Okuma Shigenobu

Okuma Shigenobu

 

Born Feb. 16, 1838, in Saga; died Jan. 10, 1922, in Tokyo. Japanese statesman. By origin a samurai of the Saga principality.

After the Revolution of 1867–68, Okuma held important posts in the departments of industry and finance of the Restoration government. From 1873 to 1881 he headed the department of finance. He was closely associated with the Mitsubishi company, which later became one of the largest Japanese business concerns. In 1882, Okuma founded the bourgeois Kaishinto (Progressive Party). He was a member of the right-wing liberal constitutional movement until 1888.

In 1882, Okuma founded the Tokyo Special School (Tokyo Semmon Gakko), which in 1903 became Waseda University. He was rector of the university from 1907 to 1914. In 1888–89 and 1896–97, Okuma served as foreign minister. In 1898 he was prime minister and foreign minister; from 1914 to 1916 he served as prime minister. Japan entered World War I (August 1914) under Okuma’s second government. Okuma helped draft the excessive Twenty-one Demands made on China (1915).

REFERENCES

Ocherki novoi istorii Iaponii. Moscow, 1958. (See name index.)
Iddittie Junesay. The Life of Marquis Shigenobu Okuma. Tokyo, 1956.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ono worked as an official in the Ministry of Justice (1876-81) and was close to Okuma Shigenobu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (1838-1922), an intermittent member of the Meiji oligarchy who developed close links to Mitsubishi shipping interests (Lebra-Chapman 1973; Ozaki 2001, 69).
By 1886, when representatives of the treaty powers sat down again to discuss treaty revision with Inoue, opponents of mixed courts included party politicians and individuals in the government close to Okuma Shigenobu, who in 1882 founded the Constitutional Progressive Party.