Kido Takayoshi (Katsura Kogoro)

Kido Takayoshi (Katsura Kogoro)

Kido Takayoshi – Katsura Kogoro

I present my friend with both steel and blossoms
Those two elements are coexistent on this earth
Why must strife ever prevail?
(Poem for Yamagata Aritomo upon presentation of sword after his victorious return from the Boshin Wars.)

Kido Takayoshi, Kido Koin, and Katsura Kogoro were all names of a unique figure in the Bakumatsu and emerging Meiji government after Japan opened to the west. He has been a rather popular figure in Japan pop culture. Because of the scholarship of Sidney Devere Brown and other English speaking scholars of Japanese history we have an unprecedented look at him as a real living entity.

His diaries portray a poetic soul who loved his Choshu han deeply but recognized the problems with its politics over time. Katsura died fairly young — but outlived some of his beloved friends from the Shoin school. He did not live long enough to see the wars his beloved country would eventually wage on others.

The majority of this information is taken from the following work:
The Diaries of Kido Takayoshi, Translator Sydney D. Brown

Early Life
Thoughts on Kido the Politician and Person (Brown Dissertation series): Intro
His views on Yoshida Shoin
Ascension to Power
His career in the Meiji Era and His death
Notes on his family, household and hobbies
Selected Diary Entries: 1868 | 1869 | 1870 |1871|  Notes  for 1872 forward | 1872
Fictional portrayals

Other References/Links