Prince Kuni Kuniyoshi

From Kaiserreich

His Imperial Highness Prince Kuni Kuniyoshi (久邇宮邦彦王, Kuni-no-miya Kuniyoshi ō?, 23 June 1873 - 29 June 1929) was a member of the Japanese imperial family and a field marshal in the Imperial Japanese Army during the Meiji and Taisho periods. He was the father of Empress Kōjun

Early Life

Prince Kuni Kuniyoshi was born in Kyoto, the third son of Prince Kuni Asahiko and the court lady Isume Makiko. His father, Prince Asahiko (also known as Shōren no miya Sun'yu and Nagakawa no miya Asahiko), was a son of Prince Fushimi Kuniye (Fushimi no miya Kuniie Shinnō), the head of one of oke branch houses of the imperial dynasty entitled to provide a successor to the throne of Japan. In 1872, Emperor Meiji granted Prince Asahiko the title "Kuni-no-miya" and authorized him to begin a new branch of the imperial family.

Prince Kuniyoshi succeeded to the title upon his father's death on 29 October 1891. His half-brothers, Prince Asaka, Prince Higashikuni, Prince Nashimoto, and Prince Kaya, all formed new branches of the imperial family during the Meiji period.

Military career

Prince Kuni Kuniyoshi graduated from the 7th class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1897. During the Russo-Japanese War, he served as a major in the infantry assigned to the staff of General Kuroki Tamemoto, commander of the IJA 1st Army. For his war services he was awarded the Order of the Golden Kite (4th class). He then graduated from the Army War College and was assigned to the 3rd Regiment of the Imperial Guards Division.

From 1907 to 1910, he studied military tactics in Germany and was attached to Second Regiment of the Prussian Foot Guards. Upon returning to Japan, Prince Kuni rose to the rank of major general and given command of the 38th Infantry Regiment. Later he commanded the Imperial Guards and rose to the rank of lieutenant general in 1918 and commander of the IJA 15st Division. Along with that command, he received the additional post of chief priest of the Meiji Shrine.

Prince Kuni became a full general and a member of the Supreme War Council in 1923. Prince Kuni Kuniyoshi was an early advocate of military aviation. One of his protégés was Yamamoto Isoroku, the future admiral and commander-in-chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy. On 27 January 1929 (two days before his death), Emperor Showa promoted him to the honorary rank of field marshal and granted him the Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum.

Marriage & Family

On 13 December 1889, Prince Kuni Kuniyoshi married Shimazu Chikako (18 October 1879 - ), the seventh daughter of Prince Shimazu Tadayoshi, the last daimyo of Satsuma. The marriage represented an alliance between the imperial family and Satsuma clan. Prince and Princess Kuni had six children, three sons and three daughters:

HIH Prince Kuni Asaakira (2 February 1901 – ) Marquis Kuni Kunihisa (20 March 1902 – 5 March 1935) HIH Kuni Nagako (6 March 1903 – ), M. Emperor Showa in 1924. HIH Princess Kuni Nobuko (b. 30 March 1904) HIH Princess Kuni Satoko (b. 1 September 1906) Count Higashifushimi Kunihide (b. 10 May 1910)

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