Russo-Japanese War (日露戦争)

The Russo-Japanese War (Русско-японская война in Russian, February 6, 1904 - September 5, 1905) was a war which broke out between the Great Empire of Japan and the Russian Empire (Although Montenegro, [Then known as the Principate of Montenegro] which was in an alliance with Russia declared war against Japan, it did not participate battle.) and was primarily fought on the Korean Peninsula and southern Manchuria (northeastern China).

Purpose and Motives for War

It was a war to protect the sovereignty of Japan and secure Japanese rights and interests in the peninsula by preventing the southward expansion of the Russian Empire (the domination of Korea), which established a presence in Northeastern part of China (Manchuria) after the Triple Intervention and the Boxer Rebellion.

Each country sought to secure concessions in Lushun and Dalian in China's Liaodong peninsula and maintain and expand their rights and interests in the other parts of Northeastern China and Korea.

Russia and Japan confronted each other on the Korean peninsula.

Although the Korean Empire broke away from the tributary system, Russia which held Manchuria under its sphere of influence, took advantage of its interests in Korea to proceed with its southward expansion. Japan became alarmed when Russia enhanced its grip and influence over the Korean peninsula by acquiring vital state assets such as the mining rights in Chongsong and Gyeongwon sold off by Empress Myeongsong, timber rights in the north, and tariff rights, and purchased back and restored many of these. At first, Japan sought to avoid a conflict through diplomatic efforts; however, Russia backed by its massive military force continued to increase its pressure toward Japan. On February 23rd, 1904, Japan concluded the Japan-Korean Protocol enabling Japan to take military action in the Korea in spite of the fact that the Korean Empire had announced a 'Declaration of neutrality' prior to the outbreak of the war; This made the way for the conclusion of the Japan-Korea Treaty in August 1904 in which Japan assigned advisers to Korean financial and foreign affairs departments to ensure that they consulted the Japanese government prior to concluding treaties with foreign powers. The Shinpo-kai, which determined that the pursuit of reforms was difficult under systems of the former Yi Dynasty sought political union with Japan and voluntarily collaborated in support of Japan during the Russo-Japanese War; for instance, it reportedly deployed 50,000 people to construct railways. On the other hand, Emperor Gojong and the yangban elite of the former Yi Dynasty insisted on the removal of Japanese influence, and carried out diplomatic maneuvers such as sending secret letters to Russia during the Russo-Japanese War.

Anglo-Japanese Alliance

In its pursuit of warm-water ports, the Russian Empire preceded with its southward expansion and acquried a significant foothold in the Balkan peninsula through its victory against the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish Wars (1877). Alarmed by the increasing influence of Russia, Otto von Bismarck, Chancellor of the German Empire hosted the Congress of Berlin (1878) and succeeded in gathering the representatives of the great powers to denounce the Treaty of San Stefano, the peace treaty of the Russo-Turkish Wars and conclude the Treaty of Berlin (1878). Consequently, Russia abandoned its southward expansion in the Balkan peninsula and shifted its direction towards expansion in the Far East.

In its rush to establish a modern nation state the opinion that the Korean peninsula should be placed under the exclusive influence of Japan held sway. In the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-'95, Japan defeated the Qing Dynasty, and removed its influence over its formal vassal Korea; However, in spite of the fact that the Liaodong Peninsula was ceded to Japan by the Qing under the Treaty of Shimonoseki, Japan was prompted to return Liaodong to the Qing under pressure from the Triple Intervention of Russia, France, and Germany that sought to secure their own ambitions in China. Although Japanese public opinon was strongly in favor of declarling war on Russia, Japan still did not have the strength to fight a great power such as Russia, and a faction opposing war prevailed in the government. Russia, however, concluded a secret agreement with the Qing and obtained leases for the cities of Lushun and Dalian at the southern tip of the Liaodong peninsula which Japan was forced to return, and proceeded to expand its presence in Manchuria constructing a naval base in Lushun for the First Pacific Fleet (Lushun Fleet).

In 1900, Russia invaded Manchuria under the pretext of settling the chaos of the Boxer Uprising (the Boxer Incident), which occurred in the Qing Dynasty, and placed all of Manchuria under its authority. Although Russia attempted to secure Manchuria through colonization, Japan, England, and the United States protested, and Russia subsequently promised to withdraw its troops. Russsia, however, did not withdraw its troops even after the promised deadline had passed; on the contrary, it planned to reinforce its occupation. England became alarmed that Russia's southward expansion could clash with its own interests, abandoned the isolationist policy (Splendid Isolation) it had adhered to for many years, and decided to enter into an alliance with Japan in 1902 (Anglo-Japanese Alliance). While debates continued within the Japanese government between factions including Jutaro KOMURA, Taro KATSURA, and Aritomo YAMAGATA and an anti-war faction including Hirobumi ITO and Kaoru INOUE, these discussions were mirrored in the public sphere by an pro-war petition circulated by seven professors (Seven Professor's Petition) including Hirondo TOMIZU and an anti-war argument and discussion by Shusui KOTUKU which was published in the Yorozuchoho (a daily newspaper).

On April 21st, 1903 the "Murinan Conference" was convened at the Murinan residence, Yamagata's villa in Kyoto with Ito, Yamagata, Katsura, and Komura attending. Katsura received approval from Ito and Yamagata on the following policies to be negotiated with Russia "We will recognize the rights of Russia concerning the issue of Manchuria, and we would like to use this opportunity to decisively settle the issue of Korea," "If we want to achieve this, we must be prepared to go to war."

Although it was recorded afterward that Katsura was already prepared to declare war on Russia, actual records reveal that Ito's cooler head prevailed, as reflected afterwards in the negotiations with Russia.

Last-minute Negotiations

In the negotiation with Russia from August 1903, Japan proposed that the Korean Peninsula under the Japanese control and Manchuria under the Russian control, in a compromise known as the Manchuria-Korea Trade-off. Fearing that the expansion of Russian interests on the Korean peninsula would be impeded, neither the Russian navy, which advocated war, nor Евгений Алексеев, the governor-general of the Kwantung Leased Territory expressed interest in the settlement. Furthermore, both Nicholai II and the Minister of the Army, Aleksei Kuropatkin advocated war. They believed that a country as powerful and large as Russia had nothing to fear in a war against Japan.

Prime Minister Sergei Witte expressed opposition to the war in the fear that though Russia would not lose, it would could exhaust the country; However, his assertions were rejected by the Emperor and others. In its reply to Japan, Russia proposed making the Korean peninsula north of the 39th parallel a neutral demilitarized zone.

Japan judged that the Russian proposal would effectively place Korea under the control of the Russians, and would inevitably pose a threat to the Japanese sovereignty. Furthermore, the completion of the Trans-Siberian Railway would easily enable the Russian military to rapidly deploy their forces to the Far East. Public opinion swayed towards declaring war on Russia. Subsequently, on February 6th, 1904, Jutaro KOMURA, the Japanese Foreign Minister called Roman Rosen, the Russian Minister to Japan to the Foreign Ministry and notified him of the severance of diplomatic relations.

How the notification caught Russia off-guard is visible in the response of Minister Rosen.
Rosen did not expect a war to erupt between the two countries, and had to ask Jutaro KOMURA "Does this notification mean we are going to war?"
Nicholai II said, "A war between the Russian Empire and Japan is impossible. I do not desire to go to war," and he thought that Japan would not decide to go to war. Jutaro KOMURA said, in replied to Minister Rosen that "[this action does not mean war." (From "Saka no ue no Kumo" [Clouds Above the Hill] by Ryotaro SHIBA) While this reply is not unlawful from the perspective of international law, in this particular situation where there were no other diplomatic routes available, it was in effect, a declaration of war. Hence, Nicholai II permitted Алексеев militarily engage Japanese forces on February 10th, 1904. He decided to declare war.

Expectations of Each Country

England which held substantial interests across South Asia and Qing China offered military and economic support to Japan in accordance to the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. France which invested capital into Russia under the Franco-Russian Alliance and Germany whose Emperor Wilhelm II (the Kaiser) was a relative of Nicholai II were sympathetic of Russia, but offered no specific assistance to Russia.

Financing War

It was critical to import a vast amount of resources to carry out war, and Korekiyo TAKAHASHI, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Japan had difficulty in raising such funds because international opinion underestimated the prospects of a Japanese victory. The price of Japanese bonds issued abroad plummetted, and noone was willing to purchase the 10 million pounds in bonds initially planned. Korekiyo first visited the United States, but did not receive any attention at all from American financiers. Then, he went to England, where he made an attractive proposal to reduce the issue price of the bond to 93 pounds per 100-pound (Currency) face value, and offered a cut of Japanese revenue from tariffs as a security. At the end of more than one month of negotiating with British bankers, he succeeded in issuing 5 million pounds in foreign bonds in London.

Korekiyo travelled back to the United States immediately afterwards and contacted Jacob Schiff, a Jewish banker in the United Stateswho regarded Tsarist Russia as an enemy, and secured another 5 million pounds from him in the form of foreign bonds and additional loans. A turning-point was reached in the Oryokko River Crossing Operation in May 1904, where Japanese forces overpowered their Russian opponents (The Oryokko river is also referred to as the Yalu River [Chinese] or the Amnok River [Korean]). Japanese foreign bond spiked on the international market, and Japan raised over 1 billion Yen in funds between the second and fourth issuance (To put the amount raised by foreign bonds into relative perspective, the amount raised was greater than the Japan's GDP, which was 700 million Yen).

Strategies of the Respective Countries at the Outbreak of the War

Japanese-side: The army would land their First Army on the Korean Peninsula and climb northwards and engage occupying Russian forces and assault Manchuria by crossing the Oryokko River. The Second Troops establish a bridgehead in the Liaodong Peninsula to isolate Lushun. After that, the Fourth Army would regroup with the Third Army and annihilate Russia's main force in the Manchurian plains. The Japanese forces advance would then advance into the Russian Maritime Provinces and capture Vladivostok. The Navy planned to destroy the Russian Pacific Fleet stationed in Lushun and Vladivostok on the Yellow Sea, and engage and annihilate the Russian Baltic Fleet on route from Europe in a final engagement. It should be noted that this was the first war in which military commanders issued directives towards and between the Army and the Navy on a parallel and equal basis.

Russia-side: Premised on their capability to maintain naval superiority on the Yellow Sea, Russia assumed that the Japanese would land their forces on the southern Korean Peninsula. Russia would concentrate its troops around the Oryokko River, and intercept Japanese forces climbing northwards. In the event of failure, they would switch their strategy and engage Japanese forces as they purposely fell back towards Harbin, in a bid to eliminate Japanese forces by overextending their supply-lines.

Commencement of Hostilities

Russo-Japanese War started was initiated by Japan with a surprise attack on the Russian Pacific Fleet (Lushun Fleet) stations in the port of Lushun on February 8th, 1904. Although the attack damaged Russian warships, it did was insignificant in the larger order of battle. On the same day, the frontline Japanese troops, the Kigoshi Brigade of the 12th Division, landed on the city of Incheon. After providing amphibious support to the abovementioned brigade, the cruisers of the IJN Third Fleet under the command of Rear-Admiral Sotokichi URYU, engaged the Russian cruiser Варяг(Escort cruiser), and a gunboat Кореец (Oceangoing gunboat) outside the port of Incheon Port on February 9th, and inflicted damage on them (The Battle off Incheon). On February 10th, the Japanese Government declared war against the Russian Government.

The Lushun Fleet of Russia sough to avoid a head-on battle against the Japanese Combined Fleet and remained anchored in Port Arthur (Lushun Port). If the Baltic Fleet of Russia (The Second and the Third Pacific fleets) arrived in the Far East and joined the Lushun Fleet, their overwhelming firepower would enable Russia to claim naval superiority. Between February and March, the IJN Combined Fleet attempted to blockade Port Arthur by sinking older vessels at the entrance of the port, but this plan ended in failure (Port Arthur Blockade Operation). While the Imperial Japanese Navy succeeded in sinking the battleship Петропавловск (Battleship/The first) of the Lushun Fleet on April 13th, with a mine laid earlier by the IJN, killing Vice-Admiral Stepan Osipovich Makarov, the Commander-in-Chief of the Lushun Fleet; the IJN battleships 'Yashima' and 'Hatsuse' were conversely sunk by Russian mines on May 15th. On the other hand, the Russian Vladivostok Cruiser Fleet stationed in Vladivstok proactively carried out sorties to destroy commercial shipping. The fleet patrolled Japanese territorial waters unchallenged, and sank the IJN transport ship Kinshu-maru on April 25th. The Vladivostok Cruiser Fleet prompted Vice-Admiral Kamimura commmanding the IJN Second Fleet to give chase, in order to resolve the supply issues of the Japanese Army which was reliant on supplies delivered by transport vessels.

The Battle of the Yellow Sea and Battle of Liaoyang

The First Troops of the Imperial Japanese Army under the command of General Tamemoto KUROKI landed on the Korean Peninsula and defeated the Russian army on the shores of the Oryokko River near Anton (present Tanton) in an engagement that lasted between April 30th and May 1st (Battle of the Oryokko River). The Second Troops (the Japanese Army) under the command of General Yasukata OKU landed on Yandayu on the Liaodong Peninsula and captured the Russian position in Nanshan May 26th (Battle of Nanshan). Although Nanzan was not as fortified as the Lushun Fortress, it was a heavily defended position, and the Second Army received 4,000 casualties in taking it. Imperial command in Tokyo was astonished by the magnitude of the casualties and reportedly wondered if there was a typo in the casualty report. After entering the city of Dalian, the Second Army advanced northwards to Liaoyang leaving the First Division (the Japanese Army) behind to secure the city. The Second Army advanced southwards to support units in Lushun, and repulsed a Russian Army unit at the Battle of Tokuriji on June 14th, and on July 23rd they one a second victory at the battle of Oishibashi.

On July 6th, the IJA Third Army led by General Maresuke NOGI landed in Dalian. However, the Third Troops was forced to move gradually to Lushun under orders of the General Headquarters of the Japanese Army in Manchuria, which accepted the Navy's rejection of the participation of the Army in the capture of Lushun. The Naval amphibious forces shell the Lushun Fortress. Provoked by the shelling, the Lushun Fleet set sail on August 10th, and engaged the IJN Combined Fleet under the command of Admiral Heihachiro TOGO in the Battle of the Yellow Sea. The Combined Fleet sank three cruisers and others vessels of the Lushun Fleet, but was not able to sink any of its capital ships. At that time, the Vladivostok Fleet of Russia continued to attack shipping, sinking the transport ship, Hitachi-maru on June 15th (Hitachi-maru Incident). On August 14th, the IJN Second Fleet under the command of Vice Admiral Hikonojo KAMIMURA intercepted the Vladivostok Fleet off Urusan and inflicted heavy damage and interdicted its anti-shipping operations (Battle off Urusan). On August 19th, the IJA Third Army under the directives of Imperial headquarters initiated its first all-out seige of Lushun. However, the seige on a modern Russian fortress ended in heavy casualties of 15,000 for the Imperial Japanese Army.

At the end of August, the IJA First, Second and Fourth Armies under the command of General Michitsura NOZU closed in on Liaoyang, a strategic location in Manchuria. In the Battle of Liaoyang from August 24th and September 4th, the IJA Second Army mounted a frontal attack from the south, and the IJA First Army circumscribed a mountainous area in the East and attacked the enemies flank. The attack prompted General Aleksei Kuropatkin, the commander of the Russian Army to order a full-scale retreat enabling Japanese forces to occupy Liaoyang, but the Japanese failed to annhilate Russian forces. Although the Russian Army went on the offensive between October 9th through to October 20th, it ended in failure in the face of staunch resistance put up by the Japanese Army (The Battle of Saka). After this battle, the respective armies established a front along the Saka river flowing between Liaoyang and Fengtian (present-day Shenyang).

The Seige of Lushun

The IJA Third Army was still laying siege to Lushun, but failed to failed in its second all-out offensive against the Lushun Fortress on October 26th, and failed again in its third consecutive assault on the fortress commenced on November 26th. IJA Chief of Staff in Manchuria General Gentaro KODAMA, who was concerned with the war situation was deployed to the Lushun under the direction of Field Marshal Iwao OYAMA. Accepting the obstinate insistence of Imperial headquarters and the Navy, he narrowed his objective to 203 Highlands northwest of the fortress.

After a fierce battle which claimed approximately 5,000 Japanese and Russian lives and over 10,000 wounded, the IJA Third Army captured the 203 Highlands on December 4th, and exacted a decisive blow to Russian forces. After that, the IJA Third Army attacked a group of bastions in the northeastern face of the fortress which had been the initial objective set by the General Headquarters of the Japanese Army in Manchuria, and on January 1st, 1905, the Lieutenant General Anatolii Stoessel, the Russian commander of the Lushun Fortress surrendered.

While the confrontation across the Saka river continued, the Russian Army took the offensive on January 25 under the command of General Oskar-Ferdinand Grippenberg newly assigned to the front line in the Kokkodai area located on the extreme left wing of the Japanese Army. Although the Japanese army temporarily plunged into a crisis with a breach of a major front, it was able to overcome the crisis due to the fierce resistance put up by Major General Yoshifuru AKIYAMA and Lieutenant General Naobumi TATSUMI and others (the Battle of Kokkodai). In February, the IJA Third Army arrived to complete the capture of Lushun.

Battle of Fengtian

The Japanese army initiate a major offensive towards the Russian Army position in Fengtian (the Battle of Fengtian). On February 21st, the right-wing of the Japanese Army commence the attack. From March 1st, the IJA Third Army and Second Army on the left wing advance to flank Russian positions in Fengtian. The Russian Army deploy reserve forces and wittle down the IJA Third Army with fierce resistence, but the Third Army continued to advance in spite of sustaining heavy casualities. On March 9th, General Kuropatkin, the commander of the Russian Army ordered a withdrawal. The Japanese army occupied Fengtian on March 10th; however, it failed to inflict a decisive blow on the Russian Army. Both armies suffered massive casualties in a series of battles, and it became difficult for either army to continue their operations; thereafter the two armies spent the remainder of the war facing off along a front near the city of Siping.

Battle of Tsushima

It was a naval battle that brought the war to a decisive end. The Baltic Fleet (the Second and Third Pacific fleets) stationed in the Russian port of Liepaja facing the Baltic Sea set sail for Vladivostok after the fall of Lushun. The Fleet sailed half way round the globe and confronted the IJN Combined Fleet between May 27th and May 28th, 1905 in the Battle of Tsushima. The Combined Fleet overwhelmed and annihilated the Baltic Fleet which was said to be the strongest in Europe through the superior tactics of the commander Heihachiro TOGO, the outstanding strategy of his two staff officers (Saneyuki AKIYAMA and Tetsutaro SATO), the pursuit of the enemy by the Second Fleet (a cruiser fleet) under the command of General Hikonojo KAMIMURA, torpedo operations with destroyers led by Kantaro SUZUKI, and the use of Shimose gunpowder (What was then the world's most powerful gunpowder), Ijuin fuse, cutting-edge radio sets, the invention and application of volley tactics, and the deployment of the world's fastest fleet in battle among several other factors. Four British military officers were on board ships in the Combined Fleet of the Japanese Navy, and assisted and instructed on the Crossing the T tactics which was originally a British tactic.

The Combined Fleet overwhelmed the Baltic Fleet to the extent that all the commanding staff including the Baltic Fleet became captive of the IJN Combined Fleet, and so overwhelmingly defeated the Baltic Fleet that the whole of the staff of headquarters of the latter including the Commander-in-Chief were taken captives by the Japanese Navy. The unexpected results caught the world's media by surprise, astonished the great powers, and enthralled countries that feared the threat of Russia. Consequently, Japan's command of the seas was confirmed.

Capture of Sakhalin

In the closing phase of the Russo-Japanese War, the Japanese army carried out the Capture of Sakhalin peninsula and occuppied the entire island. Through this occupation and the subsequent peace treaty, Japan was ceded the southern half of the Sakhalin peninsula.

Towards Peace

In Russia, the successive defeats exacerbated popular dissatisfaction towards the Czarist regime, leading to the Bloody Sunday Incident on January 9th, 1905. Colonel Motojiro AKASHI's support of the revolutionary movements in Russia spurred the aforementioned situation. Japan had also exhausted what little national resources it had. The two countries entered into peace negotiations mediated by the United States, and concluded signed the Treaty of Portsmouth on September 5th, 1905.

Japan expended 1.7 billion Yen during the 19 months of hostilities. The war was funded almost exclusively by issuing wartime bonds. Japan mobilized approximately 1.09 million soldiers, which far exceeded its standing army of 200,000 soldiers. Out of the 380,000 casualties, 87,983 soldiers were killed in action.

In spite of the fact that Masatake TERAUCHI, an advocate of rice boiled with barley, was the Minister of Army (There was a high-ranking army surgeon who recommended rice boiled with barley); however, the rations provisioned by the Imperial headquarters through an "imperial edict" was cooked rice (Six Go of polished rice) which was the same as in the Sino-Japanese War (1894-'95). Approximately 27,800 of 250,000 army beriberi patients are said to have died due to improper rationing, and logistics and infrastructure problems (Records reveal that most of the 10,000 koku [approximately 1.8 million liters of crop yield] of barley groats spoiled in transit). The Medical Department of the Army, Imperial Headquarters Executive Command, and Masanao KOIKE (Medical Affairs Bureau of Ministry of Army) came under increasing criticism when tragic news of the beriberi epidemic and the shortage of army surgeons became known in Japan. Even after the war, articles criticizing the Army continued to be published in the "Ikai Jiho" (Medical Newsletter) until Koike's resignation. It could be said that the Sino-Japanese War (1894-'95) and the Russo-Japanese War, which were fought in an age when the causes for beriberi were unknown, were indeed, also struggles against beriberi.
(Even in the Showa Period when it was concluded that vitamin deficiency caused beriberi, until 1938, 10,000 to 20,000 citizens succumbed to beriberi on an annual basis, and it was not until after 1952 that beriberi was exterminated.)
In stark contrast to the Army, the Navy which rationed its sailors rice with barley had almost no deaths due to beriberi. However, rations for sailors had its problems (In reality, food at sea lacked vitamin content) as even in 1928, there were 1,153 beriberi patients in the Navy, and this did not fall below 1,000 between 1937 to 1941; In fact, when the Pacific War broke out in December, there were 3,079 beriberi patience.


Japan succeeded in containing the southward advance of the Russian Empire and confirming their respective spheres of influence through the Russo-Japanese Treaty. In addition to securing interests in the Korean Peninsula, Japan also acquired concessions in Manchuria (Northeastern China) including the South Manchuria Railways- a part of the Chinese Eastern Railway. Japan's victory over Russia raised the repute of Japan among the great powers and greatly contributed to Japan's objective to revise the unequal treaties which had been a priority issue for the Japanese government since the Meiji Restoration.

Many citizens were disappointed by the Treaty of Portsmouth, which did not grant Japan any reparations. Popular uprisings broke out in various places beginning with the Hibiya Incendiary Incident, and martial law was declared. The discrepancy between popular sentiment and government policy is due to the fact that the Japanese Government adopted a stringent policy of secrecy to keep any information that could reveal national weaknesses from falling into Russian hands; The media including newspapers used the example of the Japanese victory in the Sino-Japanese War to fan the flames of war without regard to national sentiment, and inadvertantly built up jingoistic mood which could not be easily reversed; and finally, the majority of citizens were not aware of the true nature of Japan's national strength and erroneously believed that Japan easily defeated Russia in battle.

In the Russo-Japanese War, the Japanese military forces and the Government treated their adversaries in a gentlemanly manner in accordance to the way and mentality of bushido ("way of the samurai.") and mentality of the samurai; for instance, the Russian commander of the Lushun Fortress wore his sword when formalizing the surrender of Lushun, and prisoners of war were treated very humanely, and the Japanese Red Cross Society worked hard to treat injured Russian soldiers. The Japanese army established prisoner's camps in various parts of Japan, among which the facilities in Matsuyama City in Ehime Prefecture were the most well known. There was an episode in which Russian soldiers mistook "Matsuyama, Matsuyama" to mean surrender.

Permanent fortress
The war increased the influence of Aritomo YAMAGATA who took command in the war as the Chief of the General Staff, even though he was also a Genro (elder statesman), and the Army raised the possibility that Russia could develop into a "Continental Empire" or pursue a "War of Revenge." In 1907, under the leadership of Yamagata, the "Imperial Defense Policy" proposal was prepared to secure a 25 division formation during times of peace. However, the plan to increase the number of divisions did not go well due to post-war financial difficulties, leading to the famous debacle over whether to increase the number of divisions from 18 to 20.

After the war, the Army which experienced difficulties in the siege of the Lushun Fortress constructed a replica of the Lushun Fortress constructed by Roman Kondratenko for military exercises called the "permanent fortress," and researched tactics for fortress warfare. Events such as the abovementioned episode reveal the influence of Russo-Japanese War over post-war developments in the army.

The Russo-Japanese War cemented the centrality of charge tactics in the army, and decisive encounter between fleets in the navy tactics that would significantly influence both institutions until the Second World War.

Japan continued to pay interest to Kuhn Loeb & Co. of Jacob Schiff, because it did not receive reparations from Russia. Schiff who is said to have "profited the most from the Russo-Japanese War," is said to have financed Japan out of retaliation for Russian pogrom (anti-Semitic purges), and is known to have financed Lenin and Trotsky.


Although the Russian Empire's entry into the war was motivated by its traditional policy of southward expansion, this defeat prompted it to abandon this policy in the Far East. Russia refocussed its southward expansion to the Balkans, advocating Pan-Slavism in the process. This led Russia into a direct confrontation with Germany, which advocated Pan-Germanism and Austria which planned to invade the Balkans the conditions that would set off the First World War was set. The popular resentment over the hardships endured by the populace during the war manifest itself in the First Russian Revolution, which began with the Bloody Sunday Incident (1905) and the mutiny on the Knyaz' Potemkin-Tavricheskiy (battleship), setting the stage for the Russian Revolution.

Yi Dynasty Korea (The Korean Empire)

Political conflict between pro-Japanese factions and pro-Russian factions continued before the the war. Recognizing that Japan had the upperhand in the war, the Iljinhoe was established from the Donghak Party in 1904, developing from a grass-roots pro-Japanese independence movement into an pro-annexation movement that received support from Japan. However, the Iljinhoe's original party platform was to secure the independence and sovereignty of Korea.

Western Europe

Relations between Russo-Japanese, and Anglo-Russian relations rapidly improved as a result of the Russo-Japanese War, leading to the conclusion of the Russo-Japanese Treaty and the Anglo-Russian Entente. Before the Russo-Japanese War, Europe was alligned into three major blocs of England, Russia/France, and Germany/Austria/Italy, underlined by an Entente Cordiale concluded between England and France. This alignment moved towards a confrontation between the Triple Entente consisting England, France, and Russia and the Triple Alliance (1882) composed of Germany, Austria, and Italy. England shifted its projected rival from Russia to Germany, and the two countries became locked in an ever-expanding naval arms race.

The United States of America

The United States of America took advantage of its intermediary stance, and sought to advance its own ambitions in Manchuria. However, in contrary to its expectations, the United States was blocked out from receiving privileges in China by Japan, England, and Russia. The United State's efforts to expand their presence in China through the 'Open-door Policy' failed to bear fruit, and led to rising tensions with Japan. This situation led to the termination of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, demands for arms reduction, along with a rise in anti-immigration sentiments reflected in popular hysteria over the "Yellow Peril," which set the stage for a series of confrontations between Japan and the United States that would lead to the Second World War.

The then U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 in recognition of his contribution to the peace talks between Japan and Russia that led to the conclusion of the Treaty of Portsmouth.

Qing Dynasty

Manchuria (Dongsan Province, part of present day northeastern China), where the Russo-Japanese War was fought over was Qing territory. The Qing Dynasty was established by the Manchu, who forbade the ethnic Han from migrating into their native lands through an exclusion policy, and did not adopt specifically delineated administrative policies as they in Manchuria as they had in China. With the exception of the southernmost areas in the Liaodong peninsula and Liaoxi, most of Manchuria was underdeveloped; Hence, the Qing could not mount a response to Russian expansionism at the end of the 19th century. It is for this reason that they acquiesced to the construction the Eastern Manchurian Railway and colonial cities beginning with Harbin. Furthermore, Manchuria was completely brought under Russian control during the confusion of the Boxer Rebellion. The Russians continued their occupation of Manchuria even after the Boxer Protocol was concluded in 1901, prompting Zhang Zhidong and Yuan Shikai to assert Qing sovereignty over Dongsan Province by claiming that it should treated as an internal affair. However the Qing Dynasty Russo-Japanese War erupted before the Qing could mount a coherent response, leading to a situation in which two foreign countries fought on Qing territory.

After the war, Japan reversed its original stance to seek equality among the great powers when it concerns Manchuria, and planned to share rights equally with Russia. The Qing Dynasty felt increasingly uneasy with this situation and sought to increase the population density in Manchuria by promoting an immigration of ethnic Han from Zhili and Shandong to Manchuria. In 1907, two years after the end of the Russo-Japanese war, the Qing Dynasty established an administrative system using the categories of 'Sho, Fu and Ken' identical to that which was used to govern China proper. Certain estimates indicate that the population of Dongsan Province actually grew to 17,836,000 from 7,434,000 between 1880 and 1910. Furthermore, in the same year, part of the Beiyang Military faction led by Yuan Shikai was deployed to Manchuria to reinforce policing and security, and offer a bulwark against Japanese and Russian movements. The Qing Dynasty also sought to introduce American capital and play them off against Japanese and Russian rights, but this failed due to the downfall of Yuan Shikai and maneuvering by Japan. Japan immediately sought to fill the vacuum after the disintegration of the Russian Empire in 1917, and finally established the puppet state of Manchukuo in 1932. When Japan was defeated in the Pacific War and withdrew from Manchuria, the Soviet Union replaced the Japanese presence and stripped the region of the industrial infrastructure constructed by the Japanese, and claimed the concessions of Lushun and Dalian. It was not until 1955 that the People's Republic of China reassumed full control over northeastern China -over fifty years after the Russo- Japanese War.

Other Countries

Many of the memoirs written by the leaders of countries formerly colonized by western countries refer to the Russo-Japanese War with great excitement.
The unprecedented victory of a small country of yellow people over a large country of white people has galvanized the spirit of people seeking independence across the colonies throughout Asia and Africa.'

Although there was a precedent set by the Ethiopian Empire when it defeated the Kingdom of Italy in the First Italo–Ethiopian War, they succeeded in ousting the Italian with the full military support of England and France. Therefore, the Japanese victory over Russia in the Russo-Japanese War can be regarded as the first modern war in which a non-western state defeated a western state.

Furthermore, the Russo-Japanese War could also be viewed as a victory of a constitutional monarchy over an absolute monarchy (czarism). There is no doubt that the Japanese victory in the Russo-Japanese War was a major historic event that changed the course of history.

Former Russian colonies sought independence in the aftermath of the Russo-Japanese War, and independence and revolutionary movements became active throughout Asia. It influenced the Sun Yatsen's Xinhai Revolution, the Young Turks Revolution in the Ottoman Empire, the Iranian Constitutional Revolution, Phan Boii Chau's Dong Du Movement (Look-Japan Movement) in French Indochina, and the Indian National Congress's Calcutta Conference.


A one-sen five-rin postage stamp and a three-sen postage stamp were issued in commemoration of the victory (April 29, 1906).

[Original Japanese]