Get Today in Masonic History into your Inbox. Sign up today for one of our email lists!

TODAY in Masonic History:

Facebook Twitter Google

Ichirō Hatoyama Passes Away

Today in Masonic History Ichirō Hatoyama passes away in 1959.

Ichirō Hatoyama was a Japanese politician.

Hatoyama was born on January 1st, 1883 in Tokyo City, Japan. He was the son of a wealthy family and his father was in politics as well. His mother was the founder of Kyoritsu Women's University.

In 1915, Hatoyama was elected into the House of Representatives or the lower house, the upper house is the House of Councilors. Hatoyama served in the House of Representatives until 1946. He would serve various districts in Tokyo. During this time he would also serve as Minister of Education from 1931 to 1934 and Chief Cabinet Minister from 1927 to 1929.

Starting in 1937 Hatoyama served as acting president of Rikken Seiyūkai, one of the chief political parties in Japan. He would serve as acting president until 1939. He was also the president of the Liberal party for one year, from 1945 to 1946. He served as president of the Japan Democratic party starting in 1954 until they merged with the Liberal Party to become the Liberal Democratic Party. He would serve as president of the newly merged organization until 1956.

In 1946, Hatoyama was set to become the next Prime Minister of Japan when Supreme Commander of Allied Powers barred him from politics for five years. This was done because it was believed that he had cooperated with the Authoritarian government of the 1930's and 1940's.

Hatoyama would return to politics in 1951. Recently declassified documents from the United States National Archive reveal a plot that conceived in Japan in 1952 to assassinate the then Prime Minister and replace him with a more hawkish government led by Hatoyama. The plot was never carried out.

In 1954, Hatoyama became the Prime Minister of Japan. During his time as Prime Minister he rebuilt diplomatic ties with the Soviet Union. He also advocated for the parole of some of the Class A war criminals that had been convicted by the Tokyo Trials. At the trials there were three classes of criminals. Class A were those who participated in a joint conspiracy to start and wage war.

Hatoyama received the book The Totalitarian State Against Man written by Richard Nikolaus von Coudenhove-Kalergi, a Freemason. Hatoyama was asked to translate the book into Japanese. After translating the book, Hatoyama became an enthusiastic supporter of fraternity and fraternal organizations. In Japanese they are also known as yūai. Hatoyama would go on to found the Yuai Kyokai (Yuai Association) and would be the organizations first president.

Hatoyama passed away on March 7th, 1959.

Hatoyama was raised on March 26th, 1955 in Tokyo Lodge No. 125. His Entered Apprentice degree was presented in 1951 and it was not until after that he had become Prime Minister that he asked to continue his masonic journey. Due to the fact that at the time Hatoyama was an invalid, the 2nd and 3rd degrees were presented on the same day.