About Designated as a National Historic Site:
The Former Retreat of Tomomi Iwakura
Tomomi Iwakura was a prominent politician of the Bakumatsu and Meiji Period. He was a large influence during the Meiji Restoration when a strong effort to restore the Imperial government occurred. He was born in 1825 as the second son of a low-ranking courtier and nobleman, Yasuchika Horikawa. In 1838, he was adopted by another nobleman, Tomoyasu Iwakura. Then in 1854 he became a chamberlain to Emperor Komei, and gradually became a prominent figure of influence within the Imperial Court. He supported the alliance of the Court and the Shogunate through a policy centered around the marital union of Emperor Komei’s younger sister with one of the subjects, Kazu-no-miya. By promoting this union, he was seen as a leading figure in the Sabaku-ha (supporters of the Shogun) by the Sonno Joi faction (those who advocated reverence for the Emperor and expulsion of foreigners). In 1862 during the height of the Sonno Joi Movement, Tomomi Iwakura removed himself from the government and political circle and entered priesthood. He lived a quiet and secluded life in this residence located in the Rakuhoku area of Iwakura Village till 1867.
Designated as a Place of Historic Value: March 25, 1932
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