Hayashi Tadasu
林 董
Count Hayashi Tadasu c. 1902
Personal details
Satō Shingoro

(1850-04-11)11 April 1850
Sakura, Chiba, Shimōsa Province, Japan
Died10 July 1913(1913-07-10) (aged 63)
Hayama, Miura District, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
Resting placeAoyama Cemetery, Tokyo, Japan
(m. 1875⁠–⁠1913)
RelationsHayashi Dokai (adoptive father)
ChildrenFukuzawa Kiku (daughter)
Hayashi Masanosuke (son)
  • Satō Taizen (father)
RelativesMatsumoto Ryōjun (brother)
Alma materKing's College London
OccupationDiplomat, cabinet minister
Other namesSatō Tosaburō

Count Hayashi Tadasu, GCVO (林 董, 11 April 1850 – 10 July 1913[1]) was a Japanese career diplomat and cabinet minister of Meiji-era Japan.[2]

Early life

He was born Satō Shingoro in Sakura city, Shimōsa Province (present-day Chiba prefecture),[3] as the son of Satō Taizen, a physician practising "Dutch medicine" for the Sakura Domain. He sometimes referred to himself as "Satō Tosaburō". He was adopted as a child by Hayashi Dokai, a physician in the service of the Tokugawa shogunate, from whom he received the name Hayashi Tadasu. He learned English at the Hepburn Academy (the forerunner of Meiji Gakuin University) in Yokohama .

From 1866 to 1868, Hayashi studied in Great Britain at University College School and King's College London as one of fourteen young Japanese students (including Kikuchi Dairoku) sent by the Tokugawa government on the advice of the then British foreign minister Edward Stanley, 15th Earl of Derby.

Hayashi returned home in the midst of the Boshin War of the Meiji Restoration, and joined with Tokugawa loyalists led by Enomoto Takeaki, whom he accompanied to Hokkaidō with the remnants of the Shogunate Army and its Navy. He was captured by the Imperial forces after the final defeat of the Republic of Ezo at the Battle of Hakodate and imprisoned in Yokohama.[4]

Released in 1871 by Kanagawa governor Mutsu Munemitsu, he was recruited to work for the Meiji government in 1871, and because of his language abilities and previous overseas experience was selected to accompany the Iwakura Mission to Europe and the United States in 1871–1873.[3]

Government officer

Being a member of the Iwakura Mission in the Britain, he was instructed by Yamao Yozo to arrange appointment of the teaching staff for the Engineering Institution (Japan) in the end of 1872.[5] He returned home with the staff led by Henry Dyer as the principal, and endeavoured to set up the Imperial College of Engineering, Tokyo as an officer of the Engineering Institution of the Ministry of Public Works.

In 1875 he married Gamo Misao (1858 – 1942).[6] They had a daughter and a son, Kiku and Masanosuke.

Political career

After the Ministry of Public Works was abolished, he moved to the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication, then was appointed governor of Kagawa Prefecture, and then of Hyōgo Prefecture. In 1891, he was appointed Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs. He was elevated to the title of baron (danshaku) in the kazoku peerage in 1895.

Hayashi was appointed as resident minister to the court of Qing dynasty China at the Japanese legation in Beijing, then resident minister to Russia in St Petersburg, and finally resident minister to Great Britain. While serving in London from 1900, he worked to successfully conclude the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and signed on behalf of the government of Japan on 30 January 1902.[3] He was elevated to the title of viscount (shishaku) in February 1902.

Countess Hayashi, photographed 17 March 1902

On 2 December 1905 Hayashi became the first Japanese ambassador to the Court of St James's, as diplomatic relations were upgraded between the Empire of Japan and the British Empire.[3] He was accompanied by his wife.[7] At that time Sir Claude MacDonald was Hayashi's opposite number in Tokyo.

On becoming Foreign Minister in the first Saionji cabinet in 1906, Hayashi concluded agreements with France (the Franco-Japanese Agreement of 1907) and Russia (the Russo-Japanese Agreement of 1907 and Russo-Japanese Agreement of 1910). He served as Minister of Communications in the second Saionji cabinet and as interim Foreign Minister (1911–12).[8] He was elevated to the title of count (hakushaku) in 1907.[3]

On contracting diabetes, Hayashi retired in 1912, and in June 1913 he fractured his thigh in an accident, resulting in an amputation. Hayashi died a month later, and his grave is at Aoyama Cemetery in Tokyo.[8]




Honorary degrees

Order of precedence

See also



This article includes a list of general references, but it lacks sufficient corresponding inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (September 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this message)
  1. ^ Who's Who 1914, p. xxii
  2. ^ "Count Tadasu Hayashi". American Journal of International Law. 7 (4): 836–837. 1913. doi:10.1017/S0002930000230194. ISSN 0002-9300.
  3. ^ a b c d e Kowner, Historical Dictionary of the Russo-Japanese War, p. 144.
  4. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Hayashi, Tadasu" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 13 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 109.
  5. ^ Hayashi Tadasu: Ato wa Mukashi no Ki (Looking Back), p.47.
  6. ^ John William Leonard, William Frederick Mohr, Frank R. Holmes, Herman Warren Knox, Winfield Scott Downs, eds., Who's who in New York City and State, Issue 2 (L. R. Hamersly 1905): 1013.
  7. ^ "Sitter: Viscountess Hayashi, later Countess Hayashi, née Misao Gamo (1858–1942)". Lafayette Negative Archive.
  8. ^ a b Public Domain Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Hayashi, Tadasu". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 31 (12th ed.). London & New York: The Encyclopædia Britannica Company. p. 344.
  9. ^ "Latest intelligence – Japan". The Times. No. 36704. London. 1 March 1902. p. 7.
  10. ^ London Gazette, 4 July 1905
  11. ^ "University intelligence". The Times. No. 36779. London. 28 May 1902. p. 12.
  12. ^ "University intelligence". The Times. No. 36788. London. 7 June 1902. p. 9.
Political offices Preceded bySaionji Kinmochi Minister for Foreign Affairs 1906–1908 Succeeded byTerauchi Masatake Preceded byGotō Shinpei Minister of Communications Aug 1911 – Dec 1912 Succeeded byGotō Shinpei