Military officer. Born in Kagoshima, the son of a samurai of the Kagoshima Clan. He served in the Boshin War. After the Meiji Restoration, he entered the Imperial guard and became a captain. He also served in the Satsuma Rebellion. During the Sino-Japanese War, he took part in the attack on Weihaiwei as commander of the Sixth Division. In 1903, he became an army general. During the Russo-Japanese War, he fought from Amnokkang until the Battle of Mukden as commander of the First Army. In recognition of his distinguished war services, he received the title of danshaku (baron) and later hakushaku (count), but he was not promoted to marshal as the Choshu clique was in power. In 1917, he became a privy councillor.