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Jiro Shiizaki

Jiro Shiizaki

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Jirō Shiizaki (died 1945) was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
-Foundation:During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū...

 in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. He served as a member of the staff of the domestic affairs section of the Military Affairs Bureau's War Affairs Section. Shiizaki was one of several members of that staff to participate in a coup in the early morning of August 15, 1945, the day the Emperor would declare Japan's surrender.

The coup was organized primarily by Major Kenji Hatanaka
Kenji Hatanaka
' was a Japanese soldier, who was one one of the chief conspirators in the plot to seize the Imperial Palace and to prevent the broadcast of Emperor Hirohito's surrender speech.-Military Career:...

, and though quite a number of men were involved in the plot at one point or another, Shiizaki was one of the few to be involved in the climactic action; the rebels, with the help of the First Imperial Guard Division, seized the Imperial Palace
Kokyo
is the main residence of the Emperor of Japan. It is a large park-like area located in the Chiyoda area of Tokyo close to Tokyo Station and contains several buildings including the main palace , the emperor left Kyoto Imperial Palace for Tokyo...

, held Emperor Hirohito under, essentially, house arrest, and sought to destroy the phonographic recordings which had been made of the Emperor's surrender speech
Gyokuon-hoso
The , lit. "Jewel Voice Broadcast", was the radio broadcast in which Japanese emperor Hirohito read out the , announcing to the Japanese people that the Japanese Government had accepted the Potsdam Declaration demanding the unconditional surrender of the Japanese military at the end of World War II...

.

Sometime around seven o'clock on the morning of August 15, the plot began to fall apart. General Shizuichi Tanaka
Shizuichi Tanaka
- Notes :...

, commander of the Eastern District Army, arrived at the Palace and harangued the conspirators on their duty to their country, and demanding that the dishonor brought by their treason could only be absolved through seppuku
Seppuku
is a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment. Seppuku was originally reserved only for samurai. Part of the samurai bushido honor code, seppuku was either used voluntarily by samurai to die with honor rather than fall into the hands of their enemies , or as a form of capital punishment...

. Shiizaki, along with a number of others, committed ritual suicide that morning, on the grounds of the Imperial Palace.