Japanese Admiral Baron Uryū Sotokichi
|Native name||瓜生 外吉|
January 2, 1857|
Kanazawa, Kaga domain, Japan
November 11, 1937 (aged 80) |
|Buried||Aoyama Cemetery, Tokyo, Japan|
|Allegiance||Empire of Japan|
|Service/||Imperial Japanese Navy|
|Years of service||1871–1927|
(m. 1882; d. 1928)
Baron Uryū Sotokichi (瓜生 外吉, 2 January 1857 – 11 November 1937) was an early admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy, active in the Russo-Japanese War, most notably at the Battle of Chemulpo Bay and the Battle of Tsushima. His name has sometimes been transliterated as "Uriu Sotokichi", or "Uriu Sotokitchi", a transliteration of older kana spelling. The spelling is different by current accepted methods of transliteration, but the pronunciation is the same as the modern spelling for Uryū (うりゅう).
Born to a samurai family in the Kaga Domain (present day Kanazawa in Ishikawa prefecture), Uryū became one of the first cadets of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy but did not graduate; instead, he was then sent to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis on 9 June 1875, returning on 2 October 1881
Commissioned as a lieutenant, he served aboard various ships throughout the 1880s, including the corvette Kaimon, the ironclad Fusō, and the sloop Nisshin. On 23 July 1891, he assumed his first command: the gunboat Akagi. Promoted to captain in 1891, he was then posted as naval attaché to France from 5 September 1892 to 31 August 1896.
On 28 December 1897, Uryū faced a court-martial over a collision in the Seto Inland Sea in stormy weather between the cruisers Itsukushima and Matsushima, and was sentenced to prison for three months from 5 April 1898. However, this did not seem to hurt his career, as he was appointed captain of Matsushima on 1 February 1899, and the battleship Yashima on 16 June 1898. He became a rear admiral and Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff on 21 May 1900.
Uryū was promoted to vice admiral on 6 June 1904. During the Russo-Japanese War, he commanded the Second Squadron at the Battle of Chemulpo Bay which resulted in the destruction of the Russian cruiser Varyag and gunboat Korietz. For his war service, he was decorated with the Order of the Rising Sun (1st class) and the Order of the Golden Kite (2nd class) in 1906.
Appointed commander of the Yokosuka Naval District on 1 December 1909, Uryū was made a full admiral on 16 October 1912. He was the official representative from Japan at the opening ceremonies for the Panama Canal in 1912. From 1922-1925, he served on the House of Peers in the Diet of Japan. He entered the reserve list in 1927, and died in 1937.
- Andidora, Ronald (2000). Iron Admirals: Naval Leadership in the Twentieth Century. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-31266-4.
- Dupuy, Trevor N (1992). Encyclopedia of Military Biography. I B Tauris & Co Ltd. ISBN 1-85043-569-3.
- Jukes, Geoffrey (2002). The Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-446-7.
- Kowner, Rotem (2006). Historical Dictionary of the Russo-Japanese War. The Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-4927-5.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sotokichi Uryu.|
- Nishida, Hiroshi. "Uryu Sotokichi". Imperial Japanese Navy. Archived from the original on 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
- Nishida, Imperial Japanese Navy
- Nimura, Janice P. (2015). Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back. New York: W. W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-35278-8.
- Kowner, Historical Dictionary of the Russo-Japanese War, p. 406.