Okubo Toshimichi was a great Japanese nobleman from the Meiji Restoration. He was a Samurai under the Satsuma province. He was credited for being one of the three leaders of the Meiji Restoration.
Just like Ito Hirobumi, he was regarded as one of the main founders of modern Japan. He was against the Tokugawa shogunate. He was the son of a magistrate, Okubo Toshio and his, wife Minayoshi Fuku.
Okubo Toshimichi Early Life
Okubo Toshimichi was born in Kagoshima in Satsuma province. He was a low ranking retainer that served under daimyo Shimazu Nariakira.
He was the eldest among five children. He studied in the same local school as that of Saigo Takamori. Takamori was one of the most influential Samurai. Saigo Takamori was known as the last true samurai.
Okubo Toshimichi Family Life
Okubo Toshimichi was married to Hayasaki Masako. He had four sons and a daughter. it was his son-in-law Ijuin Hikokichi who served as Foreign Minister. From his lineage, his great-grandchildren included Princess Tomohito of Mikasa.
Positions Assumed by Okubo Toshimichi
Okubo Toshimichi occupied the position as an aide to the domain’s archivist. His talent was recognized by Shimazu Nariakira who appointed Toshimichi as a tax administrator.
After Shimazu Nariakira died, Okubo Toshimichi was one of those who were against the Tokugawa shogunate.
Unlike some leaders, Okubo favored overthrowing the shogunate. In fact, there were three political views regarding the Tokugawa Shogunate.
These views included overthrowing the Shogunate, Kobu Gattai which merges Imperial and Tokugawa families, as well as Hanbaku or opposing the Shogunate.
Okubo Toshimichi had formed an alliance with others. The goal of the alliance was to overthrow the Tokugawa. It was the wrong combination of alliances that convinced him that the Tobaku movement was doomed from the start.
He was able to collaborate with Saido Takamori and Kido Takayoshi of the Choshu Domain. It was the plan to overthrow the Tokugawa Shogunate that united this group.
The forces of Satsuma and Choshu seized the Kyoto Imperial Palace to proclaim the Meiji Restoration. He landed the role of a home lord when the main proponents formed a provisional government.
To establish this new government, funds from the Tokugawa domain that the Meiji government has seized. New leaders were appointed to hold new positions in the land.
Okubo Toshimichi As Finance Minister
Okubo had promulgated a Land Tax Reform that prohibited the Samurai from wearing swords when in public. He was also the one who stopped the discrimination for those that are part of the outcasts.
Okubo Toshimichi had the power to promote industrial development. With that, roads, bridges, and ports were built. He was able to appoint new leaders for his land.
Most of the people he appointed as governors. These were composed of young men who were his friends.
This Home Ministry had made developments that the Tokugawa Shogunate He worked securing the Iwakura Mission so that it can make around the world trip under this mission.
It took about 3 years in order to cover the world. Under this ministry, revisions were made by unequal treaties.
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