Categories: Japanese Notables.
Hideki Tojo was born in Tokyo on December 30, 1884. He was the son of Hidenori Tojo and Chitose Tokunaga. The Tojo family were samurai who were retainers of the daimyo.
In 1899, Hideki attended the Army Cadet School for training as a military officer. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant of the Imperial Japanese Army upon graduation from the Japanese Military Academy in March 1905.
Hideki married Katsuko Ito in 1909 and had seven children, three sons and four daughters, with her. His sons were Hidetaka, Teruo, and Toshio, while his daughters were named Mitsue, Makie, Sachie, and Kimie.
In 1934, Hideki became major general and served within the Army Ministry. He served as Inspector-General of Army Aviation from 1938 to 1940.
On July 30, 1940, Hideki was appointed Army Minister within the Konoe government. Upon Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe's resignation on October 16, 1941, Hideki was appointed by the Emperor as the Prime Minister.
As Prime Minister, Hideki witnessed the entry of the United States into World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor. After witnessing several major defeats of Japan by the United States, including Saipan, he resigned as Prime Minister on July 18, 1944.
After Japan surrendered in 1945, Hideki was listed as a suspected war criminal. While he was facing arrest by the occupying military, he tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the chest, but survived. After his arrest, he underwent surgery, recovered from his suicide attempt, and was moved to Sugamo Prison.
Hideki was tried and convicted for war crimes by the International Military Tribunal. In the end, he accepted full responsibility for his actions during World War II. He was sentenced to death on November 12, 1948.
41 days after his sentence, Hideki was executed by hanging on December 23 at the age of 63. Before he was hanged, he apologized for the atrocities committed by the Japanese people on their neighbors. His ashes are divided between Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo and Zoshigaya Cemetery in the same city. He is enshrined in Yasukuni Shrine along with several war criminals affiliated with Japan during World War II.
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