Matsumoto Ryojun (松本良順)

Ryojun MATSUMOTO (July 13, 1832 – March 12, 1907) was a Shogun's retainer during the late Edo period, and a government official during the Meiji period. He was a baron.

He served as the first army surgeon general and a member of the House of Peers nominated by the Emperor. His father was Taizen SATO who was a doctor in the Sakura Domain and ran Juntendo (the first Japanese private hospital). Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tadasu HAYASHI was his own younger brother. Later, he was adopted by a doctor of shogunate, Ryoho MATSUMOTO. His childhood name was Junnosuke SATO. After being ordained jugoi (Junior Fifth Rank) in 1871, he called himself Jun MATSUMOTO. His pseudonym was Ranchu and '楽痴'.

Brief Personal History

Matsumoto was born in Edo Azabu (Minato Ward, Tokyo) on July 13, 1832.

On July 8, 1857, he was ordered to study at Nagasaki Training Center, and headed for Nagasaki Prefecture. He learned Western studies, such as medical science by Dutch army surgeon, Johannes Pompe van Meerdervoort.

On October 1, 1862, he became an in-house doctor on duty for Edo shogunate and also an assistant director of the Medical Institute.

On February 3, 1864, he became okuishi (in-house doctor for Edo shogunate) and became the director of the Medical Institute.

In 1864, he was ordained hogen (the second highest rank for Buddhist priests). On July 4 of the same year, he was relieved his duty as okuishi, and became yoriaiishi (lower ranked doctor for Edo shogunate). On September 15 of the same year, he was appointed as okuishi again. He served as a personal doctor for shogun and treated such as Shogun Iemochi TOKUGAWA.

He associated with Isami KONDO, who was the leader of Shinsengumi (an Edo shogunate police force) which worked for the maintenance of the public order in Kyoto under the Aizu Domain, and he also provided medical care for its members.

During the Boshin War, he became an army surgeon of the Ou (Mutsu Province and Dewa Province) allied troops and was imprisoned for a while after the war, but he was discharged and became a surgeon general with encouragement from Aritomo YAMAGATA and so on.

In 1907, he died at the age of 75. His graveyard is at Myodai-ji Temple in Oiso-machi, Kanagawa Prefecture.


Matsumoto cooperated to build a memorial tower for Isami KONDO and the members of Shinsengumi with whom he associated.

In Yudanaka onsen (hot spring) in Nagano Prefecture, he showed how to bath in onsen, and he praised Yudanaka onsen as a hot spring for longevity. In present Yudanaka onsen, there still is his instruction of how to bath in onsen now.

He developed Oiso-machi, Kanagawa Prefecture as a villa district suitable for sea bathing.

He also familiarized milk, sea bathing and so on.

He wrote "Ranchu" and "Tsuzoku iryo benpou" (Popular medical expedients).

His autobiography is in Toyo bunko, by Heibonsha Limited, Publishers, with Sensai NAGAYO.