1911.

During the Second Sino-Japanese War, Kijima was chief of the Special Operations of the IJA 123rd Infantry Regiment from May 1938. In July of the same year, he was promoted to colonel. He was active at the Battle of Wuhan and the Battle of Nanchang. However, in April 1940, he was demobilized and attached to the reserve IJA 6th Depot Division based in Kumamoto. In August 1940, Kijima was recalled to active status, and posted back as the commanding officer of the 123rd Regiment. Kijima was promoted to major general in March 1943 and was assigned command of the IJA 17th Infantry Brigade. In May 1943, the IJA 17th Infantry Brigade came under the command of the Japanese Eighth Area Army in the Japanese-occupied Solomon Islands and New Guinea.[2] It had its headquarters at Rabaul, New Britain. Kijima was initially in charge of the defenses of western New Britain. In July 1944, Kijima was given command of the IJA 38th Independent Mixed Brigade of the IJA 17th Army on Bougainville Island upon its formation. The brigade fought at the Battle of Pearl Ridge during the Bougainville Campaign against the Australian Army, but was defeated on 1 January 1945 after three days. The retreat of the brigade southwards towards Buin was refused, and it subsequently became isolated at Numa Numa until the cessation of hostilities.[citation needed]

Kijima was held by the Australians as a prisoner of war until 1 March 1950, but was not charged with any war crimes.[3]


  • Fuller, Richard (1992). Shokan: Hirohito's Samurai. London: Arms and Armor. ISBN 1-85409-151-4. 
  • Tanaka, Kengoro (1980). Operations of the Imperial Japanese Armed Forces in the Papua New Guinea Theater During World War II. Tokyo: Japan Papua New Guinea Goodwill Society. 
  • McGee, William L (2002). The Solomons Campaigns, 1942-1943: From Guadalcanal to Bougainville--Pacific War Turning Point, Volume 2. BMC Publications. ISBN 0970167873. 

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Kijima Kesao,
  2. ^ McGee, The Solomons Campaigns, 1942-1943
  3. ^ "The Canberra Times, Thursday 2 March 1950, p.1". Retrieved 14 August 2010.