AKIYAMA, Saneyuki. Born Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture; graduated naval academy (1890); during the Sino-Japanese War (1894-95), served as navigation officer on gunboat Tsukushi, missing battle of Yalu but taking part in attacks on Wei-Hai-Wei; assigned to intelligence section, navy general staff (1896); lieutenant (1896); sent to U.S.A. for study (1897); unable to gain entry to Newport naval war college, received counsel of Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan and undertook private study; in Spanish-American War (1898) observed naval operations against Spanish with fleet staff of Admiral William T. Sampson's North Atlantic squadron; studied further in U.S. (1899) and England (1900); back in Japan had duty on navy general staff, fleet staff and at naval war college (1900-04); at outbreak of Russo-Japanese war (February 1904) was staff officer of first fleet; aboard battleship Mikasa took part in Port Arthur blockade and battle of the Yellow Sea; drew up seven-stage plan for Tsushima battle which Admiral Togo followed, with modifications, leading to the great victory (May 27-28, 1905); after war alternated duty between staff and ship commands; captain (1908); rear admiral (1913); made trip to Europe to observe World War I (1916); made vice admiral and placed on inactive list (1917); during entire career as senior officer taught tactics and strategy to naval war college students; in later years increasingly advocated reliance on "Japanese military spirit" but did not ignore new weapons such as submarines and aircraft; his observations of the Great War in Europe led him to stress the importance of popular mobilization and the economics of attrition in total war.

References: Mark R. Peattie, "Akiyama Saneyuki and the Emergence of Modern Japanese Naval Doctrine," U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 103 (January 1977): 60-69.

For further information read: "Smells Like Butter?" The Kaigun's Akiyama Saneyuki by Dr. Carlos R. Rivera.