Since early childhood he learned Chinese studies. After the Meiji Restoration, he served as a Gondai-sanji (intermediate official), as well as an officer at the Shushikyoku (Historical Compilation Bureau) and a secretary of the Ministry of Education. After his retirement from public posts in 1885, he engaged in writing novels and plays and participated in the movement to modernize kabuki plays. As a scholar of Chinese literature he admired Wei Xi, a Chinese author in the Qing dynasty, and wrote many works for memorial stones. His Gakkai Nikki (Gakkai’s Diary) is a renowned 46-year cultural record which keenly observed the change of the times.