Mochizuki Keisuke

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Mochizuki Keisuke
Keisuke mochizuki.jpg
Born (1867-04-01)April 1, 1867
Ōsakikamijima, Hiroshima, Japan
Died January 1, 1941(1941-01-01) (aged 73)
Resting place Tama Cemetery, Tokyo
Nationality Japanese
Occupation Politician, Cabinet Minister
In this Japanese name, the family name is Mochizuki.

Mochizuki Keisuke (望月圭介?, 1 April 1867 – 1 January 1941) was a statesman, politician and cabinet minister in Taishō and early Shōwa period Japan.


Mochizuki was born on Ōsakikamijima, an island in the Seto Inland Sea, now part of Hiroshima Prefecture, where his father was an entrepreneur and ship owner. He went to Tokyo when he was age 13 and studied the English language, returning at age 17 to assist in the family business. However, he soon became interested in politics and was affiliated with the early Liberal Party of Japan. He was elected to the lower house of the Diet of Japan in the 1898 General Election, and was subsequently reelected from the same district 13 times.

In his early career, Mochizuki spoke out strongly against factionalism in the Diet based on old clan-based affiliations. He later joined the Kenseitō political party, but was recruited as one of the founding members of the Rikken Seiyūkai by Itō Hirobumi in 1900. He rose to a high rank within the party, eventually serving as secretary-general during the administration of Prime Minister Hara Kei.

Mochizuki first joined the Cabinet under the Tanaka administration in 1927 as Minister of Communications. The following year, he was appointed Home Minister.[1]

During his term as Home Minister, renewed activity by underground Japan Communist Party in 1928 led to the March 15 Incident, in which police arrested more than 1,600 Communists and suspected Communists under the provisions of the Public Safety Preservation Law of 1925. The same year, he pushed through an amendment to the law, raising the maximum penalty from ten years to death.

Also while Home Minister in 1927, Mochizuki responded to a petition by pioneering Japanese feminist Shidzue Katō on women's suffrage by telling her to go home to wash her baby's diapers, as the place for women is in the home.[2]

However, Mochizuki broke with the Seiyūkai in 1934, forming the short-lived Showa-kai party in 1935. He returned to the cabinet as Minister of Communications from 1935–1936, and served as a Cabinet councilor during the Yonai administration in 1940.

Mochizuki died just before the start of the Pacific War. His birthplace in Ōsakikamijima has been preserved as a museum.[3] His grave is at the Tama Cemetery.[4]


  • Henderson, Michael. All Her Paths are Peace:Women Pioneers in Peacemaking. Kumarian Press (1994). ISBN 1565490347
  • Hunter, Janet. A Concise Dictionary of Modern Japanese History . University of California Press (1994). ISBN 0520045572

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Hunter, A Concise Dictionary of Modern Japanese History. Page 280
  2. ^ Henderson, All Her Paths are Peace. Page 59
  3. ^ [1] Ōsakikamijima home page
  4. ^ [2] Tama Cemetery home page
Political offices
Preceded by
Okada Keisuke
Minister of Communications
12 Sep 1935 – 9 Mar 1936
Succeeded by
Tanomogi Keikichi
Preceded by
Tanaka Giichi
Home Minister
23 May 1928 – 2 July 1929
Succeeded by
Adachi Kenzō
Preceded by
Adachi Kenzō
Minister of Communications
20 April 1927 – 23 May 1928
Succeeded by
Fusanosuke Kuhara