- For information on the warrior woman, see Itagaki
May 21, 1837|
Tosa Domain, Japan
|Died||July 16, 1919(aged 82)|
|Occupation||Politician, Cabinet Minister|
Count Itagaki Taisuke (板垣 退助, 21 May 1837 – 16 July 1919) was a Japanese politician and leader of the Freedom and People's Rights Movement (自由民権運動 Jiyū Minken Undō), which evolved into Japan's first political party. His image is on Japan's 1953 100-yen banknote.
Itagaki Taisuke was born into a middle-ranking samurai family in Tosa Domain, (present day Kōchi Prefecture), After studies in Kōchi and in Edo, he was appointed as sobayonin (councillor) to Tosa daimyō Yamauchi Toyoshige, and was in charge of accounts and military matters at the domain's Edo residence in 1861. He disagreed with the domain’s official policy of kōbu gattai (reconciliation between the Imperial Court and the Tokugawa shogunate), and in 1867–1868, he met with Saigō Takamori of the Satsuma Domain, and agreed to pledge Tosa's forces in the effort to overthrow the shōgun in the upcoming Meiji Restoration. During the Boshin War, he emerged as the leading political figure from Tosa domain, and claimed a place in the new Meiji government after the Tokugawa defeat.
Meiji statesman to liberal agitator
Itagaki was appointed a Councilor of State in 1869, and was involved in several key reforms, such as the abolition of the han system in 1871. As a sangi (councillor), he ran the government temporarily during the absence of the Iwakura Mission.
However, Itagaki resigned from the Meiji government in 1873 over disagreement with the government's policy of restraint toward Korea (Seikanron) and, more generally, in opposition to the Chōshū-Satsuma domination of the new government.
In 1874, together with Gotō Shōjirō of Tosa and Etō Shinpei and Soejima Taneomi of Hizen, he formed the Aikoku Kōtō (Public Party of Patriots), declaring, "We, the thirty millions of people in Japan are all equally endowed with certain definite rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring and possessing property, and obtaining a livelihood and pursuing happiness. These rights are by Nature bestowed upon all men, and, therefore, cannot be taken away by the power of any man." This anti-government stance appealed to the discontented remnants of the samurai class and the rural aristocracy (who resented centralized taxation) and peasants (who were discontented with high prices and low wages). Itagaki's involvement in liberalism lent it political legitimacy in Japan, and he became a leader of the push for democratic reform.
Itagaki and his associations created a variety of organizations to fuse samurai ethos with western liberalism and to agitate for a national assembly, written constitution and limits to arbitrary exercise of power by the government. These included the Risshisha (Self-Help Movement) and the Aikokusha (Society of Patriots) in 1875. After funding issues led to initial stagnation, the Aikokusha was revived in 1878 and agitated with increasing success as part of the Freedom and People's Rights Movement. The Movement drew the ire of the government and its supporters. In 1882, Itagaki was almost assassinated by a right-wing militant, to whom he allegedly said, "Itagaki may die, but liberty never!"
Leadership of the Liberal Party
Government leaders met at the Osaka Conference of 1875, enticing Itagaki to return as a sangi (councilor): however, he resigned after a couple of months to oppose what he viewed as excessive concentration of power in the Genrōin.
Itagaki created the Liberal Party (Jiyuto) together with Numa Morikazu in 1881, which, along with the Rikken Kaishintō, led the nationwide popular discontent of 1880-1884. During this period, a rift developed in the movement between the lower class members and the aristocratic leadership of the party. Itagaki became embroiled in controversy when he took a trip to Europe believed by many to have been funded by the government. The trip turned out to have been provided by the Mitsui Company, but suspicions that Itagaki was being won over to the government side persisted. Consequently, radical splinter groups proliferated, undermining the unity of the party and the Movement. Itagaki was offered the title of Count (Hakushaku) in 1884, as the new peerage system known as kazoku was formed, but he accepted only on the condition that the title not be passed on to his heirs.
In April 1896, Itagaki joined the second Itō administration as Home Minister. In 1898, Itagaki joined with Ōkuma Shigenobu of the Shimpotō to form the Kenseitō, and Japan's first party government. Ōkuma became Prime Minister, and Itagaki continued serving as Home Minister. The Cabinet collapsed after four months of squabbling between the factions, demonstrating the immaturity of parliamentary democracy at the time in Japan. Itagaki retired from public life in 1900 and spent the rest of his days writing. He died of natural causes in 1919.
Itagaki is credited as being the first Japanese party leader and an important force for liberalism in Meiji Japan. His portrait has appeared on the 50-sen and 100-yen banknotes issued by the Bank of Japan.
From the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia
- Count (9 May 1887; life peerage)
- Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun (29 September 1896)
- Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun with Paulownia Flowers (16 July 1919; posthumous)
Family crest of Itagaki clan
- Inui family（Itagaki family） Their clan name is Minamoto(Seiwa-Genji).
In this house, Edo period was a samurai in the Tosa clan from generation to generation. Knight(senior samurai). Original Itagaki used "Jiguro-bishi (Kage-hanabishi)" for the family crest with Takeda of the effect for the same family. However, Inui used "Kayanouchi Jumonji" (Azuchi Period to Meiji Period), "Tosa Kiri" (Meiji Period to now).
|Itagaki Yoritoki||2Itagaki Yorishige|
|3Itagaki Yorikane||Itagaki Nobuyori||Itagaki Sanekane||Takeda Nagakane|
|4Itagaki Yukiyori||Takeda Nobusada|
|5Itagaki Nagayori||Nakamura Kanekuni|
|6Itagaki Saburozaemon||Nakamura Kanesada|
|12Itagaki Bishu||13Itagaki Nobuyasu|
|Itagaki Hokinokami||14Itagaki Nobukata||Morozumi Genbanojo||woman|
|15①Itagaki Nobunori||Sakayori Masamitsu||16Itagaki Nobuyasu||wife of Itagaki Nobuyasu|
|②Itagaki Masanobu||Itagaki Masatora||woman||17Itagaki Surinosuke||Itagaki Hayato|
|③Inui Masayuki||Itagaki Masayoshi||Sakayori Masayoshi|
|④Inui Masasuke||1Inui Masanao||Inui Tomomasa|
|⑤Inui Masakata||Inui Jujiro||2Inui Masafusa||Inui Muichi|
|Inui Kasuke||⑥Inui Masakiyo||wife of Kondo Michikata||Inui Jusuke||3Inui Yoshikatsu|
|⑦Inui Naotake||Inui Naokowa||Nakayama Hidenobu||Inui Kowamasa||4Inui Masafusa||Inui Masanaru|
|⑧Inui Masa-akira||5Inui Masahisa|
|⑨Inui Nobutake||Nomoto Nobuteru||woman||6Inui Masaharu||Motoyama Shigeyoshi|
|⑩Inui Masashige||wife of Hirai Masazane||wife of Nagaya Hikodayu||Inui Masakatsu||7Inui Masa-atsu||Inui Masa-atsu|
|⑪Itagaki Taisuke||Inui Kyuba||wife of Hino Shigeyoshi||woman||woman||8Inui Seishi|
|Itagaki Hokotaro||8Inui Seishi||Itagaki Magozaburo||Itagaki Masami||Inui Muichi||Kataoka Hyoko||Miyaji Gunko||Ogawa Enko||Asano Chiyoko||Oyama Ryoko|
|Itagaki Takeo||⑫Itagaki Morimasa||⑬Itagaki Masatsura||Kawase Miyoshi||Nakamura Choshi||9Inui Ichiro||Miyaji Shigeaki||Motoyama Nobuko||Asano Kazuharu||Asano Fusako||Oyama Tomomitsu|
|Ozaki Tadashi||Mishima Takuko||Itagaki Masa-aki||Akiyama Noriko||⑭Itagaki Taitaro||Itagaki Naomaro||Kawase Katsuyo||Sugisaki Mitsuyo||Nakamura Junko||10Takaoka Mariko||Oyama Tomokazu|
|Ozaki Kimimasa||Akiyama Takeo||Akiyama Takeshi||Akiyama Yuri||Itagaki Yuko||Itagaki Akihiro||Nakamura Naotaka||Nakamura Kazutaka||Ibuka Mika||Takaoka Koutaro||Oyama Tomoaki||Oyama Tomohide|
Source "Kai Kokushi". Matsudaira Sadayoshi. 1814. Japan.(Aduchi-Momoyama period part) "Kwansei-choshu Shokafu". Hotta Masaatsu, Hayashi jyussai. 1799. Japan.(Aduchi-Momoyama period part) "Osamuraichu Senzogaki-keizucho"(Edo period part)
|Part of a series on|
- Jansen, Marius (2000). The Making of Modern Japan, p. 381.
- Tosa-han(official document) Japan(1826). Osamuraichu Senzogaki-keizucho. Kochi prefectural library, Japan.
- Takakuwa Komakichi, Yoda Kiichiro, Narikawa Eijiro. Koutei-zoho Azumakagami. Dainippontosho, Japan(1896).
- Taisuke Itagaki's grave. Sinagawa, Tokyo, Japan.
- Beasley, William G. (1995). The Rise of Modern Japan: Political, Economic and Social Change Since 1850. New York: Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-12751-0
- Jansen, Marius B. and Gilbert Rozman, eds. (1986). Japan in Transition: from Tokugawa to Meiji. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691054599; OCLC 12311985
- Totten, George O. (compiled by). (1966). Democracy in Prewar Japan: Groundwork or Facade?. Boston: D.C. Heath and Company. OCLC 255863
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to:|
- Draft letter of resignation from the Cabinet by Itagaki in 1898
- National Diet Library biography & photo
- "Itagaki, Taisuke, Count". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.
| Home Minister
14 April 1896 – 20 September 1896
| Home Minister
30 June 1898 – 8 November 1898