Nakamuta Kuranosuke (中牟田倉之助)

Kuranosuke NAKAMUTA was a military man in the Imperial Japanese Navy who lived from March 30, 1837 to March 30, 1916. He was president of Naval War College, privy councilor and viscount. His childhood name was Takeomi. He was born as the second son of Magoshichiro KANEMARU, but he was adopted by the Nakamuta family.

At the recommendation of Naomasa NABESHIMA, the lord of domain, NAKAMUTA entered a naval school in Nagasaki at the age of 20 in 1856, and after graduation, he served as an assistant of mayor in the domain's Navy and contributed to its development.

When the Boshin War broke out in 1868, he went to the Oshu region, and participated in the Hokuetsu War to defeat the army of the former bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). In March, 1869, he was appointed as captain of 'Choyo-maru', a warship of the new government, and he left the Shinagawa port in April and took part in the Battle of Hakodate in Ezochi (inhabited area of Ainu). However on May 11, on the day of the all-out attack in Hakodate, the shells fired by a warship of the former bakufu 'Banryu-maru' directly hit the ammunition storage on Choyo-maru and triggered a huge explosion. NAKAMUTA was miraculously saved by the British ship 'Pearl' and survived, but seriously injured, and he lost vice commander Matanosuke NATSUAKI and fifty other crew members.

With his deed of valor in the Boshin war, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel of the Navy in 1870 and to colonel in 1872; and his further achievements in the Seinan War in 1877 promoted him to vice admiral of the Navy. Subsequently, he served as president of the Naval War College as well as privy councilor.

While he was department director of the military order in the Navy just before the Sino-Japanese War, he was strictly on the noncombatant side because he appreciated the military potential of China's North Sea Fleet. Therefore, he was removed from his position of the department director of the military order by Gonbei YAMAMOTO, who was on the combatant side, and was replaced by Sukenori KABAYAMA.

He died in 1916. He was 80 years old.