Yamaya Tanin

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Yamaya Tanin
Yamaya Tanin.jpg
Japanese Admiral Yamaya Tanin
Native name 山屋 他人
Born (1866-04-18)April 18, 1866
Morioka, Mutsu Province, Japan
Died September 10, 1940(1940-09-10) (aged 74)[1]
Morioka, Iwate, Japan
Allegiance Empire of Japan
Service/branch  Imperial Japanese Navy
Years of service 1886 -1922
Rank Admiral
Commands held
In this Japanese name, the family name is Yamaya.

Tanin Yamaya (山屋 他人?, April 18, 1866 – September 10, 1940) was a naval theorist and admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy during the early twentieth century. His is a direct ancestor of Japanese Crown Princess Masako.


Born to a samurai household in Morioka in Mutsu Province (present day Iwate prefecture), Yamaya graduated from the 12th class of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy in 1886. He was 5th out of 19 cadets. As a midshipman, he served on the ironclad warship Fusō. After a number of shipboard assignments, including a posting to the cruiser Naniwa, he was assigned in 1891 to Itsukushima on an overseas tour to France, returning over a year later in May 1892. Promoted to lieutenant, he was chief navigator on the corvette Yamato.

Transferred to the converted passenger liner Saikyo-maru, Yamaya served as chief navigator during the First Sino-Japanese War and was present during the Battle of the Yalu on September 17, 1894, along with the belligerent Navy General Staff Admiral Kabayama Sukenori. He later served as chief torpedo officer on Takachiho.

In 1896, Yamaya returned to the Naval War College (Japan), and was promoted to lieutenant commander. He became an instructor after only one year following his graduation. He earned a reputation as a creative tactician.[2]

Winning promotion to commander in 1899, Yamaya was recalled to combat duty in preparation for the Russo-Japanese War. He served as executive officer on the battleship Hatsuse. His first command was the cruiser Atkitsushima, during which time he participated in the Battle of the Yellow Sea on August 10, 1904. Promoted to captain soon afterwards, Yamaya then commanded the Kasagi during the Battle of Tsushima on May 26, 1905.

After the war, he was appointed captain of the cruiser Chitose. Serving in several fleet and staff positions following the war, Yamaya was promoted to rear admiral on December 1, 1909. Serving two terms as Commandant of the Naval War College, from 1909–1911 and again in 1913 respectively, Yamaya expanded on the theories of Admiral Akiyama Saneyuki. He was promoted to vice admiral on December 1, 1913.

Yamaya was assigned to command the South Seas Squadron (consisting of Asama, Kurama and Tsukuba) upon the outbreak of World War I patrolling for German warships of German East Asia Squadron in the South Pacific from October to December 1914. Under his command, Japanese forces occupied the former German colonies of Yap and the Caroline Islands.[3] He was awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal by the United States government for his contributions to the Allied effort in World War I.[4]

Recalled to Japan the following year, Yamaya was appointed Vice Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff, where he served until 1918, when he was given command of the IJN 2nd Fleet.[5]

Appointed a full admiral on November 15, 1919, Yamaya succeeded Admiral Gentaro Yamashita as commander in chief of the IJN 1st Fleet, and concurrently, commander in chief of the Combined Fleet until 1920. He was commander of the Yokosuka Naval District from 1920-1923.

Removed from the active list two years later, Yamaya lived in retirement until his death in 1940.



  • Dupuy, Trevor N. (1992). Encyclopedia of Military Biography. I B Tauris & Co Ltd. ISBN 1-85043-569-3. 
  • Evans, David; Peattie, Mark R. (1979). Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-192-7. 
  • Schencking, J. Charles (2005). Making Waves: Politics, Propaganda, And The Emergence Of The Imperial Japanese Navy, 1868-1922. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-4977-9. 
  • Peattie, Mark R. (1992). Nan'yō: The Rise and Fall of the Japanese in Micronesia, 1885-1945 (Pacific Islands Monograph Series). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-1480-0. 

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Nishida, Imperial Japanese Navy
  2. ^ Evans & Peattie. Kaigun. Page 538
  3. ^ Peattie. Nan'Yo: The Rise and Fall of the Japanese in Micronesia.
  4. ^ [1] Home of Heroes homepage
  5. ^ [2] Axis History Factbook