The New Student's Reference Work/Kuroki, General Baron Itel
Kuroki, General Baron Itel, was born
in 1845 in the city of Kagoshima in the
GEN. KUROKI southeast of Kiu-shiu, the southernmost of the chief islands of Japan. Here the hardiest Japanese are born; it is the Sparta of Japan, the birthplace of Togo and Oyama. Kuroki is of pure samurai (or noble) descent; the story of his foreign parentage is false. As a boy he entered the army in a humble position, but in the war of 1868, when he was but 23, he commanded a detachment which was in the very thick of the fighting, and rendered the Mikado great service against his rebellious subjects. In 1871 he was appointed captain of the imperial guard. He served with distinction against the rebel forces in the war of 1877. He was quick to adapt himself to the suggestions of the Germans who trained the Japanese army. In the war against China in 1894 he acted as commander of the sixth division, ranking as lieutenant-general. His forces gained special distinction at the capture of the fort of Wei-Hai-Wei. When war began against Russia in 1904, he was appointed commander-in-chief of the first Japanese army-corps in the field, and as such led the main advance across the Yalu and up the line of the Russian railway towards Harbin. He won the great victories of the Yalu (near Wiju), Liao Yang and Mukhden. His generalship was commonly counted superior to that of the Russian commander, Kuropatkin, and received almost universal commendation.