Takeichi NISHI

Olympic Medals
Games Participations2
First Olympic GamesLos Angeles 1932
Year of Birth1902


Takeichi, the 2nd Baron Nishi, was a top equestrian, well-known in America, and very popular among the Hollywood crowd, but paradoxically a top Japanese Imperial Army officer during World War II. Nishi was born as the illegitimate son of Tokujiro Nishi, and succeeded to the title of Baron upon his father’s death in 1912. He attended military school in Japan, graduating in 1924, and joined the Japanese cavalry. Before the 1932 Olympics, after competing in jumping events in Europe, riding his favored horse, Uranus, Nishi spent time in Los Angeles where he became part of the Hollywood social circle, counting Douglas Fairbanks, Will Rogers, and Mary Pickford among his friends. His widow later noted that he sent her a letter stating, “I’m being very popular here. Bye-bye.” She also noted that he was despondent after the attack on Pearl Harbor, but felt he had to fight for Japan as he was first a soldier. In 1944, Baron Nishi was named regimental commander of the 26th Tank Regiment, Mudanjiang, which was then assigned to the defense of Iwo Jima. He died during the defense of Iwo Jima, but circumstances of his death are not precisely known and many stories have circulated. It has been written that American forces broadcast appeals to him daily, asking for his surrender, because of his fame in America. Some stories say he committed suicide, some say he was killed by machine-gun fire, and some say he was killed by American flamethrowers. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of colonel. His horse, Uranus, died one week later.

Olympic Results

Athlete Olympic Results Content

You May Like