Hara file photo [710]

Tameichi Hara

Given NameTameichi


ww2dbaseTameichi Hara, the descendant of samurai, graduated from the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy at Etajima in 1921. In 1932, he became a surface warfare instructor. He began WW2 as the captain of destroyer Amatsukaze; aboard Amatsukaze, he was credited with sinking American destroyer Barton and submarine Perch. He was soon was promoted to the role of a destroyer squadron commander, with his flag broken aboard Shigure. Near the end of the war, he was the captain of cruiser Yahagi, and sailed with her during Yamato's final suicide mission Operation Ten-go. Although he was known for his criticism for the Japanese Navy's handling of the war, he remained one of the most aggressive and devoted naval commanders. His memoirs were later translated into English and became an important guide for Japanese WW2-era destroyer doctrine and tactics.

ww2dbaseSources: Nihon Kaigun, Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Nov 2006

Tameichi Hara Timeline

1 Jan 1900 Tameichi Hara was born.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Andrea Graves says:
28 Aug 2012 09:50:57 PM

My grandfather served during WWII flying seaplanes for the US Navy. It was he who first spotted the fleet of which Hara's ship was a part. He picked up a radar bleep and saw the bleep divide into a fleet of many ships- including the Yahagi. This was Operation Ten-Go, and my grandfather witnessed, as a pilot, the battle of Okinawa in which the Yahagi was sunk and Hara struck into the water.

My grandfather, then only 20 years old, received the DFC for spotting the kamikaze fleet.

After reading Hara's book, my grandfather struck up a correspondence with Hara- in which they shared their wartime experiences and hope for a better world, where their descendants might hope for peace and brotherhood without war. Hara's English was none too good, I believe that someone helped him to carry on this correspondence in letters.

I've scanned copies of the letters written between my grandfather and Tamaeichi Hara. I think these letters may be of some interest to those studying the Battle of Okinawa. Hara stated that American planes strafed the survivors in the water with machine-gun fire.

But this is the most important part. Hara and my grandfather wished that their descendants should meet one day and, so to speak, shake hands and accept one another- to learn about each other's cultures. How could I find the descendants of Tamaeichi Hara?
2. Anonymous says:
19 Nov 2012 07:10:13 PM

Try the Japanese Embassy in Washington.
3. Anonymous says:
19 Nov 2012 07:12:56 PM

BTW, there is a book about him called, I believe, Japanese Destroyer Captain.

It is a very good book to read and tells his complete story of himself in the Japanese Imperial Navy.
4. Stephen Barrett says:
3 Dec 2012 12:57:36 AM

Andrea it is remarkable what your Grandfather achieved. I have an interest in Hara after reading his book and realising that he played a role in the reconstruction of Japan. I saw how his clear view of the old guard and its faults was crucial in this. I can find nothing written of his life and times post war. I believe there are lessons to be learned for all of us in the way they became productive and successful with so few resources. Please contact me
5. Andrea Graves says:
23 Jan 2015 10:08:40 PM

It was remarkable. But I think this brave man deserves just as much, if not more. He was a man of HONOUR. I have the book... that's how my granddad got to communicating with him. He was a real samurai warrior, without any of the fascist *** ... The letters are something amazing. I hope to share them with the world one day. I shall try the embassy. Sorry being so late!
6. John Wukovits says:
22 May 2015 05:22:13 AM

Andrea: I am very interested in chatting with you about your grandfather and Hara. I am writing a book which involves Hara, and am eager to know what information you may have and to read the letters. Thanks!
7. J. Lorne spry says:
11 Feb 2018 05:02:20 PM

I am reading Hara's memoirs for the second time (English translation). It is a most fascinating book. I have pondered on his criticisms of Kaigun command and contemporaneous Japanese national policy in general. He was a unique character: highly intelligent, passionate, humane and courageous. His success as a warrior and leader came largely from his willingness to analyse his mistakes and failings and learning not to repeat them. He was his own, strictest critic. He was impatient with fools and contemptuous of those commanders who failed to learn lessons that had been paid for in the blood of his countrymen. Although aggressive, he declined any temptation of the pointless sacrifice of either himself or his sailors thereby heeding the words of his samurai grandfather who bade him to "never seek an easy death." Since I first read this book some years ago, I have always wanted to know about his post-war life — perhaps especially since I live in Japan.
8. Khono says:
1 Oct 2021 02:51:48 PM

Andrea Graves:. Have you or your family been able to meet up with Hara-san's relatives? It would be fantastic to hear about it.
9. john eichler says:
20 Dec 2021 10:55:48 PM

I just finished reading Japanese Destroyer Captain. Was very interesting. Now I would like to know about Captain Haras life after the war.

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More on Tameichi Hara
Event(s) Participated:
» Dutch East Indies Campaign, Java
» Guadalcanal Campaign
» Solomon Islands Campaign
» Okinawa Campaign

Ship(s) Served:
» Shigure
» Yahagi

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