The Kodo Ha, Japanese for Kingly Way faction, was a faction of the Imperial Japanese Army which formed in the aftermath of the invasion of Manchuria. Like its rival faction, the Tosei Ha, it supported further expansion of the Japanese Empire into Manchuria. However, the Kodo Ha felt the military should advance into China to offset the strategic advantages of the Soviet Union, while the Tosei Ha favoured a more more cautious approach to events.
The Kodo Ha was controlled by the Sakura Kai and held the loyalty of the local commanders in Manchukuo. Between 1933 and 1935, they engineered the assassination of various government ministers, including prime ministers, in order to achieve their goals and influence Japan's foreign policy.
In February 1936, the Japanese First Infantry Division revolted in Tokyo in support of the Kodo Ha, killing many government ministers and civil servants. The mutiny, engineered by the Sakura Kai, was eventually put down by imperial order. The Tosei Ha, at least ostensibly, maintained control of the army but made alterations to their policy. The Kodo Ha managed to keep control of the local commanders in Manchukuo and in July 1937, these commanders provoked a fight with Chinese soldiers at the Marco Polo Bridge. By engaging Japanese troops in action, the Kodo Ha successfully forced the Tosei Ha to move the government onto a war footing, sparking the Pacific War. (PROSE: The Shadow of Weng-Chiang)