Kawakami Soroku (川上操六)

Soroku KAWAKAMI (川上操六) (December 6, 1848 - May 11, 1899) is a military man of the Imperial Japanese Army; a peerage. His official court ranks are the Chief of the General Staff, the Army General; his ranks and orders are Kinshi Kunsho (the Order of the Golden Kite), Viscount. His childhood name is Sonojo. His son, Soichi Kawakami, is an Army Major and his daughter married Lieutenant General Tsuto Ohara.
Soroku KAWAKAMI, Taro KATSURA, and Gentaro KODAMA are referred to as 'The three crows of the army of the Meiji government.'

He was born as the third son of Tsuto-Saemon-Yoshinori KAWAKAMI (川上伝左衛門親徳), and joined the Battle of Toba-Fushimi and the Boshin Civil War as Kogashira (head of an organizational section) assigned to the 10th Squad of Satsuma Domain.

He moved to Tokyo after the war, joined the army in April 1871, and in July of that year, appointed to the army lieutenant assigned to the Second Battalion of Goshimpei (army to convoy the Emperor). He experienced the Chief of the 3rd Regiment Foot Guard, the Chief of the 2nd Regiment Foot Guard, and the attendance of the Staff Headquarters (Japan); he moved up to an Army Major.

In the Seinan War, begun in 1877, he served as the Assistant Captain assigned to the 13th Regiment Foot soldier and won fame on it.

In December 1878, he became a Lieutenant Colonel of Army, the Captain assigned to the 13th Regiment Foot Soldier.

In May 1880, he became the Captain assigned to the 8th Regiment Foot Soldier, and in February 1882, moved up to be a Colonel of the Army appointed to the Captain of the 1st Regiment of Foot Soldier.

In 1884, he visited western countries with Iwao OYAMA, army minister, and inspected their military systems. After returning to Japan, in 1885, he was appointed to an Army Major General assigned to the Vice Chief of the Staff Headquarters (Japan); in 1886, appointed to the Brigade Commander assigned to the 2nd Brigade of Foot Soldier; later in 1887, went to Europe again, studied military science in Germany.

He came back in 1888, became a Vice Chief of Staff, and in 1890, moved up to be a Lieutenant General.

In 1893, after coming back from a business trip visiting Qing, he was appointed to the Vice Chief of the Staff Headquarters, assigned to the Senior Army Staff/the Commissary General and was largely involved in the outbreak of the Japanese-Sino War. In March 1895, Kawakami was appointed to the Chief of Staff assigned to the Government General to defeat Qing, and the intense effort he had been making to modernize the Japanese army succeeded and distinguished war service. In August 1895, he received Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, the 2nd grade Order of the Golden Pheasant, and was given Viscount.

In January 1898, after a business trip to Taiwan, French Indochina, and Siberia, he assumed the Chief of the General Staff; in September of that year, was appointed to the Army General; passed away a year after in May. Due to his death, he was conferred Junii (Junior Second Rank), and given Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun with Paulownia Flower.

Although he could be a central figure of the domain clique as a native of the Satsuma clan, he did not have clannish spirit at all and posted officials regardless of people's native domains, also in terms of education, assumed the school principal of Seijo School - located in Haramachi, Shinjuku which contributed in bringing up decent military men. He was buried in Aoyama Cemetery, located in Minato Ward, Tokyo.

Literary works
Soroku KAWAKAMI,"The Outline of the Inspection of Indochina (印度支那視察大要)," 1897
It is possible to browse the book in Digital Library from the Meiji Era.