Statesman. Born in Tokyo in the family of a plasterer. Adopted as a child by a medical physician, he assumed the name of Hoshi. Despite his poverty he studied English, and later he taught English in many places. In the meantime, he enjoyed the favor of Munemitsu Mutsu, and after the Meiji Restoration, he entered government service. After serving as chief of the Yokohama Customs Office, he went to Britain to study. He studied at Middle Temple Law School, and in 1877, he became the first Japanese to qualify as a barrister in Britain. After returning home, he became proctor attached to the Ministry of Justice. In 1882, he entered the Jiyu-to(Liberal Party). In 1887, under the Peace Preservation Law, he was expelled to Yokohama, and jailed the following year. In 1892, he was elected to the House of Representatives, and assumed office as its chairman. In association with Hirobumi Ito, he extended his influence in the Rikken Seiyukai (Friends of Constitutional Government Party).He became Minister of Communications in the fourth Ito cabinet, but resigned due to a Tokyo City Assembly corruption scandal. In 1901, he was assassinated during his term of office as the Tokyo City Assembly chairman.