Japanese army general. Born in Okayama Prefecture on 5 January 1894, Hanaya Tadashi graduated from the Military Academy in 1916 and from the Army War College in 1922. Promoted to major in 1929, he commanded an infantry battalion. In 1930, he was assigned to the Special Services Agency at Mukden of the Guandong (Kwantung) Army in Manchuria. Hanaya was involved in planning the Mukden Incident of 18 September 1931, which the Guandong Army used as the pretext for taking the remainder of Manchuria in 1931 and 1932. When Japanese military operations were criticized, Hanaya developed a plan for provoking a riot in Shanghai (the First Shanghai Incident) to divert attention from them. Assigned as resident officer in Jinan (Tsinan), China, in 1933, in 1935 Hanaya joined the staff of the Guandong Army Headquarters. Promoted to colonel in 1937, he commanded the 43rd Infantry Regiment. In 1939, he was assigned as military adviser to the Japanese puppet state of Manzhoudiguo (Manchoutikuo or Manchukuo). Promoted to major general in 1940, he took command of the 29th Infantry Brigade. In 1941, he was chief of staff of the First Army in China. Promoted to lieutenant general in October 1943, he assumed command of the 55th Division in Burma.
In Burma, Hanaya's division defended the port of Akyab on the Bay of Bengal and supported the Imphal operations. Known to be hard on his subordinates but an effective commander, Hanaya had great success in the Second Arakan Campaign (February to April 1944). His troops defeated British forces at the Indian border and then laid siege to Shinzeiwa, but efforts to take that place by storm failed against the strong British defensive line. Finally, a lack of supplies and ammunition for his forces and superior British air resupply forced Hanaya to lift the siege.
Hanaya's attacks along the Sittang River in south Burma in May and June 1945 allowed the Japanese Twenty-Eighth Army to escape. Following this operation, in July 1945 Hanaya was appointed chief of staff of Thirty-Ninth Army and then chief of staff of 18th Army Group on Rabaul in the same month. He was in Thailand when the war ended. Hanaya died in Tokyo on 28 August 1957.
Allen, Louis. Burma: The Longest War, 1941–1945. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1984.; Callahan, Raymond A. Burma, 1942–1945. London: Davis-Poynton, 1978.