Junior First Rank
|President of the Privy Council of Japan|
14 June 1909 - 26 October 1909
13 July 1903 - 21 December 1905
1 June 1891 - 8 August 1892
30 April 1888 - 30 October 1889
|Prime Minister of Japan|
19 October 1900 - 10 May 1901
|Saionji Kinmochi (Acting)|
12 January 1898 - 30 June 1898
8 August 1892 - 31 August 1896
|Kuroda Kiyotaka (Acting)|
22 December 1885 - 30 April 1888
16 October 1841
Tsukari, Su? (present-day Yamaguchi Prefecture), Japan
|Died||26 October 1909 (aged 68)|
Harbin, Heilongjiang, China
|Cause of death||Assassination|
|Resting place||Hirobumi Ito Cemetery, Tokyo, Japan|
|Political party||Independent (Before 1900)|
Constitutional Association of Political Friendship (1900-1909)
|Spouse(s)||It? Umeko (1848-1924)|
|Children||3 sons, 2 daughters|
|Alma mater||University College London|
Duke It? Hirobumi ( , 16 October 1841 - 26 October 1909, born as Hayashi Risuke and also known as Hirofumi, Hakubun and briefly during his youth as It? Shunsuke) was a Japanese politician and the first Prime Minister of Japan. He was also a leading member of the genr?, a group of senior statesmen that dictated Japan's policies during the Meiji Era.
A London-educated samurai of the Ch?sh? Domain and a central figure in the Meiji Restoration, It? Hirobumi chaired the bureau which drafted the Constitution for the newly formed Empire of Japan. Looking to the West for inspiration, It? rejected the United States Constitution as too liberal and the Spanish Restoration as too despotic. Instead, he drew on British and German models, particularly the Prussian Constitution of 1850. Dissatisfied with Christianity's pervasiveness in European legal precedent, he replaced such religious references with those rooted in the more traditionally Japanese concept of a kokutai or "national polity" which hence became the constitutional justification for imperial authority.
During the 1880s, It? emerged as the most powerful figure in the Meiji government. By 1885, he became the first Prime Minister of Japan, a position he went on to hold four times (thereby making his tenure one of the longest in Japanese history). Even out of office as the nation's head of government, he continued to wield enormous influence over Japan's policies as a permanent imperial adviser, or genkun, and the President of the Emperor's Privy Council. A staunch monarchist, It? favored a large, all-powerful bureaucracy which answered solely to the Emperor and opposed the formation of political parties. His third term as Prime Minister was ended in 1898 by the opposition's consolidation into the Kenseit? party, prompting him to found the Rikken Seiy?kai party to counter its rise. In 1901, he resigned his fourth and final ministry upon tiring of party politics.
On the world stage, It? presided over an ambitious foreign policy. He strengthened diplomatic ties with the Western powers including Germany, the United States and especially the United Kingdom. In Asia, he oversaw the First Sino-Japanese War and negotiated the surrender of China's ruling Qing dynasty on terms aggressively favourable to Japan, including the annexation of Taiwan and the release of Korea from the Chinese Imperial tribute system. While expanding his country's claims in Asia, It? sought to avoid conflict with the Russian Empire through the policy of Man-Kan k?kan - the proposed surrender of Manchuria to Russia's sphere of influence in exchange for recognition of Japanese hegemony in Korea. However, in a diplomatic visit to Saint Petersburg in November 1901, It? found Russian authorities completely unreceptive to such terms. Consequently, Japan's incumbent Prime Minister, Katsura Tar?, elected to abandon the pursuit of Man-Kan k?kan, which resulted in an escalation of tensions culminating in the Russo-Japanese War.
After Japanese forces emerged victorious over Russia, the ensuing Japan-Korea Treaty of 1905 made It? the first Japanese Resident-General of Korea. Despite initially supporting the sovereignty of the indigenous Joseon monarchy, he ultimately consented to the total annexation of Korea in response to pressure from the increasingly powerful Imperial Army. Shortly thereafter, he resigned as Resident-General in 1909 and assumed office once again as President of the Imperial Privy Council. Four months later, It? was assassinated by Korean-independence activist and nationalist An Jung-geun in Manchuria. The annexation process was formalised by another treaty the following year after Ito's death. Through his daughter Ikuko, It? was the father-in-law of politician, intellectual and author Suematsu Kench?.
It?'s birth name was Hayashi Risuke (). His father Hayashi J?z? known as It? J?z? was the biological son of Hayashi Sukezaemon () and the adopted son of Mizui Buhei who was an adopted son of It? Yaemon's family, a lower-ranked samurai from Hagi in Ch?sh? Domain (present-day Yamaguchi Prefecture). Mizui Buhei was renamed It? Naoemon. Mizui J?z? took the name It? J?z?, and Hayashi Risuke was renamed to It? Shunsuke at first, then It? Hirobumi. Hayashi Sukezaemon was a 5th generation descendant of Hayashi Nobuyoshi () who was a member of the Hayashi clan of Owari (?).
He was a student of Yoshida Sh?in at the Sh?ka Sonjuku and later joined the Sonn? j?i movement ("to revere the Emperor and expel the barbarians"), together with Katsura Kogor?. Active in the movement, he took part in an incendiary attack of the British legation on 31 January 1863 led by Takasugi Shinsaku, and in the company of Yamao Y?z? attacked and mortally wounded the head of the Wagakuk?dansho institute on 2 February 1863, believing a false report that the institute was looking into ways of toppling the Emperor. It? was chosen as one of the Ch?sh? Five who studied at University College London in 1863, and the experience in Great Britain eventually convinced him Japan needed to adopt Western ways.
In 1864, It? returned to Japan with fellow student Inoue Kaoru to attempt to warn Ch?sh? Domain against going to war with the foreign powers (the Bombardment of Shimonoseki) over the right of passage through the Straits of Shimonoseki. At that time, he met Ernest Satow for the first time, later a lifelong friend.
After the Meiji Restoration of 1868, It? was appointed governor of Hy?go Prefecture, junior councilor for Foreign Affairs, and sent to the United States in 1870 to study Western currency systems. Returning to Japan in 1871, he established Japan's taxation system. With the advice of Edmund Morel, a chief engineer of the railway department, Ito endeavored to found the Public Works together with Yamao Yozo. Later that year, he was sent on the Iwakura Mission around the world as vice-envoy extraordinary, during which he won the confidence of ?kubo Toshimichi, one of the leaders of the Meiji government.
In 1873, It? was made a full councilor, Minister of Public Works, and in 1875 chairman of the first Assembly of Prefectural Governors. He participated in the Osaka Conference of 1875. After ?kubo's assassination, he took over the post of Home Minister and secured a central position in the Meiji government. By 1881, he successfully pushed for the resignation of ?kuma Shigenobu, thereby allowing him to emerge as the de facto leader of the Meiji government.
It? went to Europe in 1882 to study the constitutions of those countries, spending nearly 18 months away from Japan. While working on a constitution for Japan, he also wrote the first Imperial Household Law and established the Japanese peerage system (kazoku) in 1884.
In 1885, he negotiated the Convention of Tientsin with Li Hongzhang, normalizing Japan's diplomatic relations with Qing-dynasty China. In the same year, In 1885, It? established a cabinet system of government based on European ideas, replacing the Daij?-kan as the nation's main policy-making organization.
On 22 December 1885, It? became the first prime minister of Japan. On 30 April 1888, It? resigned as prime minister, but headed the new Privy Council to maintain power behind-the-scenes. In 1889, he also became the first genr?. The Meiji Constitution was promulgated in February 1889. He had added to it the references to the kokutai or "national polity" as the justification of the emperor's authority through his divine descent and the unbroken line of emperors, and the unique relationship between subject and sovereign. This stemmed from his rejection of some European notions as unfit for Japan, as they stemmed from European constitutional practice and Christianity.
During It?'s second term as prime minister (8 August 1892 - 31 August 1896), he supported the First Sino-Japanese War and negotiated the Treaty of Shimonoseki in March 1895 with his ailing foreign minister Mutsu Munemitsu. In the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Commerce and Navigation of 1894, he succeeded in removing some of the onerous unequal treaty clauses that had plagued Japanese foreign relations since the start of the Meiji period.
During It?'s third term as prime minister (12 January - 30 June 1898), he was forced to contend with the rise of political parties. Both the Liberal Party and the Shimpot? opposed his proposed new land taxes, and in retaliation, It? dissolved the Diet and called for new elections. As a result, both parties merged into the Kenseit?, won a majority of the seats, and forced It? to resign. This lesson taught It? the need for a pro-government political party, so he organized the Rikken Seiy?kai (Constitutional Association of Political Friendship) in 1900. It?'s womanizing was a popular theme in editorial cartoons and in parodies by contemporary comedians, and was used by his political enemies in their campaign against him.
It? returned to office as prime minister for a fourth term from 19 October 1900, to 10 May 1901, this time facing political opposition from the House of Peers. Weary of political back-stabbing, he resigned in 1901, but remained as head of the Privy Council as the premiership alternated between Saionji Kinmochi and Katsura Tar?.
Toward the end of August 1901, It? announced his intention of visiting the United States to recuperate. This turned into a long journey in the course of which he visited the major cities of the United States and Europe. He set off from Yokohama on 18 September, traveled through the U.S. to New York City, and received an honorary doctorate (LL.D.) from Yale University in late October.) He then sailed to Boulogne, reaching Paris on 4 November. On 25 November, he reached Saint Petersburg, having been asked by the new prime minister, Katsura Tar?, to sound out the Russians, entirely unofficially, on their intentions in the Far East. Japan hoped to achieve what it called Man-Kan k?kan, the exchange of a free hand for Russia in Manchuria for a free hand for Japan in Korea, but Russia, feeling greatly superior to Japan and unwilling to give up the use of Korean ports for its navy, was in no mood to compromise. Foreign minister Vladimir Lamsdorf "thought that time was on the side of his country because of the [Trans-Siberian] railway and there was no need to make concessions to the Japanese". It? left empty-handed for Berlin (where he received honors from Kaiser Wilhelm), Brussels, and London. Meanwhile, Katsura had decided that Man-Kan k?kan was no longer desirable for Japan, which should not renounce activity in Manchuria. In Britain, Ito met with Lord Lansdowne, which helped lay the groundwork for the Anglo-Japanese Alliance announced early the following year. The failure of his mission to Russia was "one of the most important events in the run-up to the Russo-Japanese War".
While Prime Minister, Ito invited Professor George Trumbull Ladd of Yale University to serve as a diplomatic adviser to promote mutual understanding between Japan and the United States. Lectures delivered by Ladd in Japan revolutionized its educational methods; he was the first foreigner to receive the Third Class honor (conferred by the Emperor in 1899) and the Second Class honor (in 1907) in the Orders of the Rising Sun. He later wrote a book on his personal experiences in Korea and with Resident-General It?. When Ladd died, half his ashes were buried in a Buddhist temple in Tokyo and a monument was erected to him.
In November 1905, following the Russo-Japanese War, the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1905 was made between the Empire of Japan and the Empire of Korea, making Korea a Japanese protectorate. After the treaty had been signed, It? became the first Resident-General of Korea on 21 December 1905. In 1907, he urged Emperor Gojong to abdicate in favor of his son Sunjong and secured the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1907, thereby giving Japan authority to dictate Korea's internal affairs.
While It? was firmly against Korea falling into China or Russia's sphere of influence, he also opposed its annexation, advocating instead that the territory should be treated as a protectorate. When the cabinet voted in favor of annexing Korea, he proposed that the process be delayed in the hopes that the decision could eventually be reversed. However, It? ultimately changed his mind and approved plans to have the region annexed on 10 April 1909. Despite changing his position, he was forced to resign on 14 June 1909 by the Imperial Japanese Army (one of the foremost advocates for Korea's annexation). His assassination is believed to have accelerated the path to the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty.
It? arrived at the Harbin railway station on 26 October 1909 for a meeting with Vladimir Kokovtsov, a Russian representative in Manchuria. There An Jung-geun, a Korean nationalist and independence activist, fired six shots, three of which hit It? in the chest. He died shortly thereafter. His body was returned to Japan on the Imperial Japanese Navy cruiser Akitsushima, and he was accorded a state funeral. An Jung-geun later listed "15 reasons why It? should be killed" at his trial.
This section may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints. (March 2015)
A portrait of It? Hirobumi was on the obverse of the Series C 1,000 yen note from 1963 until a new series was issued in 1984. It?'s former house in Shinagawa, Tokyo has been transported to the site of his childhood home in Yamaguchi prefecture. It is now preserved as a museum near the Sh?in Jinja in Hagi. The publishing company Hakubunkan takes its name from Hakubun, an alternate pronunciation of It?'s given name.
The Annals of Sunjong record that Gojong held a positive view of It?'s governorship. In an entry for 28 October 1909, almost three years after being forced to abdicate his throne, the former emperor praised It?, who had died two days earlier, for his efforts to develop civilization in Korea. However, the integrity of Joseon silloks dated after the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1905 is considered dubious by Korean scholars due to the influence exerted over record-keeping by the Japanese.
It? has been portrayed several times in Korean cinema. His assassination was the subject of North Korea's An Jung-gun Shoots Ito Hirobumi in 1979 and South Korea's Thomas Ahn Joong Keun in 2004; both films made his assassin An Jung-geun the protagonist. The 1973 South Korean film Femme Fatale: Bae Jeong-ja is a biopic of It?'s adopted Korean daughter Bae Jeong-ja (1870-1950).
It? argued[when?] that if East Asians did not cooperate closely with each other, Japan, Korea and China would all fall victim to Western imperialism. Initially, Gojong and the Joseon government shared this belief and agreed to collaborate with the Japanese military. Korean intellectuals had predicted that the victor of the Russo-Japanese War would assume hegemony over their peninsula, and as an Asian power, Japan enjoyed greater public support in Korea than did Russia. However, policies such as land confiscation and the drafting of forced labor turned popular opinion against the Japanese, a trend exacerbated by the arrest or execution of those who resisted. Ironically, An Jung-geun was also a proponent of what was later called Pan-Asianism. He believed in a union of the three East Asian nations in order to repel the "White Peril" of Western imperialism and restore peace in the region.
Ito memorial temple built by Japanese
On October 26, 1932, the Japanese unveiled in Seoul the Hakubun-ji Buddhist Temple dedicated to Prince Ito. Full official name "Prince Ito Memorial Temple ()". Situated in then Susumu Tadashidan Park on the north slope of Namsan, which after liberation became Jangchungdan Park . From October 1945, the main hall served as student home, ca. 1960 replaced by a guest house of the Park Chung-Hee administration, then reconstructed and again a student guest house. In 1979 it was incorporated into the grounds of the Shilla Hotel then opened. Several other parts of the temple are still at the site.
?Hayashi Awajinokami Michioki ? ? ? ? ?Hayasi Magoemon ? ? ? ? ? Michimoto Michiyo Michisige Michiyoshi Michisada Michikata Michinaga Michisue ? ? ?Hayasi Magosabur? Nobukatsu ? ? ?Hayasi Magoemon Nobuyoshi ? ?Hayasi Magoemon ? ? ? Nobuaki Sakuzaemon Sojyur? Matazaemon ? ? ? ? ?Hayasi Hanroku ? Nobuhisa Genz? ? ? ? ? ? ? S?zaemon Heijihy?e Yoichiemon ? ? ? ?Hayasi Hanroku ? ? ? Rihachir? Riemon Masuz? Sukezaemon ?adopted son of Hayasi Rihachir? ?It? ?Hayasi Shinbei's wife ?Morita Naoyoshi's wife Jyuz? woman woman ? ? ?'''It? Hirobumi''' ? ?It? ?Kida ?It? ? ? Hirokuni Humiyoshi Shinichi woman woman ? ?It? ?Shimizu ?It? ?It? ?It? ?It? ?It? ?It? ?It? ?It? ? ? ? Hirotada Hiroharu Hiromichi Hiroya Hirotada Hiroomi Hironori Hirotsune Hirotaka Hirohide woman woman woman ? ?It? ? ? ? ? ? Hiromasa woman woman woman woman woman ? ?It? ? Tomoaki woman
? It? Yaemon ? It? Naoemon (Mizui Buhei)Yaemon's adopted son ? It? Jyuz? (Hayashi Jyuzo)Naoemon's adopted son ? It? Hirobumi (Hayashi Risuke)
From the Japanese popflock.com resource article
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... initially many Koreans supported Japanese against Russians, and helped Japanese military. ... Many intellectuals had predicted that whoever wins the Russo-Japanese War, Joseon would be controlled by a victor. Still, they had hoped for the Asian power's victory. .... On 14 April 1904, Japan demanded unrestricted fishing rights all across Korean peninsular. On 28 June, Japan asked for the right to use every unclaimed land in Korea. Many Japanese gangsters had beaten Korean citizens in numerous occasions. ... 1904, U.S. diplomatic cable by Horace Allen, then U.S. representative in Korea. [...?· ? ? ? ?, ? ... ? ? ?(?) , '()'? . ... (1) 1904? 4?14?. ? ? ? ?. (2) 6?28?. ? ? ? ? ?. (3) ? ? . ...1904 ? ]