Narahara Shigeru (奈良原繁)

Shigeru NARAHARA (June 29, 1834 - August 13, 1918) was samurai and a government official in Japan. He held various posts such as the Shizuoka prefectural governor, the (fourth) governor of Okinawa, a member of the House of Peers (of Japan), Genroin gikan (councilor of Chamber of Elders), Kinkei-no-ma shiko (Kinkei Hall attendance) and the president of Nippon Railway (later serving concurrently as the president of Kobu Railway Company, Ryomo Railway Company, and Mito Railway Co.). He was a baron.


He was from Satsuma Domain. His Imina (personal name) was Kon (混). His childhood name was Sanji. He was commonly called Kihachiro. He was called Yukigoro after reaching adulthood, but he changed it to Shigeru around the time when he served as a butler for the Shimazu family in 1874. His older brother, Kizaemon was a devout disciple of Yakumarujigen-ryu school and the younger brother was known as a spearman. When Hisamitsu SHIMAZU's soldiers went up to Kyoto in 1862, Shigeru played an active role in the Teradaya Incident as one of Chinbushi (temporary government post involving security enforcement). A descendant of Kizaemon protested against the Namamugi Incident happened during the year, saying that it was the younger brother, Shigeru, not his older brother, Kizaemon who slashed Richardson. In the Coup of August 18 in the following year, he worked behind the scenes with Masakaze TAKASAKI and succeeded in driving Choshu Domain out of Kyoto. His older brother, Kizaemon joined the Anglo-Satsuma War but the younger brother, Shigeru did not.

Although he was promoted to Sobayaku (Secretary), he was removed from the administration of the domain on February, 1869 due to the domain administration reform initiated by lower ranked feudal retainers who came back from the Boshin War. In December, 1871, he served in Kagoshima Prefecture as a special envoy to Okinawa. In February, 1874, he became a butler for (the head family of) the Shimazu clan. In September, 1876, he served concurrently as a butler for the Tamazato-shimazu family. He served as the Provisional Grand Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs in 1879, the Provisional Grand Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce in 1881 and the Shizuoka prefectural governor in 1883. He became the president of Nippon Railway in 1884.

He became the governor of Okinawa Prefecture in 1892 and invoked the state power to conduct the prefectural administration such as oppressing Okinawa Club organized by Noboru JAHANA whom Shigeru conflicted with. In addition, he held the office as a government-appointed governor for the unusual period of 16 years and was called "Ryukyuo (King of Ryukyu)". He made efforts in the land consolidation project in Okinawa when the Okinawa land consolidation act was enacted. He served as the president of Okinawa Private Educational Association as well.


He deepened a friendship with Toshimichi OKUBO and erected the 'monument to express condolences to Okubo, Udaijin (the Minister of the Right)' in Kioizaka with Sutezo NISHIMURA in May, 1888 after Okubo was assassinated by Ichiro SHIMADA in the Kioizaka Incident

He was a grand master of swordplay for the Shizuo and Michitsura NOZU brothers who played active roles in the Battle of Toba-Fushimi and the Seinan War, and made them stay in his home temporarily as private pupils. He often publicly stated that the brothers had the makings of a general, and actually Shizuo and Michitsura became the lieutenant general and the General of the Army, respectively.

Shigeru's heir (the second son after the change to the family register), Sanji NARAHARA flew about 150 meters in the Narahara second biplane which was designed by him in May, 1911. This was the first fly of the domestic plane. He was recommended to be the chairman of the Japan lightplane club in 1931.

A feudal retainer of Satsuma Province, Kizaemon NARAHARA was his older brother and his father was confined to his house for the Oyura-sodo (family feud over Narioki SHIMAZU's heir).

The highest summit of Uotsurijima-Island in the Senkaku islands had been given the name of "Narahara dake".

Shingo NASU, one of the assassin of Toyo YOSHIDA, who was hidden in the residence of Satsuma Province since May 23, 1862 when the Namamugi Incident occurred, wrote a letter of October 7 of the year to his father-in-law and older brother, saying that it was the Kizaemon's younger brother Yukigoro (Shigeru) who slashed the English man in the Namanugi Incident. Shingo NASU died in the Tenchu-gumi incident where he attacked the magistrate office in Nara in August of the following year.

In December, 1863, Shigeru took Yaichi TAKAMI known as Danzo OISHI, one of assassin of Toyo YOSHIDA and a councilor of Tosa Province, to Kagoshima. Takami was received as a feudal retainer of Satsuma Province (with Okoshogumi family rank), and left for England three years later in March, 1866, being selected as one of 19 students studying in England.