小栗上野介の業績(東善寺) ●  日本最初の株式会社    兵庫商社・江戸の築地ホテル・小布施の船会社 

The Kojien dictionary explains "shosha" as follows.
"The word "shosha" is a translation of "company" by Kozukenosuke Oguri, and means "a commercial association." The word is often used in the context of trade, including foreign trading companies in one's own country and our overseas trading companies in foreign countries.

(From "Kojien", Iwanami Shoten) 
小栗上野介の株式会社 1
兵 庫 商 社


 Joint-stock company by Kozukenosuke Oguri #1:
Hyogo Shosha
(Japan's first joint-stock company)

Detailed description is in Part 3 "Tadamasa Oguri's America" of Taiken Murakami's "The Record of Tadamasa Oguri’s Follower"


 In 1867, Kozukenosuke Oguri submitted to the shogunate a proposal to establish Japan's first joint-stock company, "Hyogo Shosha." When Oguri went to the U.S. as an envoy in 1860, he was given an explanation of the system of the Panama Railroad Company, which is utilized here.


(『幕末外交談』田辺太一/『読史余録』塚越芳太郎/意訳 )

そしてコンパニーの利潤をもってガス灯書信館(ポストオフィシー・郵便電信制度)、鉄道の設置をすれば、国にとっての膨大な利益となる、と提議する画期的な構想であった。(渋沢栄一 『徳川慶喜公伝3』)

 Proposal (Summary)

"In the past, Japan has opened ports in Nagasaki and Yokohama, but while Western countries have benefited from the opening of these ports, Japan has lost money every time it has opened a port. The reason for this is that Japan does not follow
the merchant union system, but instead trades according to the profit and loss of each individual merchant with a small capital. ・・・・・ Since merchants with small capital compete with each other to do business with foreign merchants, foreigners with thick resources (large capital) will take away their interests. "This is not only the loss of one merchant, but also the loss of the nation, and finally the loss of national interest and disdain for foreign merchants. Therefore, "dealing with foreigners must be based on the methods of a foreign trading company, or it will not be in the best interest of the country.
("Bakumatsu Gaikodan" by Taichi Tanabe / "Dokushi Yoroku" by Yoshitaro Tsukagoshi / paraphrase)

It was an epoch-making concept that proposed that the country would benefit enormously if it used the profits from the company to build gas lamps, post offices, and railroads. (Eiichi Shibusawa’s “The Biograpy of Yoshinobu Tokugawa, No. 3”)

The investors were to be 20 Osaka merchants, and they were to contribute one million ryo. The merchants would not act simply by investing the money, so instead they were allowed to issue gold bills in the same amount so that they could make a profit. The Shosha's board of directors consisted of three members, including the president, Zen-emon Yamanaka (Konoikeya), six merchants as kimoiri officers (community officials who mediate between people), and the remaining eleven as caretakers. The office of the trading company was called the trading company meeting place and was located in Nakanoshima, Osaka.

Jirosaku Kano, who had listened to Kozukenosuke Oguri's plan and explanation of the establishment of a trading company, made efforts to establish a trading company as a member of the Imperial Household Department. Seeing the plan of establishing the trading company in June (1867), he invited the officials of the trading company to the Osaka General Assembly on June 14, and explained that the trading company should not aim at the personal gain of any one merchant, nor borrow money at high interest from Western merchants, but should cooperate with each other to make trade flourish. He also told them that he would procure the necessary funds.

("Kobe City History" by Jirosaku Kano, Appendix 1, p. 44)
*Jirosaku Kano was the father of Jigoro Kano, a famous judo expert, and engaged in the shipping business.
 (Reference book)
"Dokushi Yoroku" by Yoshitaro Tsukagoshi
(Teishunro) / "The Biography of Yoshinobu Tokugawa, No. 3" by Eiichi Shibusawa, Ryumonsha / "The Life of Kozukenosuke Oguri" by Fujiyoshi Sakamoto / "Diplomatic Talk at the End of the Edo Period" by Taichi Tanabe / "Kobe City History" Appendix / "The Record of Tadamasa Oguri's Follower" by Taiken Murakami



 Japan's first joint-stock company established earlier than "Ryoma Sakamoto's Kaientai"

Professor Fujiyoshi Sakamoto, an economist, named Ryoma Sakamoto's Kaientai as the first joint-stock company in Japan. Mr. Sakamoto visited Tozenji several times after that to investigate the achievements of Kozukenosuke Oguri.

He said, "I found out that Kozukenosuke Oguri's Hyogo trading company was a proper company with officers and articles of incorporation much earlier (than Kaientai)."

He then said with a wry smile, "Even if I tried to take it (the label he had put on Kaientai as the first joint-company in Japan) back, Ryoma Sakamoto was so famous that the label I put on the Kaientai was lost on me..."

"My current view is that Hyogo Shosha is the first joint-stock company in Japan. Interestingly, when the establishment of the Hyogo Shosha was announced (June 5, 1867 or Keio 3), the fact that it was mentioned in the Kaientai Nisshi (Dairy of the Kaientai), which only mentions matters of special importance, shows the shock that the Kaientai suffered."

("Ryoma Sakamoto and the Kaientai" by Fujiyoshi Sakamoto, Kodansha / "The Life of Kozukenosuke Oguri" by Fujiyoshi Sakamoto, Kodansha)

小栗上野介の株式会社 2
 Joint-stock company by Kozukenosuke Oguri #2:
Tsukiji Hotel
Also called Tsukiji Hotel Kan
(Japan's first hotel company)

清水建設所蔵 提供
 The Hyogo Shosha was established at the end of the 3rd year of Keio (1867), but was soon dissolved due to the upheaval of the Meiji Restoration.  

Construction of the Tsukiji Hotel, which began in 1867, was completed in August of 1871, and until it was destroyed by fire in Ginza in 1872, it was the first full-scale hotel in Japan and was highly regarded by foreigners.







  About the opening of the hotel

Kozukenosuke Oguri gathered the townspeople of Edo together and told them the following:
"From now on, foreigners will be living in Edo. So we need a hotel, but the Shogunate has no money. We will lend you the land for free, but who will build a hotel? You'll collect funds from the townspeople to build the hotel, and once it's built, you'll run it on user fees, and if you make more profit than that, you'll divide it among those who provided the capital. Is there anyone who can do this?"

・ The town where the first foreigners lived in Edo was originally called Teppozu, which is now the Akashi-cho area of Chuo Ward. Today, you can see markers in parks indicating the birthplace of Rikkyo Gakuin, Meiji Gakuin, Joshi Seigakuin, etc., and the St. Luke's International Hospital is a remnant of this area.

The hotel was located right next to the Kachidoki Bridge, which is now a multi-story parking lot. Turning right at the corner before the location, you will come to Namiyoke Inari Shrine and then to the former Tsukiji market.

Oguri's proposal is based on the methods of a joint-stock company that he heard about when he rode on the Panama Railroad as an envoy to the United States. The method of having the construction and operation done entirely by the townspeople is a precursor to the PFI bill.

Kisuke Shimizu, the second generation of Shimizu Corporation, immediately raised his hand in response. Kozukenosuke Oguri had the hotel built with the intention that it would be large enough to satisfy foreigners. He must have had an image in his mind of the Willard Hotel, a first-class hotel near the White House where he had stayed in Washington DC.
築地ホテルの建設を手がけた、清水建設の二代目▲清水喜助  清水建設提供
 ▲Kisuke Shimizu: The second generation of Shimizu Corporation, the builder of the Tsukiji Hotel (Courtesy of Shimizu Corporation)

▲ 錦絵 築地ホテル 三代目広重画 東善寺蔵  
(Nishiki-e) Tsukiji Hotel, By Hiroshige III (Collection of Tozenji)

▲錦絵 周重画  東善寺蔵
(Nishikie) By Chikashige Morikawa (Collection of Tozenji)

▲錦絵 海から見た築地ホテル 三代目広重画  東善寺蔵
(Nishiki-e) Tsukiji Hotel seen from the sea, By Hiroshige III (Collection of Tozenji)

If you look closely at this painting, the English on the cover of the side wheel is a mystery.

▲「CITY OB YEDO」の「OB]は「OF]の誤りであろう。



The "OB" in "CITY OB YEDO" is probably an error for "OF." Who on earth could have made that mistake? The flag on the stern is the Stars and Stripes, so maybe the American who owns the shipping company made a mistake. Or did the painter make a mistake during the painting process? Did Hiroshige III, who painted the picture, make the mistake? ......

The ship was still carrying passengers with the riddle...

Related images
Click here for the ground plan...National Diet Library
  The hotel became a famous place in Edo, which was renamed Tokyo, and more than a hundred such nishiki-e (brocade painting) prints were made, selling as fast as they were made.
▲ ホテル展望台からの眺め 横浜開港資料館蔵
▲ View from the hotel observatory (Coutesy of Yokohama Archives of History Museum)

             北海道大学 発行




  Completed in One Year

Under the guidance of Kozukenosuke Oguri, Kisuke Shimizu immediately recruited investors and began construction in August of 1867 (Keio 3), despite being criticized as a "adventurer's work" because of the outrageous offer of "100 ryo per unit and 100 ryo per year in dividends."

The hotel, which was completed in August of 1868, was located on the right side of the Kachidoki Bridge, at the entrance to the current Tsukiji Fish Market, where the multi-story parking lot is now located.

The construction of the Tsukiji Hotel is documented in "Yajuro Hirano's Diary of the End of the Edo Period and the Meiji Restoration."
Published by Hokkaido University

Equipped with flush toilets

It was the latest building at the time, with 102 rooms, flush toilets, a billiard room, shower rooms, and bar, and foreigners praised the hotel for its "great view and delicious food."

More surprised than the foreigners were the Japanese. They had never seen a hotel or a flush toilet before, and the hotel was so popular that it was swarming with visitors every day. Kisuke hired people to guard the gates and charged them admission fees to help finance the event.

More than 100 types (not 100 printings) of nishiki-e were made as souvenirs, and the hotel became a famous place in Edo. Even today, nishiki-e in envelopes of "Edo Hotel," "Miyako Hotel," and "Tsukiji Hotel Kan" can be found in storehouses and storerooms, so those who live in old houses should go treasure hunting. It is a pity that the hotel was burned down in the "Great Ginza Fire" after operating until 1872.

Designed by R. P. Bridgens
Richard Perkins Bridgens is an American who came to Japan at the end of the Edo period. He designed the Tsukiji Hotel and many Western-style buildings in Yokohama such as the British Provisional Legation, the British Consulate in Yokohama, the Yokohama Customs House, and the Yokohama Town Hall. He also designed the Shinbashi and Yokohama stations of the Shinbashi-Yokohama railroad line, which was completed in 1872
(both stations were built from the same blueprints).
ブリジェンスの墓 ▲横浜外人墓地の19区画、シドモア桜の枝の下にある
Bridgens's Tomb ▲ Plot 19 under the branches of the Scidmore cherry tree in Yokohama Gaijin Cemetery
   築地ホテルの模型  制作者は金田さん(R大学・理工学研究科建築学専攻修士課程の学生さん)2008年4月、東京での小栗上野介展で披露し、現在は東善寺で展示中です。
▲ A model of the Tsukiji Hotel:
It was created by Ms. Kaneda, a student of the Master's Program in Architecture at the Graduate School of Science and Engineering at R University. It was shown at the Kozukenosuke Oguri Exhibition in Tokyo in April 2008, and is currently on display at Tozenji Temple.
 Related pages
Shimizu Corporation→"Tsukiji Hotel" (link)
Tokyo Port Archives→"Tokyo Port in Nishiki-e" (link)
 Reference Books
"Yajuro Hirano's Diary of the End of the Edo Period and the Meiji Restoration" (Hokkaido University Book Publishing Society, 2000)
180-Year History of Shimizu Corporation (Shimizu Corporation)
“The Record of Tadamasa Oguri’s Follower” by Taiken Murakami

小栗上野介の株式会社 3
小布施の″船 会 社″

Joint-stock company by Kozukenosuke Oguri #3:
Obuse's "Shipping Company"

(Japan's first shipping company)  
 The idea was to establish a shipping company in the port of Niigata, and to explore the way to "national prosperity" by transporting local products and selling them to foreigners, thereby enriching not only capitalists but also farmers and craftsmen. With the Meiji Restoration, Kozukenosuke Oguri was dismissed from his post as the accounting magistrate and the Shogunate was dissolved, ending with the phantom shipping company, but the seeds of a joint-stock company were beginning to grow in the Shinetsu area (the present-day Nagano and Niigata prefectures).




 Statue of Kozan Takai (At the Entrance of Kozan Takai Memorial Museum)

Kozan Takai of Obuse, Nagano Prefecture, was known as a wealthy farmer, painter, and scholar. In his later years, Hokusai Katsushika visited Obuse and left many paintings because he was invited by Kozan. If you enter the memorial museum, which is housed in Kozan Takai's mansion, you will find a separate studio called "Hekiiken" built for Hokusai in the courtyard.




  Kozan Takai of Obuse submitted a proposal for the establishment of a shipping company to the Matsushiro clan at the end of the Edo period, and the proposal remains in the town.                
The proposal reads,
"If the wealthy people of the Shin-etsu area join together to form a shipping company and engage in foreign trade, it will promote the local products and benefit the people, leading to a wealthy nation and strong military."
"For the time being, we borrow a government ship and receive guidance from Van Reed, an American, on ship operation and trading..."
"This was suggested by Kozukenosuke Oguri."

【参考書籍】 山崎實著『高井鴻山物語』『続高井鴻山物語』「船会社の提案書」は小布施町教育委員会蔵『小栗忠順従者の記録』村上泰賢著

In January of 1868 (Keio 4), Kozukenosuke Oguri was dismissed from his post as an accountant, and this proposal never came to light.

Konzan was saddened by this and, when he was invited by Ichio Okubo (Tadahiro), who had been appointed as the treasurer at the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate, to come to Edo immediately and lend a hand, he declined it and instead sent a substitute messenger to the Oguri residence in Surugadai, Edo to greet him.

We can painfully see the disappointment of Kozan Takai, who was thinking, "What good would it do to go to Edo without K
ozukenosuke Oguri?"

(Reference Book)
"Kozan Takai Monogatari" and "Kozan Takai Monogatari #2" by Minoru Yamazaki
"Proposal for a shipping company," owned by Obuse Town Board of Education
“The Record of Tadamasa Oguri’s Follower” by Taiken Murakami





 ▲ Praising Monument to Kozan Takai (left) and deciphered board (right) 
The name of Kozukenosuke Oguri is inscribed on the monument in the precincts of Ganshoin Temple, which is famous for Hokusai's ceiling painting "The Phoenix."

Kozukenosuke Oguri in the text of the monument ⇒

The connection between Kozan and Kozukenosuke Oguri has been reconfirmed, and now the people of Obuse are highly interested in the achievements of Kozukenosuke Oguri.

(The Praising Monument to Kozan Takai, a stone monument, erected in April 1917. Calligraphy by Meikaku Kusakabe)
(by蜷川新「維新前後の政争と小栗上野の死」)  儒学では、「主君に三度諫言して之を容れざれば、之を去る」と説いていて、これほど言っても聞き入れない主君はこちら(家臣)から去る、と教えている。俗に言えば慶喜に愛想を尽かした、この人では戦っても無駄になる、という気持ちであろう。
 小栗上野介は 渋沢にこうも言っている 「(政権交代後に、)もし強藩が互いに勲功を争い内輪もめとなって群雄割拠するようなら、主君を奉じて天下に檄を飛ばすつもりはある」 として
「三百年に亘って施した徳川家の恩沢をまだ忘れない者も多くいるであろうから・・・。またそのようなこと(群雄割拠)がなければ自分は前朝の頑民として田舎で世を送るつもり…」                                     ・筆者(村上泰賢)は以前から「恩沢を忘れないもの」としてこの時小栗上野介が誰をイメージしていたのか課題としていたが、岩松院境内の高井鴻山の頌徳碑に
  Kozan Takai and Kozukenosuke Oguri

Kozukenosuke Oguri was dismissed by Yoshinobu Tokugawa and, just before moving to Gonda Village with the shogunate's permission of his "Application for Returning to Farming," Seiichiro Shibusawa of the Shogitai came to visit him and asked him to become the commander of the Shogitai. However, Oguri refused the request.

He may be questioned why he, who advocated the idea of a major war, decided against the request, but he said to Shibusawa that "I would not fight a war without a cause as long as the shogun did not stand up."
(Ref. “Political Strife Before and After the Meiji Restoration and the Death of Kozukenosuke Oguri” by Arata Ninagawa)

Confucianism teaches that, if the lord does not listen to you even after you have admonished him three times, you should leave him. In layman's terms, you probably felt that you had run out of love for the lord and that it would be futile to fight with him.

It is too early to simply assume that Kaishu Katsu was a pacifist who believed in reverence, while Kozukenosuke Oguri, who insisted on fighting, was a warrior. If we assume so, we may be perceived as saying that Oguri deserved to be killed by the Western forces.

Kozukenosuke Oguri also said to Eiichi Shibusawa, "If (after the change of government) powerful clans fight each other for merit and become divided into groups, I will send a message to the world in the name of my lord. There are many who have not forgotten the benefits of the Tokugawa family over the past three hundred years.... And if there are no such conflicts, I will live out my life in the countryside as a stubborn citizen of the previous dynasty...

I, Taiken Murakami, have long been trying to figure out who Kozukenosuke Oguri imagined as "the one who he never forgets the benefits of" for a long time. However, I found the monument to Kozan Takai in the precincts of Ganshoin Temple that read as follows. "We have received three hundred years of exchange of councils, and we should raise our assets to save ourselves from danger..." At that moment, I realized that these were the words of a man who embodied the image Kozukenosuke Oguri had.

This is the very stone monument that tells us that there were men who were in touch with each other and cared about the affairs of the country despite being far away from Edo and the Hokushin area (northern Nagano prefecture).


戒名 「耕文院泰賢鴻山居士」
 Tomb of Kozan Takai
It is located In the precincts of Shounji Temple in Obuse Town (a little east of Obusedo).
Posthumous Buddhist name: "Kobun-in Taiken Kozan Koji" ...is written. Coincidentally, it has the same name as the creator of this Web site, Taiken Murakami, for which I'm grateful.



▲ヴァン・リードの住居 「横浜全図」より
▲Van Reed's Residence in "Yokohama Map"
 Van Reed
Dutch-American. He came to Japan in 1866 (Keio 2) with the status of Consul General of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and lived at 93 Yokohama, where he was engaged in trading. In this chart, he is written as "Wenwright," and sometimes as "Wenlii" in other occasions.

At the time of the Namamugi Incident, he met Hisamitsu Shimazu's procession before Charles Lennox Richardson and his men, who were cut down by the Satsuma clan. However, Reed understood Japanese customs so well that he dismounted, took off his hat, and moved to the side of the road, causing no trouble.

Reading the "Detailed Drawing of Yokosuka""We can read from the drawing that Yokosuka was the place of the Industrial Revolution in Japan.
■関連情報:「門前の小僧」さんの「春の小布施訪問記」 岩松院の方丈さんや町の皆さんとの交流になりました。http://www.sign104.com/pc/oguri/obuse/obuse2002.04.23.html

 Related Information: Monzen-no-Kozo's "Spring Visit to Obuse"
It was a great opportunity to interact with the priest of Ganshoin Temple and the people of the town.