Nishi file photo [3936]

Takeichi Nishi

Given NameTakeichi
Born12 Jul 1902
Died22 Mar 1945


ww2dbaseTakeichi Nishi was born in Azabu district, Tokyo, Japan as the third son of politician Danshaku (Baron) Tokujiro Nishi; he succeeded his father's danshaku title at the age of 10 when his father died. He enrolled in the Tokyo First Junior High School (now Hibiya High School) in 1915, Hiroshima Army Cadet School in Sep 1917, Tokyo Central Cadet Academy in 1920, and the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1920. He graduated from the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1924 and was attached to the First Cavalry. In 1930, while on a trip in Italy, he bought the horse Uranus, with which he took to several horse riding competitions in Europe. In 1932, he won a gold medal at the 1932 Olympics at Los Angeles, United States, in show jumping individual, giving "Baron Nishi" a celebrity status in Los Angeles. After his return to Japan, he was assigned to the 16th Narashino Cavalry Regiment and was a cavalry instructor at the regimental school. He competed in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, but did not complete the course due to a fall, allowing a German rider to win gold; some speculate that it was done for the greater good of his country, which was becoming closer to Germany diplomatically. After returning from Berlin, he was assigned to the Tokachi Subdivision of the department responsible for supply of military horses. In the late 1930s, he was assigned as the commander of the 26th Tank Regiment in Mudanjiang, Manchuria, China. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel during the Second Sino-Japanese War while in Manchuria.

ww2dbaseIn 1944, the 26th Tank Regiment was assigned to Iwo Jima. En route, on 18 Jul 1944, the unit's transport was struck by a torpedo fired by American submarine Cobia, killing two men and sinking all 28 tanks. He made a trip to Tokyo to secure 22 replacement tanks for his unit, and made a side trip to see Uranus in Setagaya Ward of Tokyo; "Few people comprehended him and only Uranus understood him", noted biographer Kaoru Ono. In Tokyo, he set up his regimental headquarters near the village of Maruman. Many of his tanks were dug entrenched behind sandbags as fixed fortifications against the Americans. The Americans, knowing Nishi's presence on Iwo Jima, broadcasted daily propaganda messages asking him to surrender, telling him that Americans would regret losing the beloved celebrity "Baron Nishi". He was killed during the last days of the Battle of Iwo Jima some time in late Mar 1945. Like most Japanese fighting on Iwo Jima, the exact cause of his death was unknown.

ww2dbaseNishi was posthumously promoted to the rank of colonel and was enshrined at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. Uranus, which died one week after Nishi, was commemorated at the War Horse Memorial at the History and Folklore Museum in Honbetsu, Hokkaido, Japan in 1990.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jun 2007

Takeichi Nishi Timeline

12 Jul 1902 Takeichi Nishi was born.
22 Mar 1945 Takeichi Nishi passed away.


Olympic equestrian Lieutenant Takeichi Nishi with horse Uranus, circa 1932Nishi and his family just prior to his departure for Berlin, Germany for the Olympic Games, 1936

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. S.Lechonitis says:
28 Jan 2016 12:42:14 AM

I saw yesterday the film Letters of Iwojima.I believe Baron Takeidi Nishi was a great officer and also personality.Also his horse Uranus will be both remembered.R.I.P.

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments
Security Code



1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites
More on Takeichi Nishi
Event(s) Participated:
» Battle of Iwo Jima

Takeichi Nishi Photo Gallery
Olympic equestrian Lieutenant Takeichi Nishi with horse Uranus, circa 1932
See all 2 photographs of Takeichi Nishi

Famous WW2 Quote
"We no longer demand anything, we want war."

Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!