Itagaki Taisuke (1837-1919)

(1837-1919) Founder of Japan’s first political party, the Liberal Party. In the 1860s he became military leader of the domain of Tosa, and under his command Tosa’s troops participated in the Meiji Restoration. He served sporadically in the new government, but discontent led him to found first a political club and then a national ‘Society of Patriots’ in support of greater democracy. In 1881 he formed the Liberal Party (Jiyuto). Though he retired in 1900, he remained its symbolic leader.”

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

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