A core figure in the anti-Shogunate. Born in Yamaguchi as the son of a samurai of the Hagi Clan. He studied at the clan school Meirinkan and Shoka Sonjuku (a private school opened by Shoin Yoshida). In 1858, he entered the Shoheiko (a school under direct control of the Shogunate at Edo), but in 1859 returned home by the clan's command. In 1863, when the Hagi Clan attacked a foreign ship, he was appointed to form the Kiheitai (irregular militia), an imperial loyalist militia, and attacked the foreigners. In 1864, he took an active part as official envoy for the peace negotiations with the Western four allied powers fleet. After the first Choshu expedition, he converted the clan's opinion to the anti-Shogunate, and in 1866 the clan concluded the Satsuma-Choshu Alliance with the Kagoshima clan. In the same year, he commanded the clan navy and fought against the Shogunate forces in the second Choshu expedition and defeated them at Oshima and Kokura. But he died of tuberculosis at Bakan in the following year.