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Home » 8. Schools, Groups, and Personalities » Personalities
Kurita Hiroshi
(1835-99)
Japanese historian and Doctor of Literature (D.Lit). Born on the twenty-sixth day of the first month of 1835 in Mito Shimomachi, Hitachi Province (present-day Ibaraki Prefecture) to oil merchant Kurita Masafumi. From an early age Hiroshi became a pupil of Ishikawa Meizen, and upon recommendation by Toyota Tenkō, he was subsequently accepted to the Shōkōkan Academy (one of two academies comprising the "Mito School" of National Learning or kokugaku). There he worked on the historiographical compilation Dai Nihonshi (History of Great Japan), a vocation he would continue for the rest of his life.
       He demonstrated brilliance in his understanding of ancient manuscripts, the ancient kanshoku system of government administration, and the empirical verification of local gazetteers, all while actively supporting the "revere the Emperor, expel the barbarian" (sonnō jōi) movement. After the Meiji Restoration, Kurita served at the Ministry of Religion (Kyōbushō) from December 1873, and by December 1875 had completed the Tokusen jinmyochō (Selected Anthology of the Book of Kami from the Engishiki), and devoted himself to the historical investigation of Shinto shrines. In November 1892 he was chosen to take Kume Kunitake's position at Tokyo Imperial University's Faculty of Letters. He lectured there on Japanese history until the end of his life, and also lectured at Kokugakuin beginning in 1894. He died on January 26, 1899, at his home in the Ushigome Yaraichō area of Tokyo, at the age of sixty-five. His major articles have been collected in the Ritsuri-sensei zaccho, and his larger studies include the Shinsen shōjiroku kōshō (Annotated Record of Select Clans), Hyōchū kofudoki (Annotated Ancient Gazeteers), Kogo shūi kōgi (Lectures on the Gleanings from Ancient Words), Shinsei hōkun kōgi (Lectures on the Sacred Emperor's Moral Instruction), Chokugo kōgi (Lectures on the Imperial Rescript on Education), Shinpen Hitachikokushi (A New Version of Hitachi History) and Tokiwa monogatari (Tale of Eternity).

- Akimoto Nobuhide
Kurita Hiroshi

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