Statesman and social activist. Born in Tochigi as the son of the Village Chief. In 1857, he became the Village Chief of Konaka-mura, the village where he was born, and participated in political reforms conducted by his lord, the Rokkaku Family. In 1879, he founded the "Tochigi Shimbun", in which he discussed current topics and his thoughts on People's Rights. He became a member of the Tochigi Prefectural Assembly in 1880, and Chairman of the Prefectural Assembly in 1886. In 1890, he was elected as a member of the House of Representatives in the first general election as part of the Rikken Kaishin-to (Constitutional Reform Party). Afterwards, he consistently addressed environmental and pollution problems associated with Ashio Copper Mine. In 1901, Tanaka resigned from the Diet to make a direct plea to Emperor Meiji. From 1904, he developed a movement to protest against plans to construct a drainage basin in Yanaka-mura. In his later life, Tanaka was committed to promoting riparian projects.