- Dewa Shigetō
Baron Dewa Shigetō
Portrait of Admiral Dewa Shigetō from National Diet Library, Tokyo,
Born December 10, 1856
Aizu domain, Japan
Died January 27, 1930(aged 73)
Allegiance Empire of Japan Service/branch Imperial Japanese Navy Years of service 1872 - 1925 Rank Admiral Commands held Tokiwa
3rd Squadron of IJN 1st Fleet
IJN 3rd Fleet, Director of the Naval Education Bureau, IJN 2nd Fleet, Sasebo Naval District, IJN 1st Fleet.
Battles/wars Boshin War
oBattle of Aizu
First Sino-Japanese War
oBattle of Port Arthur
oBattle of the Yellow Sea
oBattle of Tsushima
Awards Order of the Rising Sun, 1st Class
Dewa was born as the son of a samurai of the Aizu domain (present day Fukushima prefecture). As a youth, he enlisted in the Byakkotai, a reserve unit of the Aizu domain's official military. The Byakkotai was called into action, and Dewa served at the Battle of Aizu in the Boshin War.
Dewa attended the 5th class of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy, graduating 6th out of 43 cadets. He served as a junior officer on several vessels of the early Japanese Navy, including the corvette executive officer on the cruiser Takao. From 1893-1893, he was captain of the gunboats Akagi, and First Sino-Japanese War (1894–95), Dewa served as a staff officer of "Western Seas Fleet", a defensive force patrolling home waters. In 1893, he became Director of the Personnel Section in the Navy Ministry. He later captained the cruiser Tokiwa in 1898.
Promoted to rear admiral on 20 May 1900, and vice admiral on 6 June 1904, during the Russo-Japanese War he was a commander of the 3rd Cruiser Squadron of the IJN 1st Fleet and took part in the naval Battle of Port Arthur, Battle of the Yellow Sea, (where he commanded from the cruiser Yakumo), and he led the Third Squadron during the decisive Battle of Tsushima from his flagship, the cruiser Kasagi.
Later, he was successively Commander-in-Chief of the IJN 2nd Fleet, Sasebo Naval District, and the IJN 1st Fleet.
On 9 July 1912, he was promoted to full admiral. Dewa Shigeto was the first non-Satsuma person (and the first Aizu person) to attain the rank of full admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy. The first person of Aizu background to attain the rank of admiral was Hidematsu Tsunoda, and Matsudaira Morio the son of the former Aizu lord Matsudaira Katamori is rear admiral.
On the occasion of the Siemens-Vickers Navy Armament Scandal, as Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry he concentrated his efforts on the cleanup of corruption from the Navy. This eventually led to the fall of Admiral Yamamoto Gonnohyōe's cabinet in March 1914. Dewa retired from active service in 1925.
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