Son of a samurai of the Miyakonojo clan. His wife was the daughter of naval admiral Gonbee Yamamoto. He graduated from the Naval War College in 1893. He served as the division officer of Takao in the Sino-Japanese War, staff officer of the Imperial General Headquarters in the Russo-Japanese War and Vice-Navy Minister in 1909. He served as Taisho (general) in 1919. He served as the commander of Yokosuka Naval Division in 1922 before becoming the Minister of Navy in the Tomosaburo Kato Cabinet. He subsequently served as the Minister of Navy in the respective Cabinet of the second Yamamoto, Takaaki Kato, the first Wakatsuki and Hamaguchi. He signed the treaty in the London Naval Conference on disarmament as plenipotentiary in 1930, but the issue of the usurpation of the prerogative of supreme command was raised. He served as military councillor in 1931 and was placed on reserve duty in 1932.