Yosha Bunko
Kinsei Jinbutsu Shi
Yamato Shinbun Furoku No. 5
Eto Shinpei

Yoshitoshi captures Eto Shinpei (1834-1874), the former Minister of Justice, in a moment of peace.

The story begins by simply stating that "people who have been around awhile will know that "the man was one of the three Pei of Saga and once held a post in the Dajokan then went in the wrong direction and became a devil under the sword (toka no oni to naru)." The later remark meant that Eto had been killed by a sword and was now a spirit.

The two other Pei of Saga were Oki Minpei [Takato] (1832-1899), the first Minister of Education and then the governor of Tokyo. The third was Koga Ippei, the first governor of Shinagawa prefecture and the center of a rice-tax controversy. All three men were samurai from Saga who had helped topple the Tokugawa shogunate then stayed around to form the new government. Eto and Oki recommended that the imperial capital be moved from Kyoto to Tokyo.

The main story is an anecdote about the day Tokyo nichinichi shinbun began publishing, on which Jono Denpei, one of Tonichi's founders, appears to have met Eto, then the Minister of Justice of the Dajokan. Jono seems to have misheard Eto's name as Ito Nanigashi, and is suprised to hear Eto's voice.

The writer is possibly Jono himself, who had only recently left Tonichi and founded Yamato shinbun. The story narrates an event that took place 15 years before its writing, and two years before Eto met his violent end.

Print information

Size oban
Drawn by Yoshitoshi
Written by [unsigned]
Carved by Katsuin
Published 1887-2-20 (Yamato Shinbun No. 109)
Published by Yamato Shinbun Sha

Principal sources

Yosha Bunko, Ono Collection.