Iwakura, Tomomi, Prince (tōmōˈmē ēwäˈkōrä) [key], 1825–83, Japanese statesman. A court noble, he supported the Meiji restoration and became a minister of state (1871–83). In 1871 he headed a mission to Europe and the United States that failed to secure abolition of the unequal treaties but brought back much useful information on foreign institutions and technology. He returned to Japan in 1873 to forestall the threat of war with Korea. From 1873 until his death Iwakura, a conservative, was a leader of the moderate political forces.