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Home » 8. Schools, Groups, and Personalities » Personalities
Inoue Yorikuni
(1839-1914)
Meiji-era scholar of National Learning (kokugaku) and Doctor of Literature (Lit.D.). Born on the eighteenth day of the second month of 1839 in Edo's Matsushita-chō, Kanda. His father served as physician to the aristocrat Yokose Sadaatsu. Displaying a high level of maturity already during his youth, Inoue studied Sino-Japanese classics and was accomplished in the arts. He followed the teachings of Hirata Atsutane (1776-1843), and received instruction from Gonda Naosuke (1809-1887) in what was termed "ancient court medicine" (kōchō koidō). In 1867 Inoue made his way to Kyoto, where he joined forces with scholars such as Gonda and Ochiai Naoaki (1840-1891). He was appointed by the new Meiji government to the mid-professorial rank, had responsibility for the discipline of Asian Medicine (kōkan idō), and then transferred to the Ministry of Religion; he was also a priest at the shrine Ōmiwa Jinja, serving as Junior Chief Priest (shōguji) (see gūji) with the kyōdōshoku rank of gon shōkyōsei (Provisional Junior Prefect of Instruction).
       In 1877, along with Yano Harumichi (1823-1887), Yorikuni was appointed to the Shūshikan institute and made a staff member of the Imperial Household Ministry (Kunaishō), where he oversaw genealogical records as Manuscript Editor and Chief Editor (toshoryō henshūkan and henshū kachō). He served as editor of the Kōtōfu (Imperial Genealogy), through which he headed the investigation into the historical origins of government posts and the Shinto shrine system. During this time he lectured at schools including the Kōten Kōkyūsho, Kokugakuin and the Peer's School (Gakushūin), and edited works such as the Koji ruien (Encyclopedia of Ancient Matters) and Kamo no Mabuchi zenshū (Collected Works of Kamo no Mabuchi). His immense library is preserved in the Mukyūkai Shinshū publication collection. Inoue died July 4, 1914, in the Kōjimachi district of Tokyo at the age of seventy-six. Among his works are Kigai sōsho, Zoku kigai sōsho and Kōkyūseido enkakukō, among other works.

-Akimoto Nobuhide
Inoue Yorikuni

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