Ichiki Shiro (市来四郎)

Shiro ICHIKI (January 29, 1829 - February 12, 1903) is a feudal retainer of Satsuma. He become a close aide to Hisamitsu SHIMAZU from the Meiji period. His kemyo (common names) were 'Shoemon' and 'Shiro'.
His imina (posthumous name) is 'Hirotsura'
He is well-known as the person who took the daguerreotype photography of Nariakira SHIMAZU, which is said 'The first photography taken by a Japanese' in 1857.

Brief Biography

He was born as the second son of 正容 TERASHI, but he became an adopted child of Masanao ICHIKI.

As a youth, his study about gunpowder such as the Takashima-ryu School gunnery was recognized by Nariakira SHIMAZU, and he became a close aide to Nariakira. He was in charge of the pharmaceutical department and later, the gunnery department, and then he took important posts such as engaging in the Shuseikan business. In 1857, he went to Ryuku to negotiate with France on the secret order of Nariakira. The purpose was considered buying battleships from France, but it broke down because of the sudden death of Nariakira. After the death of Nariakira, he became a close aide to Nariakira's younger brother, Hisamitsu, and continuously engaged in the Shuseikan business and in charge of manufacturing cannons and gunpowder. Since 1862, he had engaged in casting Ryukyu Tsuho (a name of local currency of Satsuma Domain) and Tenpo Tsuho (a name of Japanese currency).

After the Meiji Restoration, he mainly engaged to collect historical materials related to the Shimazu family for Hisamitsu.


The Diary of Shiro ICHIKI' (Previously in the possession of Toshiaki OKUBO, and currently Reimeikan of Kagoshima Prifecure historical materials center)
The Historical Materials of Sir Tadayoshi SHIMAZU'
(*Editor. Included in "The Historical Materials of Kagoshima Prefecture.")

The Memoir of 順聖 Kugyo' (Published by Iwanami Shoten with changed title to ''The Memoir of Nariakira SHIMAZU")
The Commentary of Affairs of State of the Shimazu family'