Party politician. Born in Okayama, the son of a samurai of the Okayama Clan. He studied at the Keio Gijuku. He went with the army to the front during the Satsuma Rebellion as a reporter for the Yubin Hochi Shimbun. After working for Tokai Keizai Shinpo as a reporter, he joined the establishment of the the Rikken Kaishin-to (Constitutional Reform Party). He was active in the daido danketsu (coalition) movement. He was elected a member of the House of Representatives in the first general election held in 1890, and was consecutively re-elected until the 18th general election. He served as Minister of Education in the first Okuma cabinet and Minister of Communications in the second Yamamoto cabinet. In 1922, he organized the Kakushin Club and formed Goken Sanpa Naikaku (the pro-constitution three-sect cabinet) with Takaaki Kato, etc., becoming Minister of Communications. In 1929, he became president of the Rikken Seiyukai (Friends of Constitutional Government Party) and was elected Prime Minister in 1931, but in the following year he was assassinated in the event known as the May 15 Incident.