Itō Hirobumi

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Prince Itō Hirobumi, GCB[1] (伊藤 博文?, 16 October 1841–26 October 1909, also called Hirofumi/Hakubun and Shunsuke in his youth) was a samurai of Chōshū domain, Japanese statesman, four time Prime Minister of Japan (the 1st, 5th, 7th and 10th), genrō and Resident-General of Korea. Itō was assassinated by An Jung-geun, a Korean nationalist who was against the annexation of Korea by the Japanese Empire.[2]The politician, intellectual, and author Suematsu Kenchō was Itō’s son-in-law, having married his second daughter, Ikuko.


Early years

Itō was born as the son of Hayashi Juzo. He was originally named Hayashi Risuke. His father Hayashi Juzo was the adopted son of Mizui Buhei who was an adopted son of Itō Yaemon's family, a lower class samurai from Hagi, Chōshū domain (present-day Yamaguchi prefecture). Mizui Buhei was renamed to Itō Naoemon. Mizui Juzo took the name Itō Juzo, and Hayashi Risuke was renamed to Itō Shunsuke at first, then Itō Hirobumi. He was a student of Yoshida Shōin at the Shōka Sonjuku and later joined the Sonnō jōi movement (“to revere the Emperor and expel the barbarians”), together with Kido Takayoshi. Itō was chosen to be one of the Chōshū Five who studied at University College London in 1863, and the experience in Great Britain convinced him of the necessity of Japan adopting Western ways.

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