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Hisao Tani file photo [23046]

Hisao Tani

Given NameHisao
Born23 Dec 1882
Died26 Apr 1947


ww2dbaseHisao Tani was born in Okayama, Japan in 1882. He graduated from the Japanese Army Academy in 1903, entering the artillery. At the rank of Sub-lieutenant, he saw action during the 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese War with the 1st Guards Regiment. He graduated from the Army War College in Nov 1912. During WW1, between Apr 1915 and 1919, he served in Britain as a military attaché. Between Apr 1919 and 1927, he served as an instructor at the Army War College; his texts on the Russo-Japanese War was a required reading for students during this time. In Mar 1927, he was the commanding officer of 61st Regiment at the rank of colonel. In Aug 1928, he was made the chief of staff of 3rd Division. In May 1930, he was a military advisor to the Japanese delegation to the League of Nations. In Aug 1930, he was promoted to the rank of major general and was attached to the Army General Staff until 1932. In Aug 1932, he was made the Chairman of Military Investigation. In 1933, he was named the commanding officer of 2nd Guards Brigade. In 1934, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. In Aug 1934, he became the Commandant of the Tokyo Bay Naval Defense Command. In Dec 1935, he took command of the 6th Division. In this role, he first saw action in WW2 during the Beiping-Hankou Railway Operation. During the Second Battle of Shanghai, his troops landed at Hangzhou Bay in Nov 1937 to attack Chinese forces from the rear. During the Battle of Nanjing, 6th Division troops entered the Zhonghua Gate of the Chinese capital on 12 Dec 1937, participating in the escalation of Japanese brutality against Chinese civilians into the later named Rape of Nanjing. He returned to Japan in late Dec 1937. Between 1938 and 1939, he was the Commander-in-Chief of the Central Defense Army. In Aug 1939, he was relieved of all responsibilities in preparation for his retirement in the following month. He remained in reserve for the remainder of the war. In 1945, Lieutenant General Yoji Fujii of 59th Army was killed at Hiroshima, Japan by the atomic blast, and Tani was recalled to take over the 59th Army. After the war, he was arrested by the General Headquarters, the Allied occupation administration, in Feb 1946. In Aug 1946, he was extradited to China to stand trial for his role in the Rape of Nanjing. While in captivity in Shanghai, China, his subordinate Lieutenant Jiro Okada, his Korean aide Lee Jangmi, and brided Chinese official Bi Shangqing provided him a dose of non-lethal drugs to fake a suicide, but his subsequent attempt to escape from a hospital failed. While in captivity in Nanjing, another failed escape was made; Okada and Lee were killed by guards during the process. He was put on trial in Nanjing in Feb 1947. He initially denied that the Japanese troops of 6th Division did any wrong, blaming the atrocities on the ethnic Korean auxiliary troops. Although the trial process was criticized as rushed and poorly conducted, a reel of film showing him at a mass execute site in China ensured the guilty verdict which came down in Mar 1947. He attempted to appeal his death sentence, but the appeal was personally rejected by Chinese President Chiang Kaishek the day before the scheduled execution. He was executed by a firing squad at Mount Yuhuatai in Nanjing in Apr 1947. Early that morning, he clipped his fingernails and three strands of hair, placed them in a pouch made of his hankerchief to be brought back to Japan for burial, and wrote a poem.

When the cherry blossoms bloom it is when I will die Painfully parting with my wife who will lose her husband Wishing as my body turns to mud China's hatred for Japan will cease

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Mar 2015

Hisao Tani Interactive Map

Hisao Tani Timeline

23 Dec 1882 Hisao Tani was born in Okayama, Japan.
28 Dec 1937 Hisao Tani was made the commanding officer of the Central Defense Army.
23 Mar 1939 Hisao Tani was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure 1st Class.
29 Apr 1940 Hisao Tani was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun 1st Class.
6 Feb 1947 A court in Najing, China, Lieutenant General Hisao Tani, commanding officer of the Japanese 6th Division in Nanjing from late 1937, was found guilty of encouraging his men to commit crimes such as rape, murder, plunder, and destruction.
10 Mar 1947 Hisao Tani was found guilty of war crimes by a court in Nanjing, China.
25 Apr 1947 Hisao Tani's appeal against his death sentence was rejected by Chiang Kaishek.
26 Apr 1947 Hisao Tani was executed by firing squad on Mount Yuhuatai in Nanjing, China.


Hisao Tani at the Nanjing Military Tribunal, China, 1947Hisao Tani being escorted by Chinese soldiers during his war crimes trial in Nanjing, China, 1947
See all 5 photographs of Hisao Tani

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More on Hisao Tani
Event(s) Participated:
» Beiping-Hankou Railway and Tianjin-Pukou Railway Operations
» Second Battle of Shanghai
» Battle of Nanjing and the Rape of Nanjing
» Tokyo Trial and Other Trials Against Japan

Hisao Tani Photo Gallery
Hisao Tani at the Nanjing Military Tribunal, China, 1947Hisao Tani being escorted by Chinese soldiers during his war crimes trial in Nanjing, China, 1947
See all 5 photographs of Hisao Tani

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