He was born to a family that served as the Mito clan’s kaisen donya (shipping trade manager) for generations, and took over the head of the family in 1849. He was commissioned to mint the Mito clan’s currency. In 1874 he founded the Kawasaki-gumi in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, and engaged in the currency exchange business for the Japanese government. In 1880 he reorganized Kawasaki-gumi into Kawasaki Bank and founded Tokai Chokin Bank (later Kawasaki Savings Bank) one year later. He is the founder of the Kawasaki zaibatsu, which specialized in financial business.