Kikkawa Chokichi (吉川重吉)

Chokichi KIKKAWA (1859 - 1915) was a member of the KIKKAWA clan: the family of the former feudal lord of the Iwakuni Domain. He was a Foreign Ministry official and a member of the House of Peers. Chokichi's father was Tsunemasa KIKKAWA and his brother, Tsunetake KIKKAWA, was the last lord of the Iwakuni Domain. Chokichi's title was baron. His wife was Sugako, daughter of Yasuaki KATO, who was the last lord of the Ozu Domain. Their son was Motomitsu KIKKAWA. Their daughters married Bunroku SHISHI, Koroku WADA and Kumao HARADA.

Biography

Chokichi had the opportunity to study in the United States of America by accompanying the Iwakura Mission in 1871. The members of the mission were leading figures of the time such as Tomomi IWAKURA, Takayoshi KIDO, Toshimichi OKUBO, Hirobumi ITO, Naoyoshi YAMAGUCHI, Takayuki SASAKI, Akiyoshi YAMADA, Mitsuaki TANAKA, Fujimaro TANAKA and so on. Also children of former feudal lords and the nobility joined, such as Tomotsuna IWAKURA (adopted child of Tomomi), Hikonoshin OKUBO, Nobuaki MAKINO, Isaburo YAMAGATA and so on. Other members included Naohiro NABESHIMA, Toshitsugu MAEDA, Toshiatsu MAEDA, Nagatomo KURODA, Tadabumi TORII, Sumihiro OMURA, Mototoshi MORI and so on.

After graduating from Harvard University, Chokichi returned to Japan and entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Chokichi became a baron on November 21, 1891 and later worked as a member of the House of Peers. In 1910 his house was built by James McDonald Gardiner, who later established Rikkyo University. In 1915 Chokichi helped set up the South Seas Association and became its vice president, but died the same year. After his death Iwakuni Chokokan was built according to his wish. His grave is in Yanaka Cemetery.

A stone lantern which Chokichi donated is left in Shoin-jinja Shrine (Setagaya Ward).

Descendant

Akiyoshi WADA (grandchild by his daughter; a physicist).