Go Junzo (郷純造)

Junzo GO (June 12, 1825-December 2, 1910) was a Japanese warrior and shogun's retainer, a bureaucrat of Ministry of the Treasury and statesman.

Personal Profile

Junzo GO was born as the third son of a wealthy farmer in Kurono, Mino Province (now Kurono, Gifu City). After GO went to Edo (present-day Tokyo) to serve yonin (officer handling domestic economy) of the Ogaki Domain in 1845, he frequently changed the person whom he served including hatamoto (direct retainers of the bakufu), after which serving as officer in charge of storage room, of the Nagasaki bugyo Gisei MAKI, he handled receiving the visit from the Netherlands envoy in 1853 and later on he took office as yonin for the Hakodate bugyo Toshihiro HORI to attend him on a tour to Sakhalin and Ezochi (inhabited area of Ainu), encountering a variety of foreign issues; moreover, his rich foreign experience was thought highly of by the magistrates of Osaka Town Tadayoshi TORII to be selected for a chief retainer of the Torii family in charge of trade issues. Although he bought shares of hatamoto who belonged to Sappei Corps (shogun's troops) to become a shogun's retainer immediately after the Battle of Toba-Fushimi, he did not obey the unrelenting resistance policy to the Meiji government by the troops, and he followed the New Government Troops after Edo-jyo Castle was surrendered. After Meiji Restoration, GO entered the new government and was active as the bureaucrat of Ministry of the Treasury. It was his great achievement and worthy of mentioning that he suggested the appointment of former retainers of shogun such as Eichi SHIBUSAWA, Hisoka MAEJIMA and Aizo SUGIURA as government officials to Shigenobu OKUMA, Hirobumi ITO, and others. However, because of this, GO was hated by Toshimichi OKUBO, who disliked former retainers of shogun.
(In OKUBO's letter dated October 25, 1870 to Tomomi IWAKURA, OKUBO pointed his finger at GO and mentioned, "I shall dismiss him from the office or transfer him.")
Therefore, GO was deprived of important posts when OKUBO, taking office as Secretary of Ministry of Treasury, stayed in the center of political power. After the death of OKUBO, when OKUMA and ITO held the reins of government, GO was finally reevaluated and held the position of Okura no taifu (senior assistant minister of the Ministry of Treasury; afterwards, it was renamed Vice-Minister of Finance); however, the reason why he stayed in governmental official responsible for practical works was said to be because his misfortunate times under the Okubo administration had a lingering effect. After retirement, he became a member of the House of Peers.

Brief Personal History

In 1868, todori (chief) commander of kohei (military engineer)
In 1868, kumigashira (head of the group) of the Accounting Bureau of Chinshofu (government office)

In 1869, Shojo (Junior Secretary) of the Ministry of the Treasury
In 1870, Okura taijo (Senior Secretary of the Minister of the Treasury
In 1872, debt investigation official
In 1874, head of National Debt Section
In 1877 leader of the National Debt Bureau
In 1882 Okura no shofu kokoroe (Preliminary Junior Assistant Minister of the Ministry of the Treasury)
In 1884 Okura no shofu and Director-General of the Tax Bureau
In 1886 Vice-Minister of Finance
In 1888 he retired. In 1891 he became a councilor of the House of Peers that was selected by Imperial command, changing his career into politics. In 1900 he was raised to baron.


Seinosuke GO, a businessman, was his second son. The fourth son Shosaku was adopted as a son of Yataro IWASAKI, the founder of Mitsubishi Zaibatsu at one year old, and was renamed Toyoya IWASAKI; he took active part in the business world as his real brother Seinosuke did. Sukemasa IRIE, who assumed office as Palace staff for Emperor Showa, was the adopted son-in-law of Toyoya IWASAKI (in other words, grandson-in-law of Junzo GO and Yataro IWASAKI), and the businessman Katsutaro IWASAKI was the first son of Toyoya (in other words, grandson of Junzo and Yataro). The eighth iemoto (head family of a school) of the Sohen school Shihoan of tea ceremony Keika ISHIHARA was also a grandchild of Junzo. A nephew (child of his sister) was Buichi NAKAJIMA, who was a leader in the economic world of Tokachi branch office (grandfather of the singer Miyuki NAKAJIMA).


Go clan called themselves descendant of OE no Hiromoto; at first their ancestors lived in Aterazawa, Dewa Province (now Oe-cho, Yamagata Prefecture), and later on in late Muromachi period moved to Hoken County, Mino Province (present-day Gifu City), introducing themselves as Go clan.

[Original Japanese]