Naval officer, statesman. Born in Osaka, a son of a local government official. In 1887, he graduated from the Naval Academy. He served in the Sino-Japanese War. In 1898, he graduated from the Naval War College. He took part in the Battle of the Japan Sea during the Russo-Japanese War. He successively held military posts as director of the Personnel Bureau at the Navy Ministry, Vice Navy Minister in the second Okuma cabinet, commandant of the Naval Academy, commander-in-chief of Kure Naval Division, and commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet. In 1925, he became chief of the Naval General Staff Office. In 1929, he assumed the concurrent offices of jiju-cho(grand chamberlain) and privy councillor. In 1936, while he was serving as grand chamberlain, he was assaulted in February 26 Incident. Though he had a narrow escape from death, he resigned from his post. He became chairman of the Privy Council in 1944, and Prime Minister in the following year. His cabinet resigned en masse after accepting the Potsdam Declaration.