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Enomoto, Buyo

ENOMOTO, BUYO, Viscount (1839-1909), Japanese vice-admiral, was born in Tokyo. He was the first officer sent by the Tokugawa government to study naval science in Europe, and after going through a course of instruction in Holland he returned in command of the frigate "Kaiyō Maru," built at Amsterdam to order of the Yedo administration. The salient episode of his career was an attempt to establish a republic at Hakodate. Finding himself in command of a squadron which represented practically the whole of Japan's naval forces, he refused to acquiesce in the deposition of the Shōgun, his liege lord, and, steaming off to Yezo (1867), proclaimed a republic and fortified Hakodate. But he was soon compelled to surrender. The newly organized government of the empire, however, instead of inflicting the death penalty on him and his principal followers, as would have been the inevitable sequel of such a drama in previous times, punished them with imprisonment only, and four years after the Hakodate episode, Enomoto received an important post in Hokkaido, the very scene of his wild attempt. Subsequently (1874), as his country's representative in St Petersburg, he concluded the treaty by which Japan exchanged the southern half of Saghalien for the Kuriles. He received the title of viscount in 1885, and afterwards held the portfolios of communications, education and foreign affairs. He died at Tokyo in 1909.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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