Harukichi Hyakutake

Harukichi Hyakutake (百武 晴吉, Hyakutake Harukichi, 25 May 1888 – 10 March 1947) was a general in the Japanese Imperial Army in World War II. He is sometimes referred to as Haruyoshi Hyakutake or Seikichi Hyakutake. His elder brothers Saburō Hyakutake and Gengo Hyakutake were admirals in the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Harukichi Hyakutake
Lieutenant General Harukichi Hyakutake in front of HQ Rabaul.jpg
Lieutenant General Harukichi Hyakutake in front of his headquarters at Rabaul, probably in the spring or summer of 1942.
Born25 May 1888
Saga Prefecture, Japan[1]
Died10 March 1947(1947-03-10) (aged 58)[2]
Tokyo, Japan
AllegianceEmpire of Japan
Service/branchWar flag of the Imperial Japanese Army.svg Imperial Japanese Army
Years of service1909 – 1946[1]
RankLieutenant General
Commands held4th Mixed Brigade
18th Infantry Division
17th Army[1]
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsOrder of the Rising Sun, 1st class


Early careerEdit

Born in Saga prefecture, Hyakutake graduated as an infantry officer from the 21st class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1909. Noted generals Kanji Ishiwara and Jo Iimura were among his classmates, as was future Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek. He attended the 33rd class of the Army Staff College in 1921, where he studied cryptanalysis, and was assigned to the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff after graduation.

From 1925 to 1927, as a lieutenant colonel, Hyakutake served as the Japanese Resident Officer in Poland. In 1928 he was assigned to the Headquarters of the Kwantung Army in China. As a colonel he worked at the Army's signal school in 1932 then as a section chief in the General Staff until 1935. After commanding the IJA 78th Infantry Regiment for one year, he took over as Superintendent of the Hiroshima Military Preparatory School in April 1936 and was promoted to major general in March 1937.

In August, 1937 Hyakutake became Superintendent of the Signal School. In March, 1939 he took command of the 4th Independent Mixed Brigade and was promoted to lieutenant general in August of the same year.[3] From February 1940 until April 1941 he was commander of the IJA 18th Division.

World War IIEdit

In May 1942 Hyakutake was assigned command of the IJA 17th Army, headquartered at Rabaul in the Southwest Pacific. His command was subsequently involved in the New Guinea, Guadalcanal, and Solomon Islands campaigns.[1] After the Japanese Eighth Area Army under General Hitoshi Imamura took over operations in the theater, Hyakutake directed Japanese army units solely in the Solomons, primarily on Bougainville.[3] He and his forces were trapped on Bougainville when the Allies established a heavily fortified perimeter at Cape Torokina, and Hyakutake was cut off from reinforcements and re-supply. His attacks on the perimeter failed, and his army was forced to live off the land, hiding in jungle caves for most of the rest of the war.

Hyakutake suffered a debilitating stroke and was relieved of his duties in February 1945 by General Masatane Kanda.[4] There was no way to evacuate him to Japan for medical treatment until February 1946, after the surrender of Japan. He died on 10 March 1947.[5]



  • Dupuy, Trevor N. (1992). The Harper Encyclopedia of Military Biography. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-7858-0437-4.
  • Frank, Richard (1990). Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-58875-4.
  • Fuller, Richard (1992). Shokan: Hirohito's Samurai. London: Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 1-85409-151-4.
  • Gailey, Harry A. (1991). Bougainville, 1943–1945: The Forgotten Campaign. Lexington, Kentucky, USA: University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-9047-9. – neutral review of this book here:[1]
  • Hayashi, Saburo (1959). Kogun: The Japanese Army in the Pacific War. Marine Corps. Association. ASIN B000ID3YRK.
  • Smith, Michael T. (2000). Bloody Ridge: The Battle That Saved Guadalcanal. New York: Pocket. ISBN 0-7434-6321-8.


  1. ^ a b c d e Smith, Bloody Ridge, p. 25.
  2. ^ Smith, Bloody Ridge, p. 230.
  3. ^ a b Hayashi, Kogun, pp. 224–225.
  4. ^ Gailey, Bougainville.
  5. ^ Smith, Bloody Ridge, p. 230 and Hayashi, Kogun, pp. 224–225.

External linksEdit

Government offices
Preceded by
Tomitarō Horii
Commander of Occupied New Guinea
Succeeded by
Hatazō Adachi
Succeeded by
Hitoshi Imamura