Sawa Nobuyoshi (澤宣嘉)

Nobuyoshi SAWA (February 9, 1836-September 27, 1873) was Kugyo (high court noble) in the end of the Edo period and a politician in the Meiji period. His childhood name was Kumamaro (隈麿). His pseudonyms were Shunsen (春川) and Shoshun (小春). His popular name was Mondo no tsukasa (主水司).


In 1836, he was born as the fifth son of Kinsui ANEGAKOJI who was a Kugyo. Later, he was adopted as the heir of Tamekazu SAWA who was a Kugyo. At the time of conclusion of Treaty of amity and commerce between the United States and Japan in 1858, he was against the imperial sanction and involved in the Demo of eighty-eight retainers of Imperial Court with his adoptive father Tamekazu. After that, he worked as Sonno Joi ha (supporters of the doctrine of restoring the emperor and expelling the barbarians) in the Imperial Court.

By the Coup of August 18 in which the Choshu domain was exiled from Kyoto by the Aizu domain and the Satsuma domain in 1863, he was exiled from the Imperial Court in Kyoto (the exile of the Seven nobles from Kyoto). After he escaped to the Choshu domain, he kept himself hidden in various places and then rose an army at Ikuno in Tajima Province, supported by Kuniomi HIRANO (Ikuno Incident). However, three days later, he escaped again to the Choshu domain.

After the Restoration of Imperial Rule in 1867, he held important positions such as Sanyo (Councilor), Kyusyu Chinbu-sotoku (the general of placating Kyushu) and the governor of the Nagasaki-fu. He was promoted to Gaimukyo (chief of Foreign Ministry) from Gaikokan chiji (governor of foreign affairs) in 1869, but died of disease at the tender age of 38.


After he was assigned to Kyusyu Chinbu-sotoku and arrived Nagasaki, he called Christians of Uragami and tried to persuade them to convert from Christianity. However, since they did not want to convert, he proposed a severe punishment such as 'execution of central character and exile of common believers' to the new government, which led to Urakamiyobankuzure (oppression for Christians in Nagasaki).

He stayed at Morita house (the family home of the foster mother of Shoin YOSHIDA) which was Honjin (a hotel) of the lord of domain at Kurokawa in Hagi, and learned military science, foreign affairs and so on. He was sheltered in a temple at Oi of Hagi (Ajio house). At Ajio house, there remain a sword and its accessories of Nobuyoshi SAWA and clothes of Emperor Meiji which is said to have been presented by Nobuyoshi SAWA.