Iino Kichisaburo (飯野吉三郎)

Kichisaburo IINO (1867-February 3, 1944) was the person of new religion who was from the family of the feudal retainer of Iwamura domain in Mino Province (currently, Gifu Prefecture.)
He ingratiated himself to Imperial family, the political world and military men and was called 'Grigorii Efimovich Rasputin in Japan' later.

Brief Personal History

He was born as the third son of Masue IINO, the feudal retainer of Iwamura domain. Though he was from upper grade family line in the small domain with his grandfather who served as umamawari (horse guard) and had sixty koku (a unit of volume) and his great grandfather who served as Osobagoyonin (an officer handling domestic economy) and had 100 koku, he lost Kashoku (one's trade or profession) because of Haihan-chiken (abolition of feudal domains and establishment of prefectures). In addition, he went to Tokyo at the age of 20 because he had to become independent soon due to his father's death when he was young.

What he made a living by after that was unknown, but soon he had his house in Kojimachi and became the fortune-teller. His conversation was strangely compelling with his large physique and unique voice, which was suited to fortune-telling. Soon, he started to ingratiated himself to Imperial family and political world through Utako SHIMODA who was famous in the same village.

Especially, he correctly guessed the time and place of victory of Nihonkai Kaisen (Naval battle of Japan sea) for the request from Gentaro KODAMA in 1904, so IINO gained the trust from many distinguished people. He invested the money gained by that fortune-telling into Manchuria in aligning with Meizen KINBARA, which also pulled off a good speculation and he gained the enormous property.
With that property, he bought 1000 tsubo (unit of land measurement; 3.95 square yards; 3.31 square meters) of land in Onden, Aoyama, Tokyo Prefecture to establish the new religious group 'Dainippon-seishindan.'
He was also called 'god in Onden' and 'gyoja' (practitioner) in Onden' from the residence.

However, he was considered to have a part in the frauds including Shirokiya-Jiken and Asahi-Jiken in 1925. Though he was dropped the case because of insufficient evidence, he lost his believers at a stretch partly because he had been abandoned from the world due to the old rumor of his immorality and spent his later years unhappily.

Personal Profile

It became clear that he was involved in making up the case of high treason after the war, so now he is generally estimated to be 'yashi (a street stall vendor at shrines and temples) in the name of a person of religion.'
Some people say that Utako SHIMODA who was involved in this case was his lover.

Besides, he ingratiated himself to the Empress Teimei and tried to stop the travel of Sessho and Crown Prince (later, the Emperor Showa) to Western countries, saying that was because of "the revelation from god."

IINO's personal connections were attractive to foreigners and Gao Zong (King of Korea) and Sun Yat-sen also tried to use it.

Thus, he seemed to gain prestige from the upper class people, but Gombei YAMAMOTO hated him.