Okubo, Toshimichi (tōˌshēmēˈchē ōˈkōbō) [key], 1830–78, Japanese statesman. A major figure in the Meiji restoration, he was influential in introducing Western ideas to Japan. He supported the emperor against the shogun and worked to eliminate feudalism. A powerful figure in the new government, he put down (1873) the party favoring war with Korea. In 1874 he became home minister and sponsored a military expedition to Taiwan. After the Satsuma rebellion of 1877 (see Saigo, Takamori), in which he took the government side, he was assassinated, presumably by a fellow clansman of Satsuma.
See biography by M. Iwata (1964).