Iwakura Tomomi

Died aged c. 58

Iwakura Tomomi (岩倉 具視, October 26, 1825 – July 20, 1883) was a Japanese statesman during the Bakumatsu and Meiji period. He was one of the leading figures of the Meiji Restoration, which saw Japan's transition from feudalism to modernity. Born to a noble family, he was adopted by the influential Iwakura family. By 1858 he was an advisor to Emperor Kōmei, but was exiled from the royal court from 1862 to 1867 for his moderation. After release, he became the liaison between the court and the anti-Tokugawa movement. He played a central role in the new Meiji government after 1868. He successfully opposed aggressive policies in Korea in the crisis of 1873, and was nearly assassinated by his enemies. He led the 50-member Iwakura Mission for 18 months in Europe and America, studying modern institutions, technology, and diplomacy. The Mission promoted many key reforms that quickly modernized Japan. He promoted a strong imperial system along Western lines, and played a central role in creating financial institutions for the nation. The 500 Yen banknote issued by the Bank of Japan carried his portrait.

Wikidata Wikipedia

Commemorated on 1 plaque

This plaque commemorates the visit of the Iwakura Ambassadors' Mission from Japan, which was received by the Lord Mayor in the original Manchester Town Hall which stood on this site. The 40-member Japanese delegation came to Manchester and the North West to learn from its civic, industrial and commercial success. On leaving Manchester in October 1872 Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary Iwakura stated: "We have found friendship at every turn and hope that you may one day visit Japan so that we may return your kindness and hospitality."

Lloyds Bank, Cheapside, Manchester, United Kingdom where they visited