Ito Sukeyuki (伊東祐亨)
Sukeyuki ITO (June 9, 1843 - January 16, 1914) was a samurai, a military man of the Imperial Japanese Navy and a peerage. He served as the fleet admiral and received the honors of Junior First Rank, the supreme order, and the Ko-Ikkyu, and was given the title of a Count. He called himself Yuko ITO. He was a member of the Satsuma clan during the end of the Edo period. He served as the first commander of the combined fleet. His common name was Shirozaemon or Shiro. His pseudonym was Aomi. The vice admiral, Sukemaro ITO, who was a principal of the Naval Academy (Japan) as well as a Viscount, was his older brother. The naval lieutenant, Sukemichi ITO, and the naval captain, Sukeaki KUBOTA, were Sukeyuki's younger brothers. The family crest was the Iorimokko.
He was born in Jyoka shimizu-cho, Kagoshima City as the fourth son of Sukenori ITO, a member of the Satsuma clan. He was a descendent of ITO family, the Lord of Obi clan (he was Sukeyasu ITO's adapted son and also a descendent of Sukeyasu's younger brother, Uemon). Sukeyuki studied about England at the School of Western Learning. At the time of his studies, the British Navy was one of the strongest in the world, which probably sparked his desire to learn about the Navy. He learned about gunnery while under the supervision of Hidetatsu EGAWA and he learned about seamanship with Ryoma SAKAMOTO, one of the school's managers, Munemitsu MUNE, and others at the Kobe Naval Training Center which was established by Kaishu KATSU. He also participated in the Satsuei War. He escaped from Edo during the fire attack on the resident of Satsuma clan, which took place prior to the Battle of Toba-Fushimi, and he played an active part in the battle against the old Bakufu Navy during the Boshin War.
After the Meiji Restoration, he joined the navy and was assigned the position of Lieutenant in 1871. In 1877, he became the captain of "Nisshin (a cruise)." In1882, he successively served as the naval captain of "Ryujyo (the First)," "Fuso (the First)," and "Hiei (a Corvette type)." In 1885, he was assigned to be both a head of the Yokosuka shipyard and an assistant manager of Yokosuka Chinju-fu (a naval base). In the same year, he was appointed chairman of the "Naniwa (a guard cruiser)" which had been building in England, then to the position of captain after his role as chaiman was completed, and then he became rear admiral of the navy. In 1892, he was appointed a vice admiral of the Navy and a director of the Yokosuka Chinju-fu (naval base) after serving as a director of the Military Affairs Bureau at the Naval Ministry and principal of the Naval War College. In 1893 he was appointed a director of a standing fleet, and then on July 18 of 1894, he was appointed a director of combined fleet during the Nissin War.
The Japanese Combined Fleet secured command over the Yellow sea after defeating the North Sea-Suishi (an old word for the Navy) of the Qing Dynasty (the China North Sea fleet) during the battle of Kokai Kaisen (a naval battle that took place at the mouth of the Yalu River) which started at 12:50 on September 17.
The size of "Matsushima" (a cruiser), a flagship, was only 4217t, one half of the flagship of Qing, "Teien" (a battleship), which was 7220t
And contrary to the pre-war expectation, Japanese Combined Fleet defeated the Chinese large-sized main fleet. This battle was a turning point for Japan which allowed Japan to gain control over the Nisshin War. The Chinese fleet continued to fight, however, before long, Jyosho TEI, the admiral of the Chinese North Sea fleet, decided to surrender. On February 13, the China North Sea fleet finally surrendered at Ikai City. The day before the surrender, Jyosho TEI committed suicide after consuming poison. ITO won the nation's admiration after he returned the body of Syosho TEI to China using one of the Chinese fleet's confiscated ships, the merchant ship, "Kozaigo." After the end of the war, he was appointed to the admiral in the Navy in 1898 after serving as the manager of the military command. He served as the manager of military command in the main headquarters during the Russo-Japanese War and was appointed to Japanese fleet admiral after the war in 1905. He spent his life serving as a military man and he neglected any interest in acquiring political power.
He was given a count in 1907. He received the Junior First Rank, the Ko Ikkyu, Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum. He died at the age of 72.