A Spy in Manchuria – Ishimitsu Makiyo
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Ishimitsu was born in Kumamoto in 1868, the son of a samurai. There he drank in the atmosphere of the Genydsha. When he grew up, he became a soldier and fought in the war against China. Later, Ishimitsu, still a yobi-eki shoko, took a poor view of the southward expansion of the Russian Empire, offered his services for intelligence duties and took up the study of Russia. This paper deals with his career on the Asian continent from 1899 to 1904, as he went round Siberia and Manchuria, spying on Russian military activities. While Miyazaki veered to South-East Asia and South China, Ishimitsu made himself an expert on the north-east. Miyazaki also came from Kumamoto and was indeed two years Ishimitsu’s junior. They were both ronin: Miyazaki was a rebel and ready to admit it, while Ishimitsu was a patriot ready to suffer for his country, a loyal soldier in civilian dress. They each add an important dimension to our understanding of Japanese intelligence.