Moriyama Shigeru (森山茂)

Shigeru MORIYAMA (October, 1842 - February 26, 1919) was a diplomat and politician of the Meiji period. As a diplomat, he was engaged in diplomatic negotiations with Korea, and after retiring from the work, he served as a councilor of the Chamber of Elders, governor of Toyama Prefecture, a member of the House of Peers and so on.

Career

In October, 1842, he was born in Tokiwa-mura, Toichi County, Yamato Province (present-day Tokiwa-cho, Kashihara City, Nara Prefecture), as the eldest son of Koji KAYANO, and later became the heir of the Moriyama family.

After the Meiji restoration, he worked at Hyogo Court (the administrative agency dealing with civil affairs and foreign affairs, which was the predecessor of Hyogo Prefecture). In May, 1869, he became a secretary of Gaikokukan (the department of foreign affairs), and when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was established in August of the same year, he was appointed Gaimu shosakan (a post at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the thirteenth rank). In January 1870, he travelled to Tsushima Domain, which was in charge of the Japan-Korea diplomacy at that time, and Busan Metropolitan City, to investigate affairs between Japan and Korea. In May, 1870, he became Gaimu gon no daisakan (a post at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the twelfth rank), and in October of the same year, he was sent to Yi Dynasty Korea in attendance on Koki YOSHIOKA, Gaimu gon no shojo (a post at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ninth rank), to seek for diplomatic relations; however, as Dong-Jun AHN, Wagaku Kundo (倭学訓導) (Korean official who was in charge of diplomatic relations with Japan) at the Korean side, refused meeting anyone but officials from Tsushima Domain, they once returned to Japan in December, 1871. In February, 1872, he had negotiations with Korea again with a letter under the name of Yoshiakira SO, who had been governor of Tsushima Domain and became Gaimu taijo (a post of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the fourth rank) after Haihan-chiken (abolition of feudal domains and establishment of prefectures), which stated that the diplomatic right had been transferred from Tsushima Domain to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; however, the negotiation was unsuccessful. He was subsequently promoted to Gaimu daisakan (a post of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the eighth rank) and then Gaimu shoki (a post of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the seventh rank). Following the retirement of Daewongun (a title of biological father of King in Yi Dynasty Korea, who is not previous king) in December, 1873, who had advocated seclusion policy, and the death by execution of Kundo Dong-Jun AHN in April, 1874, Moriyama was sent to Korea again in May, 1874 and discussed with Kundo Seog-un HYEON about establishing new relationship between Japan and Korea. He became Gaimu shojo (a post at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the fifth rank) in December of the same year and Gaimu gon no taijo (a post at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the fifth rank) in December of 1875, and served as an accompanying personnel of Kiyotaka KURODA who worked on negotiations on the Japanese-Korea Treaty of Amity. In April, 1877, he retired from the work.

Later, he served as a vice great secretary and a great secretary of the Chamber of Elders in Japan, a councilor of the Chamber of Elders since December,1887, and governor of Toyama Prefecture for two years since July, 1890. He served as a member of the House of Peers (appointed by emperor) for approximately 25 years since April, 1894 to February, 1919. His court rank was Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank), Order of Second Class.

He died in February, 1919. The age at death was 78.

Episodes

At the suggestion of Yoshitada HIRAYAMA, Zusho no kami (Director of the Bureau of Drawings and Books) of the Edo bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), he attempted to develop Utsuryo Island (Ullung Island) at the end of the Edo period in 1867; however, he gave it up due to the Meiji restoration.

His oldest son was Matsunosuke MORIYAMA, an architect who worked at building and repairing section of the Taiwan Government-General.