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The deaths of the Daigo family and a piece of modern Japanese history

At the end of the war, the commander-in-chief of the Imperial Navy's 6th Fleet was Marquis Tadashige Daigo. The 6th Fleet was mainly made up of submarines, and as the war situation worsened, it launched human torpedoes called Kaiten from November 1944 onwards, and continued operations until the end of the war. When the admiral became commander-in-chief of the fleet in May 1945, there were already only nine operational submarines.

After the end of the war, the remaining secret funds from the fleet were used to deliver condolence messages and condolence money to the homes of Kaiten passengers. In 1947, he was designated as a war criminal by the Dutch authorities in connection with the Pontianak Incident and was transferred to Indonesia, where he was sentenced to death and imprisoned just over 10 days after the trial began. During the war, the army established military rule in Java and the navy in Kalimantan, but Daigo, who was the local commander at the time, was accused of being a war criminal for suppressing guerrillas instigated by the Dutch side, and after a harsh prison life, he was shot dead by 12 gunners.

Tadashige's father was Marquis Tadataka, who was shot and killed by his nephew Kakutaro, and at the age of eight Tadashige was taken in by his relatives, the Ichijo family. Tadataka took over as head of the family in place of his sickly older brother, but for three years before the incident, his older brother's eldest son, Kakutaro, had been living in the house of his nanny's son and was burdened with large amounts of debt, and his second son, Kenjiro, had died when the army was dispatched to Taiwan.

The Daigo family was originally a branch family from the Ichijo family in the early Edo period, and the family stipend was only about 300 koku, which was much smaller than the main family (2,000 koku), but since it was a new family, I imagine that it had few assets which could been converted to cash. On the other hand, it had a high status as the Seiga family, which was inherited from the Gosekke family, and after the Meiji Restoration he became a marquis, but although he received some lump sum money, his financial situation was difficult and it was difficult for him to take care of the whole family.

Among the challenges faced by the new government after the Meiji Restoration was how to secure the national budget by taking away the ancestral stipend, or the right to collect taxes, from the old ruling class (nobles, feudal lords, and samurai in general, roughly 5% of the population). was the most important theme. Although the definition of kazoku and samurai, the disposition of Chitsuroku, and the transition to Kinroku public bonds were made within ten years of the Meiji Restoration, the gradual flattening and centralization of the class system since the Middle Ages naturally led to a redistribution of wealth. There were winners and losers.

Before the war, there were many cases where children who did not have enough money aspired to become soldiers, but Tadashige graduated from the Naval Academy and continued his career as a naval officer, choosing to work in the field instead of going to the Naval War College, making him a minor option - a submarine commander, he improved his skills. Unlike ordinary soldiers who come from imperial or peerage families, his on-the-job approach, consideration for his subordinates, and hard-working personality may have been influenced by the unique family environment he experienced.


At the trial, Tadashige did not say anything to protect himself, and accepted the death sentence, taking responsibility for his crimes, but at the end of his will he left the following words: ”Everyone is dedicating their full efforts to the mission of rebuilding Japan, and I will be born again and again from the spirit world to devote my full efforts to rebuilding Japan. The families of my subordinates who died in the war were also kept in mind. ”

I'm just ashamed of myself for reaching my 60th birthday so lazily.  

On July 30, 1945, the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis, carrying the main parts for the atomic bombs for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, was sunk by the submarine I-58 commanded by Commander Hashimoto while moving to Leyte Island after unloading her cargo at Tinian Island.

After the war, the captain (Colonel Charles B. McVeigh III) was court-martialed for failing to zigzag to avoid submarine attack. When asked to testify, Commander Hashimoto defended Charles by saying, ”The evacuation action was already too far away and the captain was not at fault,” but in the end he was found guilty and committed suicide after leaving the ship.

Lt. Col. Hashimoto spent more than 30 years trying to restore the captain's honor, and finally in 2000, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution finding him not at fault, and President Clinton signed it. Unfortunately, he passed away five days before the President signed it. The boss (Lieutenant General Daigo) was a man, so was the subordinate (Lieutenant Colonel Hashimoto).



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