Minister of the Army General Araki Sadao/荒木貞夫 陸軍大臣

The earliest known photo.
Colonel with two imperial russian orders.
Photo was made between 1918 and 1924.


He was awarded with two russian orders: 4th class order of St. Vladimir with swords on November 15, 1916 (it is on the right from the Golden Kite order) and 2nd class orders of St. Anna with swords on November 7, 1917. He also was awarded owth russian commemorative medal of 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty on July 26, 1914.
He become colonel on July 24, 1918.

Later he won't wear his russian awards.

Major-general Sadao Araki and major-general Nobuyuki Abe.
Photo was made before 1927.

General Sadao Araki and General Nobuyuki Abe.jpg

Early 1930s.

Sadao Araki荒木貞夫.jpg

Before October 20, 1933.

Sadao Araki荒木貞夫.jpg

Sadao Araki荒木貞夫2 (2).jpg

With General Soroku Suzuki (1865 — 1940).
Photo was made after June 1930.

Sadao Araki荒木貞夫.jpg

Sadao Araki荒木貞夫2.jpg

With the group of senior officers.





Minister of War Sadao Araki and Hisaichi Terauchi (commander of the 4th Division of the Imperial Japanese Army), make a courtesy call on the Osaka home of an army officer serving in Shanghai in 1932.


荒木貞夫 陸軍大臣.jpg

荒木貞夫 陸軍大臣 (2).jpg
On the cover of Time Magazine.
January 23, 1933

To cure the whole world he prescribes "Japanism"

Time Magazine January 23 1933.jpg

George Bernard Shaw Visiting General Sadao Araki.
March 7, 1933

Author George Bernard Shaw Visiting General Sadao Araki.jpg

"He returned to the Sansoms'. At 4 o'clock, accompanied by the British consul, he appeared at the official residence of the Min- ister of War, General Sadao Araki. Shaw's meeting with the general was the most publicized event, and the diplomatic climax, of his sojourn in Japan, although the press accounts of it disagree with one another. The Tokyo Asahi of 8 March has Shaw committing several faux pas: entering the room abruptly, without a word of apology; walking on the tatami- matted floor without removing his shoes, so that his hosts, taken aback, hastened to offer him a chair; and adding lemon and sugar to the Japanese tea that requires no such melioration. (At home he drank no tea.) The Jiji Shimpo of the same date asserts that Shaw began to take off his shoes, but the War Minister told him to keep them on. Similarly, a few of the statements ascribed to one of the two participants in a particular newspaper may be found ascribed to the other in a different paper. "Journalists' Competition Surrounding Shaw" notes that the pair had difficulty understanding each other, and that the official interpreter had even greater trouble trying to fathom Araki's vague language, derived from Buddhist philosophy, than in grasping Shaw's meaning.

Fortunately, an eyewitness account of the interview was submitted to his superiors by Consul Sansom, an observer proficient in Japanese as well as English. Told that General Araki was interested in converting Shaw to his own political viewpoint, and knowing Shaw's tenacious adherence to his own beliefs, Sansom looked forward to a lively session.

We were introduced into a large waiting-room, whither the general, de- tained at the Diet, came after a short delay. The preliminary greetings over, some large double doors were flung open, and there poured into the room a phalanx of press photographers, about thirty of them I should say. The protagonists posed, the air was filled with explosions and disagreeable smoke. High military officers, splendid but deprecatory, made the mildest efforts to control the camera men, who were grinning and snarling like wild beasts. It seemed as if the tumult would never end. The most daring of the photographers mauled the general and Mr. Shaw, poked cameras into their faces and altogether behaved in a dis- graceful way. It was an awful scene, and I could not help thinking that it was characteristic of present-day Japan. The all-powerful militarist leader was quite unable to control this pack of ruffians.

Once free of the photographers, they moved to another room, and settled down round a table. Present, in addition to the general, Shaw, and Sansom, were an interpreter, a Colonel Homma, and "two ridiculously earnest young officers taking notes." The entry of the general's pretty daughter with refreshments interrupted the conversation. "While General Araki attempted to keep the conversation on a high philosophical plane, Mr. Shaw brushed aside his efforts and reverted to his own favorite topics - the futility of war, the blessings of communism and so on." But to everyone's surprise a rapport developed between them, and "they got on together famously. General Araki is a man of great personal charm; Mr. Shaw has a way with him, and they both like a joke. So that the symposium developed into a good-humored exchange of quips, Mr. Shaw scoring most of the points. 'Nervo and Knox, or the Two Macs,' as he put it to me later."

A highlight of the exchange was their jousting on the theme of earth- quakes. The general wanted to know if Shaw had a "philosophy of earthquakes." According to Sansom, this sounded odd to Shaw, who was unaware "that the Japanese, an active and empirically-minded people, are under the mistaken impression that they are a race of philosophers." The Spartan Araki believed that earthquakes were beneficial for Japan. They bolstered the character of the people, helped them develop self-control, and precluded undue attachment to personal lives and possessions. Living with earthquakes taught the Japanese to face calamities calmly. By comparison air raids, of which they could be forewarned, were nothing to fear. He regretted that Shaw had not experienced the recent earthquakes. Shaw asked whether Araki would favor having the War Minister in England plant dynamite in the ground to provide artificial earthquakes periodically. Laughing, the general thought that would be salutary. Shaw conceded England's moral deficiency in this regard, and the inability of the average Englishman to conceive that the solid earth could move. "'But,' he continued, . . . 'we have our earthquakes in England. When people think that their institutions, their religions, their beliefs are firm and immutable, some disagreeable fellow like me comes along and upsets their cherished convictions. Now you need that kind of earthquake in Japan!'" The War Minister viewed with abhorrence the utter materialism of the Soviet regime. Its exclusive concern with food and trade was repul- sive to a spiritual culture, such as that of the Japanese. Shaw's response was that it struck him, during their enjoyable conversation, that the general was the same type of man as Stalin - each of them a man determined to put his ideal into practice. If General Araki were to go to Moscow for a month or so, he would undoubtedly return a dedicated communist. The Japanese army, too, exemplified true communism, for every soldier - rich or poor, big or small - performed his duties on the front in the same spirit, no matter how much he was paid. Communism, he went on, had the motive power of a religion, and, anxious as the Russians were to remain at peace, they would be formidable foes for Japan if war broke out between the two nations. Araki, granting the point, insisted nevertheless that there were irreconcilable differences be- tween the moral standards of the Russians and Japanese, and implied that they might eventually lead to war. He contended that notwithstanding Japanese swings in thought and sentiment from material to spiritual, the pendulum had a secure pivot: the Imperial House. Whatever pivot the nations of the West might have, it struck him as being a fairly slack one.
Shaw shifted the discussion to the topics of slums, poison gas, bacterial warfare, and militarism. He offered advice on modern mechanized warfare and courage, drawing on his own wartime experience of air raids and his trip to the Western Front. During the air raids he felt a coward, but being also lazy, he made no effort to flee or hide. The general thought that showed true courage. Shaw brought forth his familiar pro- posal that octogenarians be sent to the front, followed by septuagenarians and sexagenarians, with the young kept to the rear, or at home, in order to preserve them for the future. Araki enjoyed the Shavian jesting, but was rather dismayed when advised that the immediate imperative in wartime was to shoot all the patriots and most of the politicians on one's own side. Scheduled for half an hour, the interview lasted over an hour and a half. It was terminated by Shaw, as Sansom tells us, "in an ingenious and graceful manner":

"Well, General," he said, "this has been a most interesting conversation. I have enjoyed it immensely and should love to prolong it. Unfortunately I have another appointment - otherwise I should like to stay talking to you until the Chinese troops get to Tokyo!" The general must have been a little disappointed, for, though he is himself a talker of great powers of endurance, he was easily beaten by Mr. Shaw, who gave him no chance to enlarge upon Bushido and the Sacred Treasures. As soon as these subjects came up Mr. Shaw said: "Yes, but . . ." and was off on another tack. But they took to one another. Mr. Shaw told me that he thought General Araki a very good man of his type, and the general announced to reporters that he had found Mr. Shaw "a good old fellow who makes many jokes, but they are refined jokes." I think that his interviews with the Young Marshal in Peking and with General Araki in Tokyo were what interested him most in the Far East. I hope he will put both these characters in his next play.

At their parting, the general removed a drawing by Takeo Kashiki from the wall and presented it to Shaw as a gift. Araki recorded his own impressions of his visitor in the special Shaw issue of Kaizo. "As I talked to Mr. Shaw, he struck me as a man of literature, critic, and an epigrammatist, rather than a satirist." Shaw unhesi- tatingly and unreservedly voiced his opinion "in an immediate and simple epigrammatic phrase which expressed very liberal ideas." Able to view life without prejudice (being a socialist without financial worries), he was composed and broad-minded, having confidently "established a life view that is more near to nature itself, transcending all 'isms.'" Araki was disappointed that Shaw had missed the benefit of experiencing an earthquake during his stay. He did not think that Englishmen understood earthquakes. The general was convinced that one "does not just experience an earthquake and then forget about it." Shaw had made metaphorical use of earthquakes in the sense he suggested to Araki - as rocking the foundations of conventional morality - as far back as in the "Author's Apology" to Mrs Warren's Profession and in the Preface to Three Plays by Brieux, as well as in Major Barbara and his recent Too True to be Good. In the Preface to The Doctor's Dilemma he con- templated the salubrious effect of a possible London earthquake, and in the same Preface he spoke of producing artifical earthquakes with dy- namite. In addition, there is an allusion to the 1923 Tokyo earthquake in the Preface to Saint Joan. Hence it is unclear how much his Japanese experience, including the discussion with Araki, contributed to a hyperbolic line in the second act of On the Rocks, the play he was then writing. There he has Hipney say, "The east is chock full of volcanoes: they think no more of an earthquake there than you would of a deputation".

Exerpt from Shaking the Earth: Shaw in Japan by Sidney P. Albert and Junko Matoba. SHAW (1985), Vol. 5, pp. 239-270

SHAKING THE EARTH SHAW IN JAPAN Author(s) Sidney P. Albert and Junko MatobaSource Shaw, Vol. 5, SHAW ABROAD (1985), pp. 239-270.jpg
After 1936.

Sadao Araki荒木貞夫.jpg

Note the rosette at the ribbon of Golden Kite and two awards from Red Cross Society of Japan.

Sadao Araki荒木貞夫2.jpg


After his last "earthquake".

荒木貞夫 陸軍大臣2.jpg

Sadao Araki grave (Tama Cemetery, Fuchū, Tokyo)

Sadao Araki grave (Tama Cemetery, Fuchū, Tokyo).jpg
  • Tags
    general araki sadao japanese officers in photos minister of the army general araki sadao photo of japanese general 荒木貞夫 荒木貞夫陸軍大将 陸軍大臣
  • Top