Machida Hisanari (町田久成)

Hisanari MACHIDA (January 27, 1838 - September 15, 1897) was a feudal retainer of the Satsuma clan at the end of the Edo period and was a member of warrior class in the Meiji period. He was the first director of Tokyo National Museum. In 1865, he went to England to study there with 18 other students. Kiyotsugu KOMATSU was his biological younger brother (his original name was Shinshiro Sanetane MACHIDA). Chika KOMATSU, wife of Kiyokado KOMATSU, was his aunt. He was from a branch family of the Shimazu clan. He was awarded the court rank of Jushii (Junior Fourth Rank) and the Third Class of the Order of Merit. He later entered Buddhist priesthood and became the chief priest of Kojoin of Mii-dera Temple in Shiga Prefecture, and eventually, a high priest. His tomb is located at Homyoin, a sub-temple of Mii-dera Temple in Mt. Nagara in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, and at Shinryoin in Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo.

Brief Personal History

He was born as the first son of Hisanaga MACHIDA (feudal lord of Ishitani, Ijuin-go Area) and his mother (called Kuniko or Kumiko, the first daughter of Kiyoatsu KOMATSU who was a feudal load of Yoshitoshi-go Area), at the residence of the Machida family in Sengoku Baba Street, Kagoshima-jo Castle Town.

At the age of 19, he entered Shoheizaka Gakumonjo, a shogunate school in Edo, where he met Shinshichi ARIMA.

In 1859, he completed his studies in Edo and returned to Satsuma.
He became the chief of the bodyguard of the Shogun

In 1864, he participated in establishment of 'Satsuma-han Kaiseijo' (the Satsuma domain school of Western studies). It was established under the joint direction of Tatewaki KOMATSU (chief retainer), Hisanari MACHIDA (chief inspector and director of education) and Ichizo OKUBO (later Toshimichi OKUBO, secretary).

In 1864, at the time of 'the Kinmon Incident' in Kyoto, he participated in the battle as leader of Rokugotai unit (consisting of approximately 600 soldiers)

In 1865, he departed for England to study there, leading 15 students of the Satsuma clan.

In June 1868, he returned from England.

In 1869, he became a Sanyo (councilor) of foreign affairs (his colleagues included Tomoatsu GODAI, Munenori TERASHIMA, Hirobumi ITO and Kaoru INOUE).

He was later appointed as Sanyo and officer of Foreign Affairs Council, magistrate of Nagasaki court, staff to the envoy pacifying Kyushu region, officer of Foreign Affairs Bureau, officer of Foreign Affairs Council, and Senior Secretary of the Foreign Ministry (immediate subordinate of Foreign Minister). In 1870, when he was working for Bussan-kyoku (Domestic Products Research Center) of Daigaku Nanko (predecessor of the University of Tokyo) as Senior Secretary of Universities, he met Yoshio TANAKA again (who had participated in the Paris Universal Exposition as an envoy of the shogunate).
It was the beginning of 'the establishment plan of the first museum in Japan.'

In 1872, he submitted "The proposal for the preservation of Nagoya-jo Castle and others."

In March 1882, he assumed the position of the First Director of Tokyo Imperial Museum (later Tokyo National Museum). In October of the same year, he resigned from the position of Director of Tokyo Imperial Museum. In 1890, he became the chief priest of Kojoin of the Mii-dera Temple. In 1897, he died at Meioin of Kanei-ji Temple, where he was recuperating from a disease.