Omura Masujiro

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Military theorist

Omura Masujiro was born to a rural doctor practicing traditional Chinese medicine. Later he studied rangaku (Western studies) and became a military theorist, who designed and built the first western-style warship in Japan.
In 1856 he traveled to Edo and opened a private training center in collaboration with the institute for education of Western studies under the direct control of Edo bakufu.
Later he entered military administration and was a supreme commander in the battle for Ueno. He was assasinated at the age of 46.  
Currently, his bronze statue sculpted in 1893 stands in Yasukuni-jinja shrine. It is the oldest western-style bronze statue in Japan.