Japanese Intelligence and the Approach of the Russo-Japanese War

  • Ian Nish


SINCE the Meiji Restoration of 1868 Japan had learnt some of the military arts at the hands of Europeans. Such war-making techniques as were used at the time of the Franco-Prussian War were imparted to the Japanese army at its military staff college by such tutors as Major (later General) Jacob Meckel in the 1880s.2 Similarly, knowledge about the navy was taught to Japanese naval officers at Greenwich and in Japan by British naval instructors. Although, so far as is known, these courses did not cover training in intelligence, in this area also Japan was influenced by European example.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes and Reference

  1. 2.
    See G. Kerst, Jacob Meckel: sein Leben, sein Wirken in Deutschland und Japan (Göttingen, 1970).Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    T. Takakura, Tanaka Giichi denki, 3 vols (Tokyo, 1958), vol. I, pp. 108–9.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Mutsu to Kurino, 15 Dec 1894, quoted in G. M. Berger (ed.), Kenkenroku: A diplomatic record of the Sino-Japanese war, 1894–5 (Mutsu) (Tokyo, 1982), p. 271.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    For the use made of Siebold by the prominent diplomat, Aoki Shūzō, see I. H. Nish, Japanese foreign policy, 1869–1942 (London, 1977), pp. 45 and 270–2.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Tokutomi Iichirō, Kōshaku Yamagata Aritomo den, 3 vols (Tokyo, 1933), vol. III, pp. 98–109.Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    Shimada Kinji, Roshiya ni okeru Hirose Takeo, 2 vols (Tokyo, 1976).Google Scholar
  7. 18.
    Olavi Fält, ‘Collaboration between Japanese intelligence and the Finnish underground during the Russo-Japanese war’, in Asian Profile, IV/2 (1976) and ‘Japan in Finnish underground newspapers during the Russo-Japanese war’ in I. H. Nish and C. J. Dunn (eds), European Studies on Japan (Tenterden, 1979), pp. 130–1.Google Scholar
  8. 19.
    Michael Futrell, ‘Colonel Akashi and Japanese contacts with Russian revolutionaries in 1904–5’, in St Antonys Papers, No. 2: Far Eastern Affairs (1967), pp. 17–18.Google Scholar
  9. 21.
    Kurobane Shigeru, Nichi-Ro sensō to Akashi kōsaku (Tokyo. 1976) pp. 73–4.Google Scholar
  10. 22.
    Kurobane, p. 74.Google Scholar
  11. 23.
    A. Hiratsuka, Shishaku Kurino Shinichirō den (Tokyo, 1942).Google Scholar
  12. 24.
    Kurobane, pp. 86–7.Google Scholar
  13. 26.
    Futrell, op. cit., p. 22; Kurobane, pp. 64–6. An important contribution is made in Jerzy J. Lerski, ‘A Polish chapter of the Russo–Japanese war’ in Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, VII (Tokyo, 1959), 69–97.Google Scholar
  14. 27.
    Yamabe Kentarō, ‘Gaikō bunsho to angō’ in Berger, Kenkenroku, p. 264. Also Foreign Office (Public Record Office, London) 800/134, MacDonald to Lansdowne, 30 June 1903.Google Scholar
  15. 28.
    Nihon gaikō bunsho, vol. 37/I, no. 53, Kurino to Komura, 15 Jan 1904; and G. P. Gooch and H. W. V. Temperley (eds), British Documents on the Origins of the War, 1898–1914, vol. II (London, 1927), no. 281.Google Scholar
  16. 29.
    On Kokuryūkai, see M. B. Jansen, The Japanese and Sun Yat-sen (Cambridge, Mass., 1954). For one of the ‘China adventurers’, see Miyazaki Tōten, My 33 Years Dream (translated by S. Etō and M. B. Jansen, Princeton, 1982).Google Scholar
  17. 32.
    G. A. Lensen (ed.), Korea and Manchuria between Russia and Japan (Tokyo, 1966), pp. 246–7.Google Scholar
  18. 33.
    Morrison to Moberley Bell, 24 Nov 1903 in Lo Hui-min (ed.), The Correspondence of G. E. Morrison, 2 vols (Cambridge, 1976), vol. I, p. 239. My italics. The most detailed account of cooperation between Colonel Aoki and Yuan against Russian railways, telegraphs etc. is in Tani Toshio, Kimitsu Nichi-Ro senshi (Tokyo, 1966).Google Scholar
  19. 37.
    Shimada, op. cit.; Tani, op. cit., Kimitsu Nichi-Ro senshi, underscores army-navy quarrels.Google Scholar
  20. 39.
    Shimada, op. cit.; F. S. G. Piggott, Broken thread (Aldershot, 1950), p. 46.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Christopher Andrew, Robert Cecil, David Dilks, David Kahn, Ian Nish, Eunan O’Halpin, Alasdair Palmer, Harry Howe Ransom, Jürgen Rohwer, Jean Stengers, Wesley K. Wark 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Nish

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations