First Army (Japan)

Japanese First Army

Japanese General Kuroki and his Chief of Staff Shigeta Fujii
Active September 1894 – September 1945 
Country Empire of Japan
Branch Imperial Japanese Army
Type Infantry
Role Corps
Nickname(s) Otsu ( Second)
Engagements First Sino-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War
World War II

The Japanese 1st Army (第1軍 Dai-ichi gun) was an army of the Imperial Japanese Army. It was raised and demobilized on three separate occasions.


The Japanese 1st Army was initially raised during the First Sino-Japanese War from 1 September 1894-28 May 1895 under the command of General Yamagata Aritomo. It participated in all of the major battles of that conflict, and was demobilized at the successful end of that war.

It was revived for the Russo-Japanese War from 2 February 1904-9 December 1905 under the command of General Kuroki Tamemoto. Its forces were the first to land in Korea and Manchuria and it fought in most of the major campaigns of the war, including the Battle of Yalu River, Battle of Motien Pass, Battle of Liaoyang, Battle of Shaho, Battle of Sandepu, and Battle of Mukden. It was again demobilized at the end of that conflict.

The Japanese 1st Army was raised again on 26 August 1937 in Tianjin, China under the Japanese China Garrison Army. In addition to protecting the Japanese settlement at Tianjin, it served as a reinforcement to the newly formed Japanese Northern China Area Army following the Marco Polo Bridge Incident during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The 1st Army subsequently participated in various campaigns in North China under the operational command of the Japanese Northern China Area Army, including the North China Incident, Beiping–Hankou Railway Operation, and the Battle of Taiyuan before being demobilized at Taiyuan, Shanxi province after the end of World War II on 30 September 1945.

List of Commanders

Commanding officer

Name From To
1 Marshal Yamagata Aritomo 1 September 1894 19 December 1894
2 Marshal Nozu Michitsura19 December 1894 28 May 1895
X demobilized 28 May 1895 2 February 1904
3 Marshal Kuroki Tamemoto2 February 1904 9 December 1905
X demobilized 9 December 1905 31 August 1937
4 Lieutenant General Kiyoshi Katsuki26 August 1937 30 May 1938
5 General Yoshijirō Umezu30 May 1938 7 September 1939
6 Lieutenant General Yoshio Shinozuka7 September 1939 20 June 1941
7 Lieutenant General Yoshio Iwamatsu20 June 1941 1 August 1942
8 General Teiichi Yoshimoto 1 August 1942 22 November 1944
9 Lieutenant General Raishiro Sumida 22 November 1944 30 September 1945

Chief of Staff

Name From To
1 Major General Ogawa Mataji1 September 1894 28 May 1895
X demobilized 28 May 1895 2 February 1904
2 Major General Fujii Shigeta2 February 1904 9 December 1905
X demobilized 9 December 1905 26 August 1937
3 Major General Gun Hashimoto26 August 1937 27 January 1938
4 Major General Shōjirō Iida27 January 19389 November 1938
5 Lieutenant General Senichi Kushibuchi 9 November 1938 9 March 1940
6 Major General Ryukichi Tanaka9 March 1940 2 December 1940
7 Major General Hideyoshi Kusuyama2 December 1940 1 December 1941
8 Lieutenant General Tadashi Hanaya 1 December 1941 23 October 1943
9 Major General Ichimaro Horike23 October 1943 16 December 1944
10 Major General Michitake Yamaoka16 December 1944 September 1945


External links


  1. The Japanese Army 1931-1945, Osprey Publishing, p.15
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